israel unit. looking for general ideas on global studies, as well!

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by HufflePuff, Nov 4, 2008.

  1. HufflePuff

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    Nov 4, 2008

    my grade (5th) is doing two weeks of global education on israel and the middle east.

    i am looking for ANY kind of assistance with this. any good ideas of what to focus on with israel? any general ideas about how to do global studies (activities to do...especially ones i can give grades on)...thanks!
     
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  3. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    I have a lot of info and photos, if you want.
    Some points of interest you might touch upon:
    - Dead sea: Quite interesting. Very salty.
    - Jerusalem: Very historic. Major religious crossroads.
    - Climate: Extremely diverse. In a country smaller than Rhode Island, it includes deserts, beaches, green hills, rocky/snowy mountains, plains...
    - Science: Many innovations in technology and health originated in Israel.
    - Military: They've had some spectacular wars... I can probably find loads of incredible stories about their survival.
     
  4. catnfiddle

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    Nov 5, 2008

    Can you get your hands on a copy of Shalom Sesame or Rechov Sumsum? Imagine Sesame Street transplanted to Israel. It may be a little on the young side, but the kids will probably enjoy seeing Bert and Ernie speaking Hebrew.

    http://www.shalomsesame.com/
     
  5. Bored of Ed

    Bored of Ed Enthusiast

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    Oh! I remember those, they were cute. There are videos of the old shows. I don't think it's too young because it would be something different.
     
  6. HufflePuff

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    Nov 6, 2008

    thanks! i am going to pick those up from the library.

    any other great ideas? any good hebrew sites?

    i am also trying to think of a mini-lesson i can do in SS every day. our classes switch in the afternoon and we are doing majority of our unit in the morning. i wanted to something very basic in SS but nothing that would interfere with what we do in the morning (we do history and geography in morning). i am also trying to think of math ideas, too. :)
     
  7. HufflePuff

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    Nov 6, 2008

    oh and i also need some help with the hebrew language...completely clueless!
     
  8. Bored of Ed

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    I can help you with the language. What exactly do you want to know?
     
  9. HufflePuff

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    well, i want to teach them about the language and how to write and pronounce simple words. all the sites i find just confuse me more! thanks for your help.
     
  10. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 6, 2008

    Hebrew is a bit difficult because it uses its own alphabet. I'm not home now, but when I get home I can try to find you some handwriting worksheets.
    This is a pretty good diagram of Hebrew print.
    [​IMG]
    Handwriting looks a bit different; print is not so calligraphic and most people write in cursive:
    [​IMG]

    Another key difference is that Hebrew (and Arabic) is read and written from right to left. It takes some getting used to.

    Yet another difference is that the vowels are not letters, as they are in English. Instead, vowels are written either beneath or beside the consonant letter. For example, while in English one would write a consonant followed by a vowel -- "ba" -- In Hebrew one would write the letter bet with a horizontal line beneath it. When only a vowel sound is needed, a "silent" letter is used.

    There is also a bit of a pronunciation difficulty: Hebrew frequently uses a sound that is not used in English. Many Americans have difficulty pronouncing it. It comes from somewhere between the throat and the back of the mouth. When people transliterate words into English, this sound is usually indicated as "kh" or "ch"

    So yes, Hebrew is confusing to learn for the first time. Sorry. ;)
    I wouldn't inundate 5th graders with all that information. I'd probably just let them look at and try to copy the letters, and teach a few words orally.

    By far the most popular Hebrew word is "Shalom" (shah-LOME)
    It is written like so:
    [​IMG]
    It means peace, but is also used as a greeting.

    Some other common words/phrases (I'm trying to write the way they're pronounced) (Most words are pronounced with the emphasis on the second syllable):
    "Aykh kohr-eem likhah?" = What's your name (lit. "what are you called")
    "Mah shlome-aykh" = How are you?
    "Mah nishmah" = What's up?
    "Kane" = yes
    "Loe" = no
    "Toe-dah" = thanks
    "bivakashah" = please (also used as "you're welcome")
    "Leh-hit-rah-oat" = See you (goodbye)

    Here is a live image of the Western Wall (known in hebrew as the "Kotel," which really just means wall but everyone knows which one it is)
    http://www.virtualjerusalem.com/livekotel/aish/index_1.php?affid=18&CFID=3068538&CFTOKEN=80805175
     
  11. Bored of Ed

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    Re. the top diagram: Letters with more than one sound listed in the parentheses -- the pronunciation depends on the context and other symbols. It's complex when learning it but for people who have grown up with Hebrew it's second nature. My first language is English, but I started learning Hebrew at a young age, and I think it makes a lot more sense than English! It's an easier second language than English because it adheres more to rules and patterns.
     
  12. catnfiddle

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    Brilliant work, Bored of Ed! I wish you had been my Hebrew School teacher... but then, I may have become a rabbi instead of a teacher.
     
  13. Bored of Ed

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    Thanks, Cat! Sadly, I think the boringness of hebrew schools caused many people to lose touch with their heritage, which is really very rich and exciting when approached well.

    One more note that I forgot to mention about the language -- with regard to the vowel symbols, another complication is that almost all higher-level texts omit these marks altogether. Instead of decoding, you have to use an innate understanding of the vocabulary and syntax to know what you're reading. (Since it makes so much sense, as I said before, this is not quite as difficult as it may seem. Words that are exceptions to the rules or imported from foreign languages are usually vowellated) Only beginning grade-school books and prayerbooks usually include all the vowels.
     
  14. Bored of Ed

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    I found a few mini-videos that might help support your unit:

    1. This is a brief vignette of life in the shadow of terror. Israel is under constant threat from the Arab countries surrounding it and even more so from rebels living within the country. The city featured in the clip is Sderot. Sderot is a small city that has been under constant attack since Israel gave up the Gaza Strip several years ago. Israel received no thanks for ceding a large, strategic chunk of land -- instead, they have been bullied with demands for more land from people who will not be satiated until every scrap of land is gone. Gaza was developing beautifully under the Israelis; it was home to many families and a lot of effort and resources had been invested in building cutting-edge farms and greenhouses in the former desert. Now, those farms have been torn apart and terrorists use the area to get a closer shot at places like Sderot. If Israel shoots back, they are portrayed in the media as killers. Meanwhile, the Israeli families who were forced out of their homes in Gaza continue to struggle to build their lives elsewhere. The government did not fulfill its promise to provide them with equivalent housing; many were moved around the country numerous times over the last few years. My friend's sister and her children spent at least two years in refugee settlements -- they were not refugees from some foreign, troubled country; they were native citizens!
    OK, sorry for the rant. It's just that the injustice of that situation overwhelms me. Here's the link http://sderot.aish.com/SderotPetitions/15Seconds.php
    (warning: it's a bit graphic)

    2. "60 years in 60 minutes" is a snapshot of Israel's history. It compares photos from when Israel first gained independence and began to build up a country in the desert practically by hand, and clips from the present. It's amazing that in just 60 years, Israel developed from a pile of sand and rocks into one of the world's most modern countries. Despite the constant warfare, they continue to develop new technologies. In 60 years they achieved more than most of their neighbors did in hundreds or even a thousand years of existence.
    http://www.aish.com/movies/60Years.asp

    3. This last one is ridiculously corny, and sort of blurs the line between "Israeli" and "Jewish." But it is a decent springboard for learning about Israel's technological contributions to the world.
    http://www.aish.com/movies/israelboycott.asp
     
  15. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 7, 2008

    You might consider making falafel with your class. You can buy pita bread, slice it in half to make two bread pockets. Falafel balls and tahini can also be bought prepared (look for the falafel in the freezer section; you would have to fry it yourself). Put salad and falafel balls into the pocket and drizzle tahini on top. Other common ingredients include pickle chips, saurkraut, and french fries. Israeli salad generally consists of cucumbers and tomatoes diced very small, may also include finely diced pepper and shredded lettuce. For a nutritional tie-in, note that a falafel provides a well-balanced meal in just one handful: The pita bread, the salad veggies, and the balls are made of protein-rich beans.

    When I did Israel with my class, I was short on time and budget, so I just bought some falafel-flavor snacks ;-)

    Popular Israeli snack foods for children include Bissli, which is sold in many kosher stores (not sure where in NJ you are, but there's bound to be one in the area) and Bamba, which is like a puffy chip with a peanut-butter flavor.
    http://www.osem.co.il/Eng/_Articles/Article.asp?CategoryID=41&ArticleID=37
    http://www.slashfood.com/2008/09/26/israeli-snacks-bamba/
    If you're into integrated curriculum, maybe you could do a nutrition comparison on these and popular american snacks. I'm sure you can find the info online.
     
  16. MissFroggy

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    Those are great suggestions. I don't have much to add- Bored of Ed is by far the expert... but I have some pictures I took in Isreal a couple years ago. Your students might like them. These are my favorites.

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]

    [​IMG]
     
  17. MissFroggy

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    The first two pictures are in Tel Aviv, the second picture is The Dead Sea and the last is the view from the B'hai temple, which we toured. They had a great view.

    I have other pictures too, but most have people in them. I'm not much of a scenery photographer- so I'm lacking in those.
     
  18. HufflePuff

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    oh my gosh! you guys are SOOOOOO helpful! thanks so much for those pics! and bored of ed....amazing! i will be sure to study all of that...be prepared for questions haha. i can't thank everyone enough. :)
     
  19. Silmarienne

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    Nov 7, 2008

    National Geographic had some good lesson plans on their site.

    Discovery Education had something too, but I didn't look in detail (I'm looking for K age plans!)

    Check out www.LearnIsrael.org too.
     
  20. HufflePuff

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    bored of ed, any suggestions of lessons i can do with hebrew for my class? i like your idea of teaching them a few words and having them pronounce and write. i am trying to think of some other fun ideas as well. hmmm...
     
  21. Camel & Walrus

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    Right... the land they illegally occupy which isn't theirs.

    Fascinating to see how Primary level Middle East education works in the US... I'm staying tuned.
     
  22. Silmarienne

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    Nov 8, 2008

    Not true.

    http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/History_of_Israel

    I found this ten-minute flash presentation informative.

    http://www.terrorismawareness.org/what-really-happened/

    It gives a brief history from 1522 to present day of who "occupied" Israel. It recaps all I have read in the past about it.

    In a nutshell:
    3000 B.C. Jews live in Israel
    1100 BC Kingdom of Israel/Judah established
    722 BC Assyria destroys Judah, which is ruled by various conquering nation states over the next several centuries-- Persia, Rome, etc
    66 AD Israel revolts against Rome
    70 AD. Judah destroyed by Rome
    634 Caliphate conquers Palestine (which is an area, not a state)
    1187 Egypt rules Palestine
    1517-1922 Turkish Empire
    1922-1947 British "Palestinian Mandate"
    1922 80% of the Mandate given by Winston Churchill to Arabs (modern Jordan), who had NEVER formed a "Palestinian" state previously. The remaining 20% was divided between Jews and Arabs.
    1948 Arabs attack Israel to take over their remaining 10% and lose. Israel as a state was reborn.

    Arabs in Israel have full citizenship rights, more than they enjoy in any "Arab" nation. Jews on the other hand are pariahs in other countries.

    This is history, not my opinions. I feel for those who grow up displaced and disaffected, but Israel is not to blame for their current state.

    But, I've probably already said too much and may be kicked off the forum but I feel that the truth should be defended.
     
  23. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 8, 2008

    We probably shouldn't turn this into a political discussion... poor hufflepuff needs lessons!

    But since we're on the topic anyway, I fully agree with those who say that biblical and ancestral reasons do not give Israel the right to occupy their land. No place in the world operates like that. HOWEVER, I do believe that Israel earned their right to live where they do the same way Americans did -- they fought for their independence and then proceeded to build up the country. I imagine Mr. Bush, who tells Israel to give away most of its key territory to its mortal enemies with a big smile on his face, would probably change his tune if the Native Americans started demanding their territory back -- and they DID have a legitimate first-come claim to the land.

    (The timeline given above begins with the Jewish settlement; however, according to the Jewish bible itself, the land was occupied by seven other nations previously. That is not relevant today, because the Palestinians have no evidence of being at all related to biblical occupants of the land, and furthermore if we were going by the bible, the land was promised to the Jews, anyway. But I don't think the bible can possibly carry weight in modern geopolitics)

    And Hufflepuff, feel free to ask more questions. I can also email you more pictures, just PM me with an email address because I have too many to upload.
     
  24. Camel & Walrus

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    It's not really my place to take someone's thread asking for advice of course but...

    * Arabs are equal citizens in Israel
    * Palestinians don't have legitimate claim to the land
    * Israel is not to blame for the displaced and disaffected

    ...are ridiculous.

    ----------

    To make a contribution to the thread seeing as it is 'global studies' you can all ways investigate the many international laws Israel break.
     
  25. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 9, 2008

    I challenge you to back up your claims with historical evidence.
    And before you accuse Israel of breaking too many international laws, bear in mind that the Arabs have broken just about every single treaty and cease-fire ever made with Israel.
     
  26. Silmarienne

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    Nov 10, 2008

    Right... back to lesson ideas. Sorry about the political stuff. I have two Lebanese kids in my class so I plan to not get into that anyway (as if it would be appropriate for K anyway!).

    I am still working on my Israel lesson plans but do plan to cover:
    1. Biblical account of Israel's beginnings and Christ's birthplace (it is a Christian school)
    2. Geography-- where is Israel and what kind of terrain (and how modern Israelis made a garden from the desert)
    3. Hanukkah, its origins and a few elements of its celebration

    Maybe learn a Hebrew song or two, make latkes, stuff like that. I would love to share LESSON PLAN ideas with those who have done or want to do an Israel unit. :) Shalom!
     
  27. HufflePuff

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    Nov 10, 2008

    i need a bulletin board idea, too! i am pretty desperate, too, b/c i still have a halloween one up.
     
  28. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 10, 2008

    Re. Silmarienne's ideas:
    1. If you're sure it would fly in your school, go ahead. Biblical history is one of Israel's only assets. But I'm just sticking in a caution to others reading this thread -- teaching Bible in school, especially if you're just the social studies teacher, is not often a good idea.

    2. Absolutely. The geography is really interesting. It could make for some good practice reading map keys because of all the different elements present. Where it is is also key -- it's very centrally located, between the mediterranean sea and the rest of the middle east -- right where Asia and Africa meet.

    3. Hannukah is one of the most popular holidays in Israel, but it's actually not the most significant. It could be a good idea for you, though, because of the timing. It starts on Dec. 22 this year, so if your unit lasts a while you might do some Hanukah activities as a treat at the end. (Latkes aren't that simple to make, so you might be happy to hear that a more popular Hanukah treat in Israel is doughnuts! The point is to eat fried things because of the miracle that involved oil. Latkes are more of a European/American thing; Jelly doughnuts are the tradition in Israel)
     
  29. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 10, 2008

    Maybe make a large map of Israel (I would use a transparency and project onto a large paper or oaktag to enlarge and trace the vague outline) and print out some pictures from different areas of Israel (the pictures I sent you cover most major regions; I'd also look online for one from Mt. Hermon in the Golan Heights and something from the Mediterranean coast.) Then you could put the pictures near the appropriate area of the map. Later, when the students learn about geography and landmarks, they could each write a paragraph to go with a different picture.
     
  30. HufflePuff

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    Nov 10, 2008

    wow! great idea. this was an idea i was thinking of for a bulletin board...

    i have groups of five in my class. each group would focus on a specific hero, heroine, or significant person in israeli history. i would give them some fact sheets on these people. they would then each, individually, draw a comic strip depicting this person's life and/or accomplishments. i would display these on the board. how does that sound? any significant people you feel are good for them to do this on? good sites for these people as well?

    i can't believe how helpful you all have been!
     
  31. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 10, 2008

    Sounds great and fun!

    I will have to do some more thinking/research about significant people.
    Golda Meir was a famous prime minister -- one of the modern world's first female leaders.
    Begin was another famous PM because of some peace deal, I believe.
    Olmert is the current PM but he seems to be going down fast.
    On a different note, Gilad Shalit is a soldier who was kidnapped by Palestinians who infiltrated from Gaza over two years ago. He has not returned. This is another bone of contention because meanwhile, Israel released HUNDREDS of Palestinian POW's in return for the mangled remains of two other soldiers and some empty promises. He's become a big name around Israel -- everyone wants him back! He's only a boy... he wasn't even taken in war, he was spirited away at night near the border patrol while the two soldiers with him were killed on the spot.
    I'm sure you can also dig up some notable scientists and artists.
    Maybe the violinist Itzhak Perelman -- very famous.

    I'm not sure how exciting people reports would be, though, it depends on your class. Maybe a more dynamic project would be to research technologies that originated in Israel -- that would give a clear and interesting connection to the students' lives. Israel is very advanced in medical research.
    (Also, with the hero/heroine idea, you would probably have to show that you're representing the different groups of Israelis... and frankly, I find the idea of featuring the Arab leaders in Israel as heroes very disturbing...)
     
  32. HufflePuff

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    Nov 10, 2008

    well, it would be a short comic strip, 6 boxes, on their accomplishments. i like the idea of using scientists or artists.

    these were the five i have listed in a book given to the kids:
    golda meir, theodor herzl, david ben-gurion, henrietta szold, rachel yanait ben-zvi....
     
  33. Researcher

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    Nov 10, 2008

    For the political aspect, I would highly recommend the DVD/video: "Beyond the Mirage." I've never seen a more multi-faceted (ie, well-rounded) documentary on the subject, with voices of youth and adults from both sides of the conflict.

    Would also recommend these links:

    1) Americans for Just Peace in the Middle East
    http://www.ajpme.org/

    2) The Washington Report on Middle East Affairs
    www.wrmea.com

    3) Jews for Justice in the Middle East's Article "The Origins of the Palestine-Israel Conflict"
    http://www.wrmea.com/jews_for_justice/index.html

    4) B'tselam: The Israeli Information Center for Human Rights
    http://www.btselem.org/English/index.asp

    Peace,
    Researcher

    PS. It is unfortunate that in 2008, it is not widely known/admitted that Israel violates UN Security Counsel Resolution 242 (actually, most of the rest of the world concurs). This is not pre-World War I. We no longer live in a world where we can just decide we occupy territory that others are living in (whether it is a small or large population), and/or take it by force, so the comparison to Natives living in the US doesn't work. International organizations were created to actually prevent this sort of thing from happening in modern times. It's easy to brush that under the rug, considering the terribly crude response of the Palestinians, which no sane person condones. So the issue remains, how can the Israelis and Palestinians live in peace? Interesting fact: for every 1 Israeli killed in Israel in the past year, 400 Palestinians are killed in Gaza. That's staggering. The splitting of Palestine into the Gaza Strip and West Bank are laughable, at best.

    Consider this quote: "Peace rests on justice." Miroslav Volf
     
  34. Bored of Ed

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    When exactly did Israel "just decide to occupy territory that others are living in ... and/or take it by force"? Israel was established as a Jewish state by the UN following the holocaust, and their other occupied territories were won in wars that the others started, last time I checked.
     
  35. Researcher

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    Nov 10, 2008

    With all due respect, check again.

    Regarding the Balfour Declaration:
    "The Balfour Declaration, made in November 1917 by the British Government...was made a) by a European power, b) about a non-European territory, c) in flat disregard of both the presence and wishes of the native majority resident in that territory...[As Balfour himself wrote in 1919]..." Edward Said, "The Question of Palestine."

    Regarding the occupation of Palestinian land:
    "In violation of international law, Israel has confiscated over 52 percent of the land in the West Bank and 30 percent of the Gaza Strip for military use or for settlement by Jewish civilians...From 1967 to 1982, Israel's military government demolished 1,338 Palestinian homes on the West Bank. Over this period, more than 300,000 Palestinians were detained without trial for various periods by Israeli security forces." Intifada: The Palestinian Uprising Against Israeli Occupation," ed. Lockman and Beinin.
     
  36. HufflePuff

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    Nov 11, 2008

    if any1 can find good bios on these people (easy for kids to understand) let me know!:

    golda meir, theodor herzl, david ben-gurion, henrietta szold, rachel yanait ben-zvi
     
  37. Bored of Ed

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    Nov 11, 2008

    Hufflepuff: Hm... I don't know of any, but maybe try contacting some Zionist organizations. I believe most of those people were big Zionists and I'm sure these people produce materials for children.

    Researcher:
    1 (Regarding Balfour). Well, there you have it -- The British started, not Jews. Later, the UN took it from the British (against their will) to give to the Jews. They offered half of it to the Palestinian arabs as well, who declined the offer. After declining the offer at that time, I hardly think they're in a position to ask for it now, after the Israelis developed the land and settled it legally.
    2 (Regarding occupation). As you mentioned, Israel "confiscated" the West Bank and Gaza around 1967. Israel had no interest in starting up in these territories; they only entered there to fight the masses of troops from arab countries who were poised at the Israeli border threatening to annihilate Israel. Well, the arabs lost spectacularly and should have learned to quit antagonizing Israel. Bear in mind that the largest portion of land that was conquered in that war (the Sinai Peninsula, which is several times the size of the other territories combined) was returned shortly thereafter.
     
  38. HufflePuff

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    Nov 12, 2008

    what is the difference b/w palestine and israel?

    any good arts and crafts ideas?
     
  39. Researcher

    Researcher Rookie

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    Nov 12, 2008

    Peace,

    HufflePuff:
    Palestine has historically meant much of the Levant. It has increasingly shrunk after the world wars and then, with the British Mandate of the creation of the Jewish State of Israel, part of it was annexed or occupied.
    Palestine is the area now called the "Palestinian territories" of Gaza and the Western Bank. Because they are not entirely contiguous, it makes travel and governing difficult. Almost impossible, considering the amount of check points needed to go from one part of Palestine to another if one is Palestinian, with checkpoints maintained by the Israeli govt.
    More info:
    http://www.wrmea.com/jews_for_justice/index.html

    BoredofEd:
    This is not a question of whether or not any blame is on the Jewish people. This seems to be a deeper issue of whether or not the idea of Zionism is compatible with basic human rights (or even compatible with Judaism). Judaism and Zionism are not the same concept. The proof of this is the growing number of Jews who are against the occupation, arguing that it is not part of their teachings to occupy any other people's land (and by people, I mean the Arabs who lived in Palestine prior to WWII, which included mostly Muslims and Christians).
    You mention the Israeli standoff against neighboring Arab countries. Since many are not fully aware of the historical background, the question must be posed.
    If someone takes over and/or obliterates your home, what would you do?
    A) Walk away. Move.
    B) Fight for your home.
    C) Get your neighbors to help you, who may also have a concern that their homes may be next.
    D) Accept half of your house back, and give up the other half.

    Would any sane person (or people) accept D? Let's get real.

    Btw--It's no surprise that Israel has and can crush another Arab attack or border skirmish, considering the amount of support given to it by western superpowers, most importantly, the US (much of which is from our tax $).
    http://www.wrmea.com/us_aid_to_israel/index.htm

    Researcher

    PS: While we can debate facts, I don't debate myth. This is a topic I feel strongly about, and have researched over the past 12 years (ie, so I'm just getting started). I'm optimistic that more truthful information about this conflict will be more readily available to American educators. Just some more facts from "Jews Against the Occupation."

    Palestinian Refugees have the right to return to their homes in Israel.General Assembly Resolution 194, Dec. 11, 1948

    "Resolves that the refugees wishing to return to their homes and live at peace with their neighbors should be permitted to do so at the earliest practicable date, and that compensation should be paid for the property of those choosing not to return and for loss of or damage to property which, under principles of international law or in equity, should be made good by the Governments or authorities responsible."


    Israel's occupation of Palestine is Illegal.
    Security Council Resolution 242, Nov. 22, 1967

    Calls for the withdrawal of Israeli forces from territories occupied in the war that year and "the acknowledgment of the sovereignty, territorial integrity and political independence of every state in the area and their right to live in peace within secure and recognized boundaries free from threats or acts of force."

    Reaffirmation of a Palestinian State
    Security Council Resolution 1397, March 12, 2002

    Affirms "a vision of a region where two states, Israel and Palestine, live side by side within secure and recognized borders."
     
  40. teresaglass

    teresaglass Groupie

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    Nov 12, 2008

    You might try the Association of Jewish Libraries. They may have some good stuff on Israel.
     
  41. Mr.T

    Mr.T New Member

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    Jan 22, 2011

    I teach a co-op of students from grades 4-8 several Country studies throughout the year, Israel being one of them. I find that the grade 8 students love the simple teaching tools as much as the grade 5's.

    All the students loved making an edible map. They laid graham crackers on a cookie sheet and covered it in different colours of icing (blue for water ect). We used yellow sprinkles for the desert, chocolate kisses for elevations, green gummies ect..

    Diaramas are another great hands-on activity and can be suitable for either thematic or geographical studies.

    Making travel maps/brochures are a fun way to highlight famous landmarks and buildings.

    We also made a quiz board that lights up when the answer is correct. This really helped lock in the information as they made up the questions and answers themselves (as well as the board).

    I highly recommend studying the political aspects of any country, whether resolved or not. It is an important part of understanding current events and a great opportunity to "change the world one child at a time". There are always two sides to a story and both must be clearly given. It is important for them to understand that people, governments, economics, and viewpoints are always changing and that agreements made in the past may not last into the future. One way of getting students to really think deeper than what they hear on TV is to ask "what would you do if......?" It really helps them see the other side. There are usually already cultural mixes or jaded views in the classroom, it is our job as teachers to educate without bias. This can be difficult if there is personal involvement (I live and teach right on the border of disputed Native land) but you owe it to your students and to yourselves to have a positive outlook and an understanding attitude. There is nothing more rewarding than seeing students showing empathy when there once was hate. If you can find someone who can speak to the class from experience and without bitterness, all the better!

    Have fun!
     

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