Spotlight on Turkey Educational Program WACA

Lesson Plans on Turkey

Teaching about Turkey in the classroom can be an enriching experience for teachers and students alike. However, Turkey related lesson plans are not numerous and even more difficult to locate. Therefore, TCF will compile and make accessible lesson plans on Turkey with a view to assist teachers who wish to teach about Turkey, or use Turkey as an example to talk about a variety of issues of global importance, such as women’s rights, religion or cultural preservation.

In this section, TCF offers teachers a compilation of lesson plans developed by American educators. You will find here lesson plans developed by TCF's Teacher Study Tour participants on a number of subjects for middle and high school students.  Other plans are created by American educational institutions and experts on Turkey, sucha as  the University of Arizona's Center for Middle Eastern Studies (CMES). CMES lessons on Turkey cover a variety of subjects and grade levels from elementary through high school. Lesson plans can be searched according to keywords, grade levels and authors.

Please note that these lesson plans are not developed by TCF and a listing of a plan does not constitute an endorsement or approval of opinions or other listed content. The plans may offer a great place to begin your planning and help you to shape your own ideas. Be aware that the lesson plans may not be fully aligned with the Common Core Learning Standards, unless specifically noted.

TCF encourages you to develop your lesson plan on Turkey and share it with the teaching community. You may share your lesson plan on Turkey, please use our Share Your Lesson Plan.

Please note that each year, the American Turkish Society, a New York based non-profit organization, organizes a grant competition for American teachers to assist curriculum development on subjects related to Turkey.

Quick Search

Current Number of Available Lesson Plans: 108

Virtual Field Trip to Turkey

Materials included with the lesson plan: “Virtual Field Trip to Turkey” PowerPoint presentation (61 pages); Supplemental questions for students (2 pages); References (1 page)

Grade Level: Middle and High School

Subject: Geography; World History; World Cultures; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Kate Mahady, Booth-Fickett Math/Science Magnet School, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Students gain a deeper understanding of the culture and daily life in Turkey with a mock visit to the country. Through a detailed slide presentation and accompanying questions, pictures, and timelines, students embark on a tour of Turkish language, food, hospitality, geography, history, art, and famous places. Students then internalize these lessons through personal reflection and a brief quiz to help them retain the information.

Source: University of Arizona

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Turkey via the Five Themes of Geography

Grade level: Middle school

Subject: Geography

Prepared by: Robert Cowles and Julie Marek: Clark County School District in Las Vegas, Nevada- Charles Silvestri Junior High School and Anthony Saville Middle School

Synopsis: While exploring places throughout the country of Turkey, students will use graphic organizers to break down complex information to identify and demonstrate their overall understanding of the Five Themes of Geography.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participants

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Turkey: Culture, Diversity, History

Grade level: Tenth Grade

Subject: World Cultures, World History, Government and Current Affairs; World Religions

Prepared by: John Gallup, Arvada High School, Arvada, CO

Synopsis: Students learn how events, geography, and religion might affect cultures and societies, and then analyze such influences on Turkey’s history and modern culture. After examining a world timeline created by the teacher covering such subjects as government, art, culture, science, religion, and daily life throughout world history, groups of students create a similar timeline focusing on the same subjects in Turkey. Through this activity, students develop critical thinking skills that they will use to evaluate issues such as how politics and government shape one another, how art reflects the culture in which it was created, the importance of religion in society, and how culture changes over time.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Around the World in 180 Days

Materials included with the lesson proposal: Curriculum map and singing assessment guidelines (7 pages)

Grade level: Kindergarten – Eighth Grade

Subject: Arts and Literature; World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Brian Wagner, Brooklyn School of Inquiry, Brooklyn, NY

Synopsis: Students discover Turkey through music and dance as they learn about traditional instruments, musical themes, songs, and dance movements. They are first introduced to Turkish musical culture by learning traditional children’s folk songs and basic folkdances, and begin to investigate the Oud and Ney instruments specifically. They also develop the ability to distinguish differences between Turkish and Western music. The lesson culminates in a performance where students demonstrate what they have studied and share the rich sounds and rhythms of Turkish music with their parents and fellow students.

Source: The American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

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Turkey: Bridge Between East and West

Grade level: Middle School

Subject: Geography; World Cultures

Prepared by: Carole Barnes and Barbara Martin

Synopsis: Students learn to describe Turkey geographically and identify Turkey and it’s surroundings. By the end of the lesson, they will be able to locate Turkey on a map; define Turkey physically, politically, and culturally; make a physical map of Turkey, and create their own illustrated and annotated map of Turkey. They will become comfortable with geographic concepts as they learn about Turkey and Turkish geography, and develop the ability to describe five types of geographic features and relate their significance.

Source: University of Arizona

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Turkey Lesson Plan

Turkey Lesson Plan

Grade: Second and Third grade

Subject: Language Arts, Social Studies, Geography

Prepared by: Patricia Nies and Sally Roof, Kiser PreK-8 School, Dayton, OH

Synopsis: Children will compare Turkey’s maps, photographs, rugs, food and folk tales with the ones from their own culture and will come to the conclusion that, while we are different, we are actually very much alike.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and the Creation of the Turkish Nation

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Orah Bilmes, Alvarez High School, Providence, RI

Synopsis: Students explore the notion of nation building through the lens of the founding of the Turkish Republic, and compare it with other world leaders who also shaped the identities of their nations. Following lessons on the Turkish War of Independence and the components of the Turkish constitution, students explore and evaluate the characteristics of Turkey’s founder, Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and the values and ideals that he instilled in the Turkish Republic. They then work in groups to identify other world leaders and describe the nations built by these individuals. Finally, students compare and contrast one of these leaders to Ataturk using biographical information and evidence from the nations where the leaders held power.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkish Delights: Hodja Tales

Materials included with the lesson plan: Supplemental Handouts (6 pages: Nasreddin Hodja Picture; Nasreddin Hodja Tales; Writing Assignment; Geography Assignment and Map Key)

Grade level: Third Grade

Subject: Geography; World History; World Cultures; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Cheryl Wiens, Clinical Instructor in the Department of Education, Arizona State University, Tempe, AZ

Synopsis: Students learn about Turkish culture as they read some of the tales of Nasreddin Hodja, a folklore philosopher and jokester who lived in thirteenth century Turkey. The lesson also implements geography by prompting students to find regions where the tales take place and countries that also have Hodja tales. Finally, students develop their recall and memory skills when they are prompted to retell their favorite tale, including key details.

Source:University of Arizona

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Teach Ottoman Empire

Material included with the lesson plan: “Teach Ottoman Empire” Unit PowerPoint presentation (90 pages)

Grade level: Tenth and Eleventh Grade (AP World History)

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Abbey R. McNair, Burke High School, Omaha, NE

Synopsis: Students receive an overview of the Ottoman Empire through PowerPoint presentations, readings, discussions, and personal research and reflection. They are exposed to the events leading up to the formation of the Empire; its expansions over time as well as its loss of territory later in its history; its advances in philosophy, medicine, science, and technology; and its legacy for social, political, and cultural aspects of life in Europe, Asia, and the Americas. Students also develop critical and analytical skills as they evaluate the Empire’s growth and influence and analyze primary and secondary source documentation.

Source: University of Arizona

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Tiles for the Sultan: A Two-Part Unite for Fourth and Fifth grade on Creating Ceramic Tiles in the Classical Ottoman Style

Grade level: Fourth and Fifth Grade

Subject: Arts and Literature; World History; World Cultures; Math and science

Prepared by: Gili Sherman, Art Specialist at Sunrise Drive Elementary, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Students learn to make their own paper and ceramic tiles in the style of the Ottoman Empire. Through the process, they are exposed to this traditional Ottoman art form, and simultaneously learn about Ottoman history, culture, and geography. They also become familiar with the artistic motifs of the tiles that are still found throughout Turkey, and the influence these tiles have had on the Ottoman Empire, Turkey, and the world. Finally, they utilize math skills such as measuring, dividing space, and tessellation, as well as develop artistic skills in order to make their own version of the tiles.

Source: University of Arizona

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Nasreddin Hodja: A Turkish Folk Philosopher

Materials included: *There is no lesson plan, but the additional materials are sufficient for creating a lesson.* PowerPoint Presentation about Nasreddin Hodja; “Hodja Borrows a Pot” Reader’s Theater Script (3 pages); “Hodja Gives a Speech” Reader’s Theater Script (3 pages)

Grade level: Elementary School

Subject: World History; Arts and Literature; World Cultures

Prepared by: Joyce Daigle

Synopsis: [No lesson plan available]

Students learn Ottoman history and culture through the life of Nasreddin Hodja, a thirteenth century Seljuk philosopher and Sufi who lived near Konya, an ancient city now located in modern Turkey. He is a popular figure who appears in thousands of stories, often as a fool or the butt of a joke. Students learn about his life, times, and popularity in Turkey before participating in two plays that have been adapted from stories about him (“Hodja Borrows a Pot” and “Hodja Gives a Speech”).

Source: University of Arizona

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A Taste of Turkey & the Ottoman Empire: Traditional Foods of the Region

A Taste of Turkey & the Ottoman Empire: Traditional Foods of the Region

Grade:  Sixth to Twelfth grade

Subject: World Culture and Cuisine

Prepared by: Carol Zimmer-Gnauck, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman, MT

Synopsis: This lesson will make students understand the importance of foods in relation to the culture of a geographical region over time, considering the impacts of geography, ecology and religion in relation to the common foods and dishes of Turkey (Anatolia).

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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A Visit to Hagia Sophia

Full lesson packet is too large to include on the website, and is available on CD ROM. Contact the publisher (University of Arizona) for information on how to receive the CD.

Materials included with the lesson plan: Teacher instruction notes (2 pages); Student field journal (16 pages); Mosaic Template (1 page); Venn Diagram comparing Christianity and Islam using Hagia Sophia (1 page); Hagia Sophia timeline worksheet (2 pages); Vocabulary sheet (5 pages); Summative writing assessment prompts (1 page)

Grade level: Middle and High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Jim Hauf, Berkeley Middle School, St. Louis, MO

Synopsis: Students embark on a virtual visit to the Hagia Sophia in Istanbul, Turkey. While “touring”, students engage in activities related to the geography, history, art, religion, and architecture of the Byzantine and Ottoman Empires. As they learn more about the Empires, they are able to focus on what they find most interesting and ask and answer their own questions based on what they observe in the tour. Through the virtual tour portal, students learn about this important landmark and broaden their experience with it through virtual recreations, individualized tasks, and personal reflection.

Source: University of Arizona

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Middle Eastern Money: A Math and Social Studies Lesson

Materials included with the lesson plan: Worksheet about Ataturk Turkish currency, and Turkish geography (1 page)

Grade level: Fifth Grade

Subject: Math and Sciences; World History; Government and Current Affairs; World Cultures

Prepared by: Lisa Adeli, PhD Candidate in History at University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Using multiplication and division, students convert amounts of money between dollars and other currencies. Students also work in small groups to look at pictures of some bank notes from Turkey and answer questions about what they see. Through class discussion, students then reflect on their beliefs and misconceptions about Turkey and respond to what they have learned about Turkey from the symbols on its money.

Source: University of Arizona

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International Art: Focus on Turkey

Material included with the lesson proposal: Islamic art worksheet 1 (1 page); Islamic art worksheet 2 (1 page); Ceramic tile paint pens worksheet (1/2 page); Ceramic tile design worksheet 1 (1 page); Ceramic tile design worksheet 2 (1 page); Turkey and Islam worksheet (3 pages); Ottoman tile design worksheet 1 (1 page); Ottoman tile design worksheet 2 (3 pages); The Republic of Turkey pop quiz (1 page); The Republic of Turkey worksheet (3 pages); Turkey mapping worksheet (1 page); Images of Turkey PowerPoint presentation (8 pages)

Grade level: Seventh Grade

Subject: Arts and Literature; World Cultures; World History; World Religions; Geography

Prepared by: Sergio Morua-Martinez, Achievement First East New York Middle School, New York, NY

Synopsis: Students learn about the geographical and cultural aspects of Turkey using several resources including guided readings, videos, images, online depositories, and museum visits. They also develop the ability to recognize and correctly identify the Turkish and Islamic artistic motifs that are found throughout the country and that are deeply ingrained in modern Turkish culture. Using examples and templates from the Metropolitan Museum of Art in New York City, students then create their own unique ceramic tile using design elements from traditional Turkish art.

Source: The American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

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“All Roads Lead to Istanbul” World History Unit

Materials included with the lesson plan: Ottoman Empire (1300-1600) readings/handout (5 pages); Ottoman contributions to the world readings/handout (19 pages); Ottoman Empire information PowerPoint (17 pages); Online resources (1 page)

Grade level: Middle and High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; World Religions; Geography

Prepared by: Linda Waagen, Portland Adventist Elementary School, Portland, OR

Synopsis: Students gain experience with the geography, social structure, religion, agriculture, foods, arts, literature, and governance of the Ottoman Empire between 1300 and 1600 by simulating the 1550 World’s Fair – a worldwide gathering and presentation of cultures throughout the world – that took place in Istanbul and had displays of cultures from across the world. They will create objects such as backdrops, clothing, artwork, musical instruments, or food specific to various Renaissance/Early Modern nations and cultures, and will then display their work and demonstrate their understanding of the era in a fair to be attended by their parents and fellow students.

Source: University of Arizona

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Traditional Turkish Tales

Grade level: Eighth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; Arts and Literature; World History

Prepared by: Niki Keuch, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman, MT

Synopsis: Students examine pieces of traditional Turkish literature and determine how themes and central ideas emerge over the course of one text. Many of these texts are significant in their plot and character development, use of setting, and utilization of wording and literary motifs like irony and exaggeration in order to convey emotion. Working in pairs, students read a short Turkish tale and prepare an objective summary of the text that identifies the key features and motifs of the story. They then share and analyze their findings with the class.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Wisdom of Rumi

Grade level: Elementary School 

Subject: Arts and Literature 

Prepared by: Susan Steinman, Rio Grande School

Synopsis: The purpose of this lesson is to introduce the life and writings of Rumi to a younger audience. Students will gain a basic knowledge of Turkey in the 13th century and understand the importance of Rumi as a world poet. After reading and/or listening to various resources, students will reflect on Rumi’s life and work.  Students will create a product (poem, short fable, diorama, research paper, poster, dance) based on a personal response or connection to the work and times of Rumi.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Comparing, Contrasting, and Understanding the World

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: English as a Second Language; Arts and Literature; Geography; World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Carol Bolon, Lee High School, Springfield, VA

Synopsis: This lesson plan gives students enrolled in advanced ESL courses the opportunity to learn vocabulary related to geography and history while increasing their cultural and historical awareness. It helps them better prepare their reading comprehension and writing skills for the national WIDA test that ESL students must pass before beginning their core high school classes. The teacher first gives a presentation on Turkey, and students then prepare presentations on one of ten topics, in which they compare their own country to Turkey. Their presentation is based on extensive library and Internet research, and incorporates the use of PowerPoint. Finally, students take detailed notes of other student presentations, all of which are compiled and given to the class as a test.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Interviewing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk

Materials included with the lesson plan: Interviewing Ataturk assignment guide and work packet (15 pages); Researching Ataturk assignment guide and work packet (17 pages); Interviewing an adult assignment guide and work packet (14 pages); Leadership characteristics assignment guide and work packet (11 pages); Internet research guide and work packet (4 pages)

Grade level: Ninth – Tenth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Leah Siepel, Flushing International High School, Queens, NY

Synopsis: Over the course of one month, students explore the life, times, and legacy of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, the founder of modern Turkey in 1923. They assess his actions and develop the ability to evaluate the impact and leadership styles of important historical figures. The project begins with an exploration of the idea of “leadership”, and focuses students on five characteristics that are common to most effective leaders. Groups of students then engage in an in-depth research project about Ataturk, and finish the unit by creating a videotaped interview of Ataturk (who is played by one of the students) using historically accurate scripts and costumes.

Source: The American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

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Iznik Tile Design

Materials included with the lesson plan: Iznik Art History worksheet (2 pages); 2 documents with pictures of traditional Ottoman tiles (3 pages and 6 pages, respectively)

Grade level: High School

Subject: Arts and Literature; World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Michelle Molnar, former high school art teacher, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Students experience Turkey and Turkish culture by learning about traditional Ottoman art styles and creating their own Ottoman tiles. The lesson particularly relies on discussion, personal reflection, and a group art project to help students confront common misconceptions about Turkey and the Middle East. They also develop their own artistic ability and group work skills by creating ceramic tiles in the traditional Ottoman style in coordination with other students in the class.

Source: University of Arizona

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Make a Museum – Turkey

Materials included with the lesson plans: Museum evaluation form for students (1 page); Self reflection form for students (2 pages); Archaeological dig class activity instruction sheet (3 pages); Worship sites in Turkey evaluation form for students (2 pages); Turkish civilization graphic journal organizer (5 pages); Project Scoring Guide (2 pages); Graphic organizer for a tour of the Neslon Atkins Museum (5 pages); Brochure project writing guide for students (1 page)

Grade level: Sixth – Eighth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; World Religions; Geography

Prepared by: Lisa Kucera, Hickman Mills School District, Kansas City, MO

Synopsis: Students study concepts of culture as shared parts of human societies. They choose a civilization that inhabited Turkey anytime from the ancient to modern period, and then learn about the geography, language, art/architecture, government/military structure, religion/mythology, and daily life that defined that culture. As they learn, they design, create, present, and peer-evaluate a “museum-type” exhibit of their chosen Turkish civilization which they then display and describe in a fair for parents and student. They ultimately gain knowledge of how people from these civilizations have shaped the beliefs, behaviors, and challenges of the modern Turkish population and culture.

Source: The American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

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The Spice Trade

The Spice Trade

Grade: Ninth to Twelfth grade

Subject: World History

Prepared by: Lynne Johnson, Thomas Jefferson High School, Edina, MN and Paul Hoelscher, Clayton High School, University City, MO

Synopsis: The lesson addresses how the spice trade changed over time. It will address the role of Turkey in this trade, how the Europeans impacted the trade in the Age of Exploration, as well as introduce students to the Istanbul Spice Market and the Caravanserai, emphasizing the significance of Turkey and the Islamic world in the spice trade.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participants

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The History of Imperialism: The Anatolian Peninsula

Materials included with the lesson plan: Presentation with instructions for creating the Turkish Women’s History Booklet (10 pages); Imperialism of Anatolia PowerPoint presentation (31 pages)

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Terry Buehner, Burlington High School, Burlington, VT

Synopsis: The idea of a modern nation developed during a period of large-scale imperialism, and this lesson introduces how the two concepts are connected over time. Students first explore the question of whether the legacy of twentieth century imperial nations has had positive and lasting effects on former colonies. Working in pairs, students choose two historical characters from a pre-selected list to research (e.g. Mustafa Kemal Ataturk and Winston Churchill). They prepare a rehearsed conversation between the two characters highlighting their imperialist actions and nationalist work as well as any contrasts between the philosophies and legacies of the two leaders, and will then perform the conversation for classmates. Finally, students write a term paper that highlights the nationalism of one country and compares it to the development of nationalism in Turkey.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Trip to Turkey

Grade level: High School

Subject: Geography; Government and Current Affairs; World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Chris Walden-Jones, Desert View High School, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Students learn about Turkish geography and history as they imitate a 7-day trip across Turkey. They create a budget that they record in an Excel spreadsheet including airfare, hotel, food, and transportation, and then explore famous Turkish sites on the Internet. They also identify Internet resources on Turkish history and culture. To conclude, they end their trip by creating a multimedia presentation of their journey and a corresponding travel brochure of their favorite destinations and sites.

Source: University of Arizona

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The Coffee Connection

Grade level: High School

Subject: World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Michael John Madruga, La Familia High School, Thermal, CA

Synopsis: In this lesson, students will study the history of the coffee bean and its ever expanding market. They will analyze the significant social, economic, and cultural impact that coffee has on society and compose a critique on the history and diffusion of coffee and its global impact. Students will also choose a coffee from a particular culture and provide the cultural background and any/all materials necessary to brew said coffee. This is followed by a classroom presentation with timelines, maps, and photos showing the introduction of coffee to their culture. The lesson also includes information about how to make Turkish coffee and the required materials.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ottoman Hard vs. Soft Power

Grade level: High School

Subject: Geography, History, Ottoman Empire

Prepared by: Karen Michels, Beacon High School, New York, NY

Synopsis: Students explore the question of whether the Ottoman Empire relied more on force or on the power of attraction in its ability to control its expansive territory and diverse population. Students will examine maps of the Empire over time in order to appreciate how the Empire changed, and examine and discuss the various elements of the Empire that allowed it to maintain its power and influence for so long. Through both individual and group work, they will also break down the history of the Ottoman Empire into manageable segments, allowing them to pull out common, overarching themes that were present throughout the history of the Empire.

Source: University of Arizona

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Creating a Timeline of Turkey

Grade Level: Sixth-Eighth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Geography

Prepared by: Niki Keuch, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman, MT

Synopsis: Students develop the ability to think chronologically by working to visualize parallels between eras and places and understand and explain continuity and change over time. Working in pairs, they create examine the long history of Turkey’s land by creating a timeline showing the eras of Roman rule, the Byzantine Empire, and the Ottoman Empire in Turkey. Drawing from online and library research, they also identify two-three events or people within each era to include on their timeline. They also create a presentation where they explain their choices and place them in the wider context of Turkish history.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Connecting Cultural Identity in Turkey and the U.S.

Connecting Cultural Identity in Turkey and the U.S.

Grade: Eighth grade

Subject: Arts, Social Studies

Prepared by: Jenni Conrad, Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle, WA

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to develop often surprising realizations about their own American culture as they more deeply investigate Turkish culture and national identity.  As part of a U.S. history course, this lesson encourages macro-level critical thinking about belonging and citizenship, which fits naturally into government and civics units.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkey’s Landscape: Geography, Climate, and Culture

Grade level: Sixth-Eighth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Geography

Prepared by: Ralph Sommese, Fairgrounds Middle School, Nashua, NH

Synopsis: There are many factors that determine the culture, society, and politics of a nation, and this lesson introduces some of these concepts from the perspective of the Republic of Turkey. Students gather historical and geographical facts about Turkey in order to begin to understand the factors that characterize and unite the country. They begin by analyzing what geography is, what geographers study, and why certain locations are chosen for cities. They then create a color-coded political map and physical map of Turkey, and describe the landforms and bodies of water that are present throughout the Middle East. Finally, they analyze how geography and climate have helped to form the culture of Turkey.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ottoman Empire - Legitimizing Power Stations Lesson Plan

Grade level: Ninth - Tenth Grade

Subject: World History, World Civilizations

Prepared by: Kim Young and Susan Bairstow, Weston High School Massachusetts

Synopsis: This lesson plan introduces students to various systems, structures and power centers within the Ottoman Empire to explore how this Empire legitimized its power and reached its peak. An accompanying PowerPoint presentation focuses on infra and superstructures to give students a thorough understanding of the physical and social diffusion of power within the Empire.

Source: TCF TST 2011 Participant, Fulbright Turkey Participant

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Detailed Narrative with Shadow Theater

Grade level: Eleventh – Twelfth Grades

Subject: Arts & Literature; World Cultures

Prepared by: Leslie Rogers, Stivers School for the Arts, Riverside, OH

Synopsis: Through this mini-unit, students will analyze the tone of voice and movements of the characters in a Turkish shadow puppet show in order to synthesize a narrative about what they believe the play to be. Students will gain exposure to a cultural art form native to Turkey as well as experience the writing process and use of implicit information for comprehension when the language is different from their own. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Accounting for Economic Growth: A Case Study of Turkey’s Economic Growth and Political Influences on Turkey’s Future Economy

Grade level: Sixth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; Government and Current Affairs; Geography; Math and Sciences

Prepared by: James Redelsheimer, Armstrong High School, Plymouth, MN

Synopsis: This lesson introduces students to concepts relating to basic economics, including GDP, factors affecting economic growth, and the data used in evaluating economies. Students specifically learn about the Turkish economy and its growth in recent years, and develop skills to compare economies throughout the world. They research topics that can be used to compare standard of living between Turkey and other countries, such as health care, income, and education, and then create a map of these indicators over time using Gapmider.org. Students also explore Turkey’s unique economic position in the world today, and try to project how much the Turkish economy will grow in the next few years given its current growth rate.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkish Shadow Puppets

Grade level: Tenth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Joanne Berry, Moore High School, Moore, MT

Synopsis: This lesson exposes the class to Shadow Puppet Theater, a traditional Turkish art form with a long history in Turkish culture. Students watch a DVD of Turkish Shadow Puppet Theater known as Karagoz, and learn about the Karagoz character types used in these theater stories. Students then create their own characters and compose stories that combine their creations with the traditional elements and people of Karagoz puppet shows. Their stories will also utilize the communication breakdowns and forms of word play – such as puns, wit, paradox, and exaggeration – that are common throughout Turkish Shadow Puppet Theater. Finally, students will construct and color their characters in the form of Karagoz characters, and will display their designs at school.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Interior Design of an Ottoman Mosque

Grade level: Sixth Grade

Subject: Arts and Literature; World religions; World History; World Cultures

Prepared by: Jessica Silverman, Alexandria Country Day School, Alexandria, VA

Synopsis: Students are exposed to world religions and the idea of religious diversity as they learn about aspects of Islamic worship and history. They become familiar with architectural and decorative features of a typical Ottoman mosque, and explore how the main beliefs and practices of Islam are reflected in mosque decoration and architecture. They also learn about the artistic motifs of Ottoman tiles and develop artistic ability by recreating tile designs on transparent paper that will hang on classroom windows.

Source: University of Arizona

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Catalhoyuk: The Earliest Human Settlement

Grade level: Sixth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Caryn Stedman, The Metropolitan Learning Center, Bloomfield, CT

Synopsis: Students work in groups to create a project through which they educate their classmates about an aspect of the civilization that lived at Catalhoyuk – a Neolithic site located in Turkey that is one of the oldest known human settlements in the world – or the current excavation of the site. They develop the ability to articulate the excavation process, analyze artifacts and primary sources, and discuss the theories that archaeologists have about Catalhoyuk. They also explore ideas about why the past is important and why humans initially formed settlements. Potential final projects – which they present at a symposium for their parents and other students – include a photo-story film narrated by students, a simulated excavation model, a PowerPoint presentation, a tri-fold display, or a children’s book about Catalhoyuk.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Branding Turkey

Materials included with the lesson plan: Sample reading and writing assignments (18 pages)

Grade level: Seventh Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Geography; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Dawn Streets, Margaret B Pollard Middle School, Chapel Hill, NC

Synopsis: In this unit, students learn about the geography, history, and culture of Turkey by engaging in independent research projects. They first hear a presentation about Turkey in order to introduce them to the topic. In groups, they then explore text and pictures to collect additional information about Turkey, from which they create an 8-page booklet and presentation for their class. Finally, students create their own version of the traditional Turkish art form ebru, or Turkish paper marbling, with the help of an art teacher; listen to guest speakers; eat traditional Turkish food at a Turkish restaurant; and read novels related to Turkey.

Source: The American Turkish Society Curriculum Development Grants

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Ideals of Beauty: Turkish Ottoman Calligraphy and Book Arts

Grade level: 4th-6th Grade

Subject: Arts and Literature; World Cultures

Prepared by: Joan Stango, Francis X. Nava Elementary School, Santa Fe, NM

Synopsis: This lesson will introduce students to Turkey and major elements of Turkish cultural history such as Ottoman architecture and traditional arts.  Students will observe and analyze a variety of images that will introduce them to Turkey’s rich cultural heritage. They will also listen to excerpts of traditional and contemporary Turkish music to enrich their experience. Students will also have the opportunity to create their own calligraphic work with pen and ink, and work with monotype printmaking as they explore the art of marbling. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Syrian Refugee Crisis and Turkey's Response

Grade level: Middle School, High School

Subject: Global Studies, Contemporary World Problems, Human Geography, World History

Prepared by: Josh Parker, Billings Middle School, Seattle, WA & David Blacketer, The Delta High School, Richland, WA

Synopsis: The Syrian Civil war which began in 2011, has resulted in more than 6.5 million internally displaced persons and nearly 4 million more fleeing the country. Syria’s neighbors and the international community are facing the greatest refugee crisis in modern history.   Nearly a million of those refugees have settled in Turkey.  This lesson will focus on the role Turkey has taken in providing refuge for the Syrian people and the personal stories of those refugees seeking safety within Turkish borders.  Students will investigate the current Syrian refugee crisis taking place in the Middle East and Europe and understand the causation factors of the conflict.  Students will also research Turkey’s policy of granting refugee or guest status to Syrian people seeking safety and asylum in Turkey. After learning the background of the Syrian conflict and Turkish policies on immigration, students will seek out the personal stories of Syrian people who have settled in Turkey; identifying the push and pull factors which have forced them there, their legal status, fate, etc.  Students will gain a deeper and more personal understanding of the Syrian refugee crisis and the role and responsibilities Turkey and the international community play in humanitarian crisis.  Students will also understand the political, social, and economic impact the refugee crisis has on Turkey and the international community as a whole.  

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participants

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Contagion, Quarantines, and Cures in History: The Ottoman Empire as a Case Study

Materials included with the lesson plan: Supplemental script for a play – “Contagion, Quarantines, and Cures” (10 pages); Supplemental images (4 pages); Excerpts from primary source documents (4 pages)

Grade level: High School and Adult/College

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography; Math and Sciences; Government and Current Affairs; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Lisa Adeli, PhD Candidate in History at University of Arizona Center for Middle Eastern Studies, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Using the Eurasian frontier as a case study, students are introduced to the significance of disease transmission and containment in history, as well as the connection these have to world trade, military movements, population movements, and government social policies. Students are first introduced to the topic through a read-aloud script, and will then work in small groups to evaluate short primary source documents and develop their analytical skills. To conclude, students conduct individual research related to public health.

Source: University of Arizona

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Twentieth Century World Leaders Who Have Shaped the Modern World

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Regina Zafonte and Michelle Neal, High School for Math, Science, and Engineering, New York, NY

Synopsis: Several twentieth century leaders have had a significant influence not only on their own countries but also throughout the world, and many of them have had an impact that has endured long after they died. Students choose one leader to thoroughly research, and describe and analyze the reforms the leader enacted using a SPICE chart (which stands for social, political, interaction between human/environment, cultural, and economic) to identify and record key traits. They also analyze the changes and continuities of the leader’s life, philosophies, and reforms over time, and compare it to the alternate leaders analyzed by other students in the class. Finally, groups of students will utilize persuasive skills to convince the class that their leader deserves the class’s 20th Century Leadership prize.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Sunni, Shii'a, Sufi and Alevi; Different ways of “seeing” Islam

Sunni, Shii’a, Sufi and Alevi; Different ways of “seeing” Islam

Grade: Tenth grade

Subject: World History

Prepared by: Sandy Armstad, Fergus High School, Lewistown, MT 

Synopsis: The main objectives of this lesson will be for the students to learn some of the main ideas and beliefs of Islam, its history, its important people, and its ways of worship and then to learn about and discuss the similarities and differences in the different sects/groups of Islam. The students will also, hopefully, gain a better understanding of how these differences have affected and continue to affect Islam and the world, especially the Middle East (Iran and Iraq in particular) today.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

 

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Voices of Turkey

Grade level: Middle School

Subject: Geography; Arts and Literature; World History; World Cultures; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Caprice Leidig, Silvestry JHS, Las Vegas, NV

Synopsis: This lesson is a “Voices of Turkey” project that incorporates current events, human/physical characteristics, and historical information about Turkey to engage students. Students work in cooperative groups over five class periods, deciding on one cultural, historical, or physical characteristic of Turkey and completing a project based on that theme. Students select their mode of presentation from a menu of options and share their projects with their peers in a “Turkey Culture Day Celebration."

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Discovering Turkey: Learning Through Maps

Grade level: High School

Subject: Geography

Prepared by: Julie Wakefield, McQueen High School, Sparks, NV

Synopsis: In this lesson, students will learn about aspects of the physical and human geography of Turkey by analyzing thematic maps and simulating basic GIS map-reading skills to answer a series of questions. Students will be able to identify characteristics of country’s physical and human geography on a map, practice layering geographic information, similar to using GIS, and apply steps in the geographic inquiry process.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkish Cultural Immersion Experience for Preschoolers

Grade level: Pre-K

 

 

Subject: Mathematics, Language & Literacy, Social Studies, Science, the Arts

 

Prepared by: Rachel Reilly, Saint Timothy Catholic School, Chantilly, VA

 

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to experience the fascinating culture of Turkey without ever leaving the classroom.  They will be exposed to various sites throughout the country through a week-long, classroom-based “cultural immersion” experience that will enhance preschool students’ worldview by introducing them to a new place and culture. Each lesson will focus on a specific location or element of Turkish culture and develop students’ skills in a particular subject area.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Cultural Identity – Building Cultural Awareness

Cultural Identity – Building Cultural Awareness

Grade level: Eleventh grade

Subject: United States History and World History

Prepared by: Karen Lea Sherwood, U Preparatory School, Seattle, WA

Synopsis: This multi-day lesson will encourage students through videos, images, skype calls with Turkish students, music and documents to deepen their understanding about America and Americans, while stimulating new consideration of a people and country they may not have considered in much depth previously: Turkey. Hearing other people's view of their own country may help students to better understand the impact of different perspectives and recognize bias, helping them to question the validity of their own views about other countries and inspire them to further investigate through research, travel, and communications.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Geographic Impact on Development of Culture in Turkey

Grade level: Middle School

Subject: World Cultures; World Geography

Prepared by: Sheila Marie Applegate, Avonworth Middle School, Pittsburgh, PA

Synopsis: This lesson plan will have students engaging with primary source materials, videos, and literature to begin to understand the idea of how geography impacts the culture of the regions in the country of Turkey and/or the region of Southwest Asia throughout history. While exploring at each station, students will fill out a guide that will take them through a series of activities and have them record their work as they go around to each station.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Anatolia Throughout History

Grade level: Tenth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: Advanced Placement World History, World History and Global Studies

Prepared by: Michelle Carolyn Neal Naylor, Orono High School, Minneapolis, MN

Synopsis: Anatolia Throughout History, a website for educators teaching Advanced Placement World History, World History and Global Studies. These lessons are designed to meet specific standards addressed the AP World curriculum and Minnesota State Standards. Each lesson uses Anatolia and its rich history to demonstrate a standard through a variety of educator techniques from differentiation, to structured academic controversies.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Lessons in Sound & Poetry

Lessons in Sound & Poetry

Grade: Seventh to Twelfth grade

Subject: Language Arts, Social Sciences

Prepared by: Nia Vestal, Troy Junior High School, Troy, MT

Synopsis: This series of readings and activities can serve as a springboard to introduce imagery in writing, poetry and the concept of geography through Turkish writers such as Orhan Veli Kanik, Orhan Pamuk, Nazin Hikmet and Rumi, as well as through documents and videos about the sounds of Istanbul, inspiring the students to become global learners.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Mapping Turkey – the Bridge Between East and West

Grade level: Sixth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Geography

Prepared by: Niki Keuch, Chief Joseph Middle School, Bozeman, MT

Synopsis: Students begin to understand the significance of the geographical location of Turkey and how it led the country to become a cultural crossroads and bridge between Europe and Asia. They create a map of Turkey on which they label famous cities and geographic features such as major lakes, mountain ranges, and rivers, and they also develop a familiarity with the Middle East region by identifying and labeling the eight countries that border Turkey. Finally, they hear a story of someone’s travels across the country and trace this voyage along their maps while exploring the cultural aspects that define Turkey today and demonstrate both Eastern and Western influences.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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What is Sacred Space in Turkey?

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; World Religions; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Christine LaRue, Elgin High School, Elgin, IL; Kimberly Ann Rogers, the Episcopal School of Dallas, Dallas, TX

Synopsis: Student work with the concept of sacred space by learning the history and beliefs of Islam and sacred Islamic sites in Turkey, and comparing it to the history of Christianity within Turkey and throughout the world. They confront their own personal conceptions of sacred space, and through group and class discussion develop a more detailed and comprehensive description of what the term “sacred space” entails. In preparation for a final essay project on the subject, they also identify several examples of sacred space in Turkey. Finally, they compose a paper describing two examples of such space in Turkey, of which one is not associated with the Western religious tradition, and then discuss how each space accommodates both the religious beliefs and practices within the associated culture.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ebru: The Art of Marbling

Ebru: The Art of Marbling

Grade: Sixth grade

Subject: Art

Prepared by: Susan Maria Seilstad, Lockwood School, Billings, MT

Synopsis: Students will study the art work of another culture, past and present, exploring the Turkish paper marbling process. Ebru is formed by placing dyes to draw patterns on pre-treated water with “size”. The Ebru artist then gently places paper on the surface (of the water) to absorb the colors, lifting it away, revealing a unique design. They will collaborate in small teams to set up marbling stations to teach fellow 6th graders the art of Paper Marbling.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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AP World History Lesson Plan for Turkey: The Ottoman Empire, 1300-1800

Grade level: High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Arts and literature

Prepared by: Debra Cave, Yorktown High School, Arlington, VA; Lauren Vorisek, Wheaton High School, Silver Spring, MD

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to analyze and apply significant developments in Anatolia between 1300-1800.  The lesson helps students review the history of the region through the lens of AP World History themes such as politics, society, religion and artistic achievements with focus on the Ottoman Empire.  It will allow students to review the origins, rise and significant contributions of the Ottoman Empire to world culture.  Students will identify and analyze changes as well as continuities during the period in the region of Anatolia.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Change and Continuity in the Ottoman Empire

Grade level: High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Amy Malin, St. John’s School, Houston, TX

Synopsis: This lesson is a DBQ activity that can also be used to introduce the Change and Continuity over Time essay for the AP World History exam.  It is intended to be introduced after students have covered the Ottoman Empire. The lesson requires students to reflect upon how the architecture and political organization of the Ottoman Empire changed from the 13th-19th centuries by analyzing primary and secondary sources. Students then construct a thesis statement for a change and continuity essay prompt.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Digital Turkey: Contributions to the World’s Social, Political, and Cultural Heritage

Material included with the lesson plan: Introduction to Turkey worksheet (3 pages); Turkey choropleth map assignment (2 pages); Turkey map worksheet (2 pages)

Grade level:

Subject: World Cultures; Geography; World History

Prepared by: Gabriel Valdez, Rosemont Middle School, Fort Worth, TX

Synopsis: Students create a variety of digital products where they evaluate the social, political, and economic contributions Turkey has made to the world; identify and explain the geographic factors responsible for the composition of its population; evaluate the impact of geography on economic development; and describe the common traits that define Turkish culture. First, they collect several photos of Turkey from categories relating to the ABC’s of Culture (e.g. art, buildings, communication, etc.), and they compile these images in one Animoto.com video is shared online with their parents and fellow students. Then they create an online travel journal of a proposed trip to Turkey, where they record their observations and reflections as they virtually learn about and tour famous cities and sites in Turkey. Each activity is supplemented with worksheets where students explore how geography, history, and culture affect one another.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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People’s Connection to Place: An Exploration of Turkey through Poetry and Photography

Materials included with the lesson plan: Turkey through Poetry and Photography PowerPoint presentation (16 pages)

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Rebecca Nelson, Eastlake High School, Sammamish, WA

Synopsis: Students analyze visual and written texts from Turkey and make connections within the corpus of traditional Turkish poetry and photography. First, they examine the texts in small groups, formulating conclusions about the subject matter, tone, themes, and method of delivery, and report their findings to the class. They then create their own arguments about the meaning of the poems using evidence from the text, and compare and contrast the poem to one of the provided photographs of a place in Turkey. Finally, they compose their own poem based on a place in Turkey of their choosing and pair it with an image they find while explaining the connection between the two pieces.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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World Civilizations Lesson Plan for Turkey: Exploring Turkish Architecture

Grade level: Middle School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; World Civilizations; Architecture

Prepared by: Dana Radcliffe, Hamilton International Middle School, Seattle, WA

Synopsis: Students will learn about the diversity of Turkey and it¹s importance to World Civilizations by studying six of its architectural sites. These architectural sites represent significant time periods, themes and empires that will be used throughout the year in understanding the development of World Civilizations.  Specifically, students will look at structures on these sites that apply to the study of the Neolithic Age (Catalhoyuk dwelling), Greece (Trojan Wall), Rome (Ephesus Amphitheater), and Byzantium, Christianity and Islam (Hagia Sophia), China, India, and the Silk Road (Caravanserais), and the Ottoman Empire (Topkapi Palace harem).  This lesson will provide students with an overview of the diverse cultures, belief systems, geography, and time span covered within a World Civilizations course.  It will also help students become acquainted with Turkey and its diverse history.  Overall, Turkey will become a geographic anchor and reference point to clarify student¹s understanding of World Civilizations. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Analyzing Ataturk a DBQ

Grade Level: High School

 

Subject: World History (regular, honors, or AP) 

Prepared By: Chantay Jensen, Las Vegas Academy, Las Vegas, NV 

Synopsis: This is a DBQ that task the students with analyzing Mustafa Kemal Ataturk in both leadership and lasting impact, with the compelling question being "Does the Ends Justify the Means". There are primary and secondary sources for the students to analyze in order to draw their own conclusions on the man that dramatically altered the course of Turkish History.  The DBQ culminates in an analytical essay.  

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How Do We Learn About Ancient Civilizations?

Grade level: Sixth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Karen Rahn, Madison Middle School, Madison, SD; Mary Johnson, Groton Middle School, Groton, SD

Synopsis: Students are exposed to the period of history when humans were transitioning from a life of hunting and gathering to one of settling in sedentary and permanent communities. One of the first where this happened was Catalhoyuk – a Neolithic site that is one of the oldest known human settlements in the world and is currently being excavated in central Turkey – which this lesson uses to illustrate the process of piecing history together over the course of an archaeological excavation. The archaeological process is first simulated to students by prompting them to make conclusions about only partially visible images, and how these conclusions change as larger portions of the picture are revealed. Students then explore images and video of the Catalhoyuk excavation, through which they begin to evaluate the importance of the site, what the material found there means, and why it is valuable for the work to continue. They present their research findings and analysis in an essay composition and accompanying presentation.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Around Turkey in Nine Days

Grade level: Ninth-Eleventh Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Alice Davidson, Episcopal High School, Houston, TX

Synopsis: This lesson is set up as a 9-day interim course. Students all have prior knowledge of how to make an i-Movie.  No prior knowledge of Turkey is expected.  Each day students will learn about and participate in various aspects of Turkish Culture including Ebru (Paper Marbling), Shadow Puppetry, Traditional Tales, Traditional Dance, Sufism, Architecture, History, etc.  Each day in this course mostly stands alone – so it is possible to use only 1 day, or only a few, or all of them, depending on the time and resources available.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participants

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Turkey as a Stabilizing Force in the Middle East

Grade level: High School

Subject: Government and Current Affairs; World History

Prepared by: Elsie Scott, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, NM

Synopsis: In this lesson, students learn about the significance of Turkey’s democratic and stabilizing developments in its own history as well as Turkey’s influence on these forces in the Middle East. They determine causes, process, and potential outcomes of Turkey’s modern historical development after Mustafa Kemal Ataturk. Students write futuristic stories predicting Turkey’s stability in a future world based upon the principles of problem based historical inquiry.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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My Silk Road Journey Project

Materials included with the lesson plan: Required writing prompts (5 pages)

Grade level: Tenth Grade, Regular and/or Honors World History Class

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Sharlyn Scott, Desert Vista High School, Tempe, AZ

Synopsis: Following previously completed lessons examining the Byzantine Empire, the rise of Islam, and the Tang through Ming era in China – in which students will be introduced to the background and history of the Silk Road – students will begin to examine the Silk Road in more detail. They will create a travel diary for a character on the Silk Road (character biographies are provided) that accurately depicts the history and various cultures throughout the area, and will conduct independent research that will add details to the diary. Ultimately, students will learn to recognize the different cultural identities of the Silk Road, evaluate the interactions of people and civilizations along the Silk Road, and understand how it facilitated an interconnected world over many centuries.

Source: University of Arizona

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Principles of Design Identified in Turkish Tapestry

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Dorimalia Waiau, Roosevelt High School, Honolulu, HI; Kevin Holder, Laurel High School, Laurel, MD

Synopsis: Students analyze traditional Turkish rugs and tapestries to identify the characteristics of the major styles and motifs used in each piece. They begin by reflecting on what they already know about Turkish art, and then scrutinize Turkish carpet designs by classifying traditional motifs and describing their thoughts on the design principles of each piece, including observations involving repetition, contrast, balance, and rhythm. The lesson culminates in students illustrating their own watercolor rug design using the themes and motifs that they have observed. They also develop critical thinking and analytical writing skills as they develop an account of which design motifs and patterns affected their project, and evaluate their own work and the work of their fellow students. 

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Catalhoyuk – Archaeological Site Evidence

Materials included with the lesson plan: Notecards displaying facts about Catalhoyuk that students use to make conclusions about the site (12 pages)

Grade level:

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Ethan Cherin, Central High School, St. Paul, MN

Synopsis: Students work in groups to draw conclusions from evidence found at an unnamed archaeological site – later revealed to be Catalhoyuk, a Neolithic site located in central Turkey – and assemble a broader understanding of what life was like in this settlement. They are given notecards with pieces of evidence about the site, and they make conclusions concerning trade and social conditions in the community prior to having the sight identified by the teacher, much as archaeologists do in their own work. Following self-reflection and group discussion, together they design communities that imitate the non-violent and non-hierarchical social structure of Catalhoyuk and evaluate whether such a society could exist in the world today.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Constantinople – Marketplace of the World

Constantinople – Marketplace of the World

Grade level: Tenth grade

Subject: World History, Medieval History, Modern World History

Prepared by: Jon Lyman Parkin, Edwardsville High School, Edwardsville, IL

Synopsis: This lesson is a student-centered activity designed to lead a class through constructing for themselves the role Constantinople (present-day Istanbul, Turkey) played integrating European consumers and markets into an already-globalized network of trade through the silk and spice trade routes.  It can be used as a transitional activity in a Medieval World History context, as an instructor moves from studying one major cultural region to another (e.g. Christian Europe to Islamic Southwest Asia), or as an anticipatory introductory activity to set the stage for European exploration and the concomitant colonization of major portions of the earth, at the beginning of Modern World History, during the late-fifteenth and early sixteenth-centuries.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Student to Student, Connecting Across Continents

Student to Student, Connecting Across Continents

Grade: Eighth grade

Subject: World Geography, Social Studies

Prepared by: Lisa Lemons, Grant Sawyer Middle School, Las Vegas, NV

Synopsis: In this lesson students will describe and compare the physical and human features of Turkey using geographic tools e.g. maps, geographic representations and satellite images and cultural characteristics. They will also locate major civilizations, ancient through current, in Turkey such as the Byzantine, Ottoman Empires, and describe how and why these changed over time by learning about the cultural, political, and economic conditions, and identifying the cultural identity and achievements of the Republic of Turkey including the role of belief systems, symbols, traditions, and technology.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Istanbul and Primate Cities

Istanbul and Primate Cities

Grade: Eighth grade

Subject: Geography

Prepared by: Gerald Bizjak, Albert Lea High School, Albert Lea, MN

Synopsis: Students will be able to draw conclusions about Istanbul using pictures and their textbook, define and give examples about traits of primate cities, experience the importance of site and situation in the location of cities by participating in a whole-class activity, explain how the location of Istanbul (and other primate cities later in the enrichment section) is influenced by geography, as well as identify the significance of certain cultural sites in Istanbul.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Ecology of Sacred Space

Grade level: High School

Subject: World Religions, Catholic Theology, World History

Prepared by:  John J. Allen, M.A. Central Catholic High School, Falls Church, VA

Synopsis: This unit plan will serve as an analysis of historical religious structures and how they spatially construct spiritual meaning. The architectural creation and preservation of religious spaces and how they interact with the public or non-sacred sphere of society will be assessed through the prism of Turkish religious sites. This unit pays special attention to the Christian and Muslim similarities and differences throughout history and society. Students should attain an advanced appreciation and recognition of mutual respect and dialogue between religions, and an anthropological assessment of how sacred spaces affect human culture.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Religious Freedom Comparison of U.S. and Turkey

Grade level: High School

Subject: Government and Current Affairs; Geography; World History

Prepared by: Cameron Sanchez, Los Angeles Unified School District

Synopsis: In this lesson, students analyze and compare religious freedoms in the U.S. and Turkey. They state and support a position as to whether Turkey should be considered a secular or non-secular state. Students are provided print and online links to various reading materials and current events before the lesson. Then, there is a teacher-led introduction about the differences between the U.S. Congress and the Turkish Grand National Assembly. The teacher distributes further materials and information and leads students in a discussion of religion and society. Students also fill out a graphic organizer about the U.S. and Turkey. Students then write a final position paper and conduct a short class presentation.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Compare and Contrast the Empires: Rome, China, and the Ottoman Empire

Grade Level: Tenth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Brian Croone, Stillwater Area High School, Stillwater, MN

Synopsis: Students compare and contrast the Ottoman Empire, the Roman Empire, and the ancient empires of China, identifying and comparing similarities and differences between them. They will examine each empire through lessons surrounding the “EGG RACER” (Education, Geography, Government, Religion, Arts and Architecture, Culture, Education, Rise and Fall) concept, with each student researching one or more of these areas per Empire and preparing group presentations. Through subsequent discussions and reflections, students will be able to make individual conclusions about how and why empires rise and fall, their interactions with one another, and about the interconnectedness of the world throughout history.

Source: University of Arizona

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Turkish Cities as a Model of Human Civilization

Material included with the lesson plan: Introduction to the geography of Turkey PowerPoint presentation (9 pages)

Grade level: Tenth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: Geography, World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Kathy Blessing, Boulder High School, Boulder, CO

Synopsis: Following lessons on cities and what the growth of cities has meant for human civilization, students investigate the significance of the city in Turkey. They apply various theories about how and why cities form and what conditions are needed for a city to develop to ancient and modern Turkish urban centers. During the lesson, students are introduced to Turkey and its environment, and then in groups they compare their own city to assigned Turkish cities, which culminates in their assigning the Turkish cities to a specific model of city formation, analyzing the strengths and weaknesses of the available models, and justifying their rationale.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Model EU

Grade level: High School 

Subject: Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Lawrence T. Jurosic

Synopsis: The concept of the entire lesson is the history of the European Union. The students should also comprehend and apply aspects of the EU and its influence on world affairs throughout the past to the present. This lesson will help students master the basic role EU plays in global affairs and what the criteria for different member countries are. This is done through case studies with Russia and EU sanctions and with Turkey in economic comparison to Greece. Students will utilize debate skills, problem solving skills, reading comprehension, listening skills, and comparison.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ottoman Lyric Poetry

Grade level: Twelfth Grade, Adult/College; can be adapted to grades seven-eleven

Subject: Arts and Literature; World Cultures; World History

Prepared by: Danita Dodson, Hancock High School, Sneedville, TN

Synopsis: Students become familiar with aspects of Turkish culture and history through exposure to the Ottoman love lyric (gazel), an often-overlooked body of literature that typifies the poetry of the Ottoman Empire. They will learn to identify the gazel and analyze it to determine its structure, style, and imagery by reading examples both individually and together in class. They will also explore the motifs of the poetry and their significance and influence on Western writers. Ultimately, they will be able to place Ottoman poetry in the larger context of Western and world literature and explain the relationship between culture and poetry.

Source: University of Arizona

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Proportions and Ratios in Turkey

Grade level: Ninth Grade

Subject: Math and Sciences; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Marsha Mallinger-Ruben

Synopsis: Students learn problem-solving skills related to ratios, proportions, and percents while applying these concepts to aspects of Turkish culture and history. They work through problems that involve determining actual distances on a map of Turkey and the true sizes of Turkish symbols using a scale, determining costs of items in Turkey versus the U.S. using proportions and the exchange rate, and calculating perimeter and area using measurements images that depict Turkish carpet and symbols.

Source: University of Arizona

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Turkey's Need for Dams

Grade level: Seventh to Twelfth Grade 

Subject: Geography

Prepared by: Jay Nelson

Synopsis: Dams are crucial to Turkey’s agricultural production. Students will identify the impact of the construction of dams on the Anatolia Plateau, map locations of major dams and identify their impact on economic development, irrigation, power and flood control. This lesson is to be taught using the technology through We Explore.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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An Analysis of the Gezi Park Protests

Grade level: Eleventh and Twelfth Grade

Subject: Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: John Davis, Springboro High School, Lebanon, OH

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to explore the causes and impacts of the Gezi Park protests that occurred in Turkey in 2013. Students will be encouraged to make connections between the rights of Turks to petition the Government and those of Americans. Finally, students will be challenged to identify issues they would like to change in their country, state, or community and will create a plan to accomplish these changes.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Nazim Hikmet and Turkish Literature in the 20th Century

Grade level: High School

Subject: Arts and Literature; World History

Prepared by: Matthew Sudnik, Central Catholic High School, Pittsburgh, PA

Synopsis: This lesson  introduces students to Turkish culture through a contemporary Turkish poet – Nazim Hikmet. By studying Hikmet and his writing, students will learn more about 20th century Turkey and hear a voice that, though once considered radical, is now revered as that of one of Turkey’s greatest poets. The lesson is most appropriate for a secondary school world literature course. Students will identify examples of free verse, imagery, and social realism in Nazim Hikmet’s poems. They will also learn about key events in 20th century Turkish history through references in the poems. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Incorporating Turkish Culture by Utilizing Student Talent

Grade level: High School

Subject: Arts and Literature; World Cultures

Prepared by: Shannon Kederis, DuPont Manual High School, Louisville, KY

Synopsis: This lesson introduces students to Turkish culture through art, with an emphasis on students’ individual talents. Students have the option to work alone, in pairs, or in groups to research and present a project about one of six topics: culinary art, traditional art, ceramic art, fine arts, performance art, or human art. These projects, all in the context of Turkish art and culture, involve a research element,a written piece, as well as a presentation.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Creating a Global Village

Grade level: High School

Subject: World Cultures

Prepared by: Elsie Scott, La Cueva High School, Albuquerque, NM

Synopsis: This lesson is a cooperative venture between a Turkish and an American high school. Students will be able to connect with students in Turkey and create relationships via Skype, email; YouTube class-generated videos, and/or written letters and post cards.  Through these connections, students will gain insight into Turkey from another teen’s perspective.  Students will engage in classroom discussions about the differences and similarities of different cultures and issues facing both countries, education systems, and local communities.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Network News: Spotlight on Turkey

Grade level: 10th Grade

Subject: Geography; World Cultures; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Pamela Miller, Incline High School, Incline Village, NV

Synopsis: Students create a news broadcast to showcase different aspects of Turkey. The lesson includes an overview of Turkey with photos presented by the teacher. Students then research and work in groups to prepare 5 minute newscasts about Turkey in the following categories: geography/weather report, current events/world affairs, sports and recreation in Turkey, Turkish arts and culture, or a feature story. Students present their newscasts in the form of a video or a live performance.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Nation Assessment – Understanding historical and current connections between countries: The Republic of Turkey and the United States of America

Grade Level: High School

Subject: World Cultures or Critical Issues

Prepared by: Joe Lander, Oil City High School,  Oil City, PA.

Synopsis:  This lesson plan is a multi-week plan that engages students in an in depth comparative study of the Republic of Turkey and the U.S.  It asks the students to gather statistical, historical, cultural and current events information about Turkey.  They must finish by completing a policy paper involving the two countries.  They must also present this information to the other students in a power point type presentation.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Expansion of the European Union (E.U.) - Members and Candidate Countries

Grade level: Tenth Grade

Subject: Government and Current Affairs; Geography; World History

Prepared by: Stacy Maxin, Lakeside High School, Murrieta, CA

Synopsis: Students will research current issues affecting both a current E.U. member and a candidate country, Turkey. Students will be required to examine where Turkey is in the E.U. process, challenges Turkey faces with its current status, and the likelihood of becoming a member nation in the next two years.  Students may choose to work individually or in a small group. Students will then present their findings to the class with either a poster or PowerPoint presentation as a visual.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Headscarf Controversy in Turkey: Religious Expression, Fashion, or Political Wedge Issue?

Grade level: High School

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Cheryl Healy, Seattle Preparatory School, Seattle, WA

Synopsis: The purpose of this lesson is to explore the complex issues of Women’s Rights in Modern Turkey through the case study of the headscarf controversy in Turkey. The headscarf has become a political issue in many European countries as well. Why and how did this become a political issue in a majority Muslim country? The answers to these questions allow students to learn about Ataturk’s vision for a secular country, his adoption of Western dress (although he did not create a dress code for women), the prohibition of the head scarf in civil service jobs and universities in the 1980s and 1990s and then the lifting of the ban in 2013. By exploring this controversy, students will gain a better understanding of the rights of women in modern Turkey as well as the complexities of their current roles in society. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ottoman Empire News Broadcast, Lesson 1 – “Who were the Ottomans”?

Materials included with the lesson plan: Images and maps from the Byzantine and Seljuk Empires (Lesson warm-up, 13 pages); Images of the Ottoman Empire PowerPoint 1 (10 pages); Images of the Ottoman Empire PowerPoint 2 (9 pages)

Grade level: High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Jennifer Turner, Carl Hayden High School, Phoenix, AZ

Synopsis: Students learn critical thinking skills as they analyze images of the Ottoman Empire and identify important aspects of the civilization. Following a previously completed lesson on the Byzantine Empire, students discuss the foundation of the Ottoman Empire and recognize its defining features. Finally, they are tasked with comparing and contrasting the Ottoman Empire with a previous empire that occupied the region that was covered earlier in the course.

Source: University of Arizona

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Ottoman Empire News Broadcast, Lesson 2 – “News Broadcast Live from the Palace and on the Streets”

Materials included with the lesson plan: Images and maps from the Byzantine and Seljuk Empires (Lesson warm-up, 13 pages); Images of the Ottoman Empire PowerPoint 1 (10 pages); Images of the Ottoman Empire PowerPoint 2 (9 pages); Group presentation critique form (1 page); Ottoman Empire debriefing PowerPoint (9 pages)

Grade level: High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Jennifer Turner, Carl Hayden High School, Phoenix, AZ

Synopsis: Students examine the era when the Ottoman Empire dominated much of the Middle East (16th to 18th centuries) through discussions as well as independent and group exploration. Following introductory work on the nature of the Ottoman Empire covered in Lesson 1, they will conduct group research on a topic related to the Ottoman Empire and then synthesize it into a script to be used for a news broadcast-style presentation. They will incorporate contrasting viewpoints on the policies and actions of sultans and others in the Ottoman Empire within the presentation, and will evaluate others’ presentations to conclude the lesson.

Source: http://cmes.arizona.edu/outreach/lessons

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The Ottoman Era: Thirteenth-Twentieth Centuries

Materials included with the lesson plan: Research paper grading rubric (1 page)

Grade level: Tenth-Twelfth

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Jim Price, Colchester High School, Colchester, VT

Synopsis: This lesson gives students a basic overview of Ottoman history and culture. Following previous lessons on Byzantine history, they examine the Ottoman Empire from its rise to its fall and analyze how it was able to dominate southeastern Europe from the fifteenth through the late nineteenth centuries. Based on class discussions and individual research and using PowerPoint and other presentation software, students create oral presentations about the Ottoman Empire on such topics as significant events, instances of territorial expansion or loss, and Ottoman culture. They then write a research paper that includes primary source document analysis. Over the course of the lesson, they are introduced to the geography of Turkey, and develop the skills to evaluate and appreciate the complexities of the balance of power in Europe throughout history.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Middle East Water Issues – “Got water?”

Middle East Water Issues – “Got water?”

Grade: Tenth grade

Subject: World Geography

Prepared by: Sara Lea, Rocky Mountain High School, Fort Collins, CO

Synopsis:  Students will be able to understand how globalization influences the interaction of people on Earth; how do cooperation and conflict influence the division and control of the social, economic, and political spaces on Earth; what predictions can be made about human migration patterns, as well as how technologies result in social change.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkey Joining the European Union

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Government and Current Affairs; Arts and Literature

Prepared by: Sigma Colon, PhD Candidate in American Studies, Yale University, New Haven, CT

Synopsis: Students examine aspects of Turkish culture and identity and discuss some current issues faced by Turkey through researching Turkish candidacy to the European Union. In readings and lectures followed by the completion of a research, persuasive paper evaluating the candidacy, students will engage with the evidence and claims involved in the main arguments for and against Turkey joining the EU, and will learn to recognize how aspects of Turkish culture and identity relate to all sides of the issue. They will cultivate and be able to articulate an informed position on the issue by confronting commonly held misconceptions and evaluating both sides of the debate.

Source: University of Arizona

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Preserving the World’s Most Iconic and Important Sites: Turkey

Grade level: Ninth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World Cultures; World History; Geography; Government and Current Affairs

Prepared by: Mark Gabriel, Hamden High School; Hamden, CT

Synopsis: Students learn about ancient civilizations in Turkey as they craft an argument attempting to persuade UNESCO to donate funds for the preservation of a Turkish historical site of their choosing. Throughout the lesson, they explore questions regarding the importance of saving historic sites, why civilizations rise and fall, and how the ancient and modern worlds interact today. Their final project will include the creation of a pamphlet or brochure about the site they choose as well as a presentation where they will employ a persuasive argument as they try to convince their classmates – who will evaluate each other’s work and vote for the best presentation – to choose the site for UNESCO sponsorship.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Neolithic Village

Grade level: Tenth-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Shawn Santasiere, E.O. Smith High School, Storrs, CT

Synopsis: Students learn to identify the main elements of a civilization and how daily life in several important ancient civilizations differed from today. They work in small groups to design their own Neolithic settlements, working to address factors that might curb the survival their creations. Then, from a series of readings and class discussions they determine what their settlement needs in order to become a thriving civilization. Finally, they compare their settlements with the cultural and historical features of Catalhoyuk, an ancient community located in central Turkey that is one of the oldest known Neolithic sites in the world, and use these comparisons to make predictions about the vitality of their own designs.

Source: TCF 2013 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Uncovering Troy

Grade level: Fifth and Sixth Grades

Subject: Social Studies

Prepared by: Whitney Humphrey; Rio Grande School, Santa Fe, NM

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to develop an understanding for how culture is reflected in artifacts and the importance of archeology in developing a history of people and culture. Students will also be able to discuss the scope of the work of an archeologist. After learning about the lost cities of Troy student will engage in research of archeological sites across Turkey. Student will apply their knowledge of cultures to evaluating artifacts and in linking those artifacts to the lives of the people that once called Turkey home. 

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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“Ottoman Exposition”: 1550

“Ottoman Exposition”: 1550

Grade: Eleventh grade

Subject: World History

Prepared by: Theresa Martinez Flannery, Wheat Ridge High School, Wheat Ridge, CO

Synopsis: The objective of this lesson is to understand the cultural, economic, political, social, geographic and artistic achievements and challenges of the Ottoman Empire. The students will choose from various cultural, political, social and artistic topics to research, illustrate and present, such as Ottoman literature and poetry, architecture, religion, contributions to the world, economics, and trade partnerships.  

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Mental Health: Everything Old is New Again

Mental Health: Everything Old is New Again

Grade: Tenth to Twelfth grade

Subject: Psychology, World Cultures

Prepared by: Amanda Kaupp, Ladue Horton Watkins High School, St. Louis, MO

Synopsis: This lesson is designed for American students to draw a cross-cultural and historical comparison of mental health approaches between Western Europe/America and Ottoman Empire/Turkey. Since so much of the curriculum on psychology is based on a Western perspective, students will gain a fuller picture of different cultural definitions and approaches to mental health, especially the issue of “new age” therapies often being centuries old. The teacher introduces the concept of “alternative” mental health therapies and presents a brief lesson on the Bayezid II Külliye, which was built in 1488 by the Ottoman sultan Bayezid II and was known for its use of the hydrotherapy, music therapy, and aromatherapy to treat mental illness.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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What is a Civilization? A case study on Çatal Höyük

What is a Civilization? A case study on Çatal Höyük

Grade: Ninth to Twelfth grade

Subject: World History

Prepared by: Sarah Arneson, Central High School, Saint Paul, MN; Kim McVey, Arapahoe High School, Littleton, CO and Bret Thayer, Arvada West High School, Arvada, CO

Synopsis: Çatal Höyük presents an interesting study for students of history as it lies between the hunting-gathering communities of the Paleolithic period and the first cities of Sumer in Mesopotamia. Students will have an opportunity to examine the evidence discovered at Çatal Höyük and decide for themselves whether this community can be best characterized as pre-civilized or civilized.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participants

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Language Arts

Grade level: 8th Grade  

Subject: Language Arts

Prepared by: Linda Cooper

Synopsis: The concept is to utilize student knowledge of Turkish history and culture across the curriculum and build on it with background about Turkish protest poetry and how it helped to build momentum toward protest movements through the minds and hearts of Turkish people. This unit can be completed without this prior knowledge, but would be stronger to include more background about WWI and II, the Ottoman Empire, and detail in using imagery, persona, and personification in poetry.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Homer's Classics

Grade level: 9th Grade  

Subject: ESOL, Arts and Literature, World History, World Culture

Prepared by: Kathleen Murphy

Synopsis: This 15- minute power-point introduces international 9th graders to the Western classical literature. Designed for ESOL students, the 3-part lesson begins with geographic context, then surveys Mediterranean historical eras, and finishes with a look at the region's world-renown literature, focusing on Homer. A series of questions pose the debatable issue of whether Homer is actually Greek, as generally presumed, or Turkish. Printable mini-quizzes and timelines engage diverse learners.

Source: TCF 2014 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkey ABC Book

Grade level: 6th-8th Grade

Subject: Social Studies

Prepared by: Carol McGrew; Escobedo Middle School, Las Vegas, NV

Synopsis: This ABC book gives students a background about Turkey and its culture through images, videos and text.  Each "page" of the online GoogleSlides "book" contains information about a topic, an image, and a link to either more information or a video.

This could be used at the elementary level to introduce students to Turkey, or it can be used as an example for a student project at the middle school or high school level.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkey's Revolution: The War for Independence

Grade level: High School

Subject: World History

Prepared by: Amy Jaskolski, Cornell School District

Synopsis: This lesson is part of a unit where students compare and contrast a variety of revolutions, learning about them and analyzing their impact. In this lesson, students research the Turkish War of Independence and write an essay analyzing it in comparison to other revolutions.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Geography of the Great Empires: Holy Roman and Ottoman

Grade Level: High School

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Barbara S. Williams, Arizona Geographic Alliance, Tucson, AZ

Synopsis: Students engage in a comparison of the sixteenth century Ottoman and Holy Roman Empires and learn to identify and compare their similarities and differences as well as understand their interconnectedness. They explore the many shared characteristics of the two Empires and evaluate the Empires’ combined impact on the world today. Students break into groups that represent each Empire and research individual topics, the results of which they will report back to the class while acting in the character of their respective Empire and topic.

Source: University of Arizona

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Ottoman Travel Brochure

Material included with the lesson plan: “Ottoman Travel: Turkey and the Balkans” PowerPoint (20 pages); Ottoman history PowerPoint (20 pages); Ottoman economy and the Millet system PowerPoint (8 pages); Ottoman geography and culture PowerPoint (11 pages)

Grade level: Seventh-Twelfth Grade

Subject: World History; World Cultures; Geography

Prepared by: Jeff Mann

Synopsis: Following a series of lectures on the Ottoman Empire, students demonstrate an understanding of the cultures and history of different regions within the Empire by writing and illustrating a six-panel travel brochure. Students draw from the lectures and their own reading to tailor the brochure to Ottoman travellers and ensure that the information they use is historically accurate. They also develop the ability to describe the interconnected cultures of the Ottoman Empire and understand the significance of each culture to the Empire as a whole.

Source: University of Arizona

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Historical Names of Istanbul

Grade level: Middle School

Subject: World History, World Cultures

Prepared by: Kyle Schuler, Frederick Law Olmsted Academy South Louisville, KY and Julie Rukavina, Coolidge Senior High School, Washington, DC

Synopsis: In this lesson, students learn a brief history of Istanbul and its many historical names. Students brainstorm, receive information from the teacher, observe a Power Point, watch a video, read, and complete a graphic organizer about the topic.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkey - A Crossroads in History

Grade level: Ninth Grade

Subject: World History, World Cultures

Prepared by: Carl Kim, Kaimuki High School, Honolulu, Hawaii

Synopsis: Students will learn about Turkey throughout history and how its diverse cultural background contributes to its importance. Learning will focus on people who have influenced the history of Turkey because of its being the crossroads between Asia and Europe.  Through instruction, students will develop graphic organizers that will be used to write an essay that will explain learning and the students’ connections to Turkish history.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Byzantine Art and Religious Iconography

Grade level: Secondary School

Subject: World History, World Cultures

Prepared by: Caitlin Kimak, Hayfield Secondary School, Alexandria, VA

Synopsis: This lesson will focus on expanding students’ knowledge of the Byzantine Empire. Students will identify several similarities and differences between Roman Catholic Christians and Eastern Orthodox Christians. Students will describe Byzantine art and architecture including mosaics, Hagia Sophia and icons. Students will analyze and evaluate examples of Byzantine art.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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The Whirling Dervishes

Grade level: 9-12

Subject: World Cultures; World Geography

Prepared by: Samantha Phelps-Herrera, Cypress Falls High School, Cypress TX

Synopsis: This lesson is intended to provide instruction on the Whirling Dervish of the Mevlevi Order. Students will have an introduction in Sufism and Mevlana Celaleddin-i Rumi. Then students will see a detailed breakdown of the Sema ceremony. Students will then create their own “whirl” with unique symbolism and meaning.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Turkish Karagoz Theater, Troy Style

Grade Level: Middle School

Subject: World Cultures

Prepared by: Jeanie Palmer, Troy MT

Synopsis: In this unit, students will be introduced to Turkish art in its many forms. The class will watch a Power Point of various art forms and then be introduced to Turkish Shadow Theater and the art of creating puppetry. They will watch a DVD of a Turkish shadow theater production and the Turkish characters of Hacivat and Karagoz and their adventures will be explained. The class will then discuss the play. How are the characters from the Turkish production similar to or different from real people or characters that they know? How could this Turkish art form be used to express one of their stories?

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Ottoman and Modern Turkey Cooperative Research Project

Grade Level: 9-11

Subject: Social Studies

Prepared by:  Christopher Cox; Belmont High School, Dayton, OH

Synopsis: This lesson allows students to compare and contrast modern-day Turkey with historical Ottoman culture. In this history lesson, students create concept maps that allow them to compare the cultures, discuss leadership qualities, and create travel brochures for Turkey today. In addition, students compose essays about Ottomans and modern Turks and research current news about Turkey.

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Looking at Turkey Through the Eyes of its Poet

Grade level: High School

Subject: Arts and Literature, World History, World Cultures

Prepared by: Anita Tucker, Cobalt Institute of Math and Science, Victorville, CA

Synopsis: This lesson focuses on the works of Turkish poet Nazim Hikmet, the accomplishments of Mustafa Kemal Ataturk, and the history of modern Turkey. It aims to give students a window to Turkey today—seeing, reading, and hearing the wealth of culture and history, especially over the last 100 years—and to give them more insight into the changing politics of the Middle East by learning more about Turkey through its people and culture.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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Rumi: Why is the Best Selling Poet in America…a Turk?

Grade level: Middle School and High School

Subject: World Cultures

Prepared by: Eric Ayrault, Mercer Island High School, Mercer Island, WA

Synopsis: This lesson shows students that Rumi has become a best-selling poet in the United States, especially with a more recent translation by Coleman Barks.  Therefore, Rumi can be used as a bridge to make Turkey and ‘Persia’, the empire under which Rumi lived, seem not quite so foreign.  It can also be used to highlight western negative perspectives on the ‘Greater Middle East’, and how they may not be justified.

Source: TCF 2015 Teacher Study Tour Participant

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