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History Lesson Plan: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

written by: Noreen Gunnell • edited by: SForsyth • updated: 9/11/2012

The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has been going on for decades and is a daunting topic to understand and teach. The social studies lesson plan in this article is a guideline for teachers in grades 7-12. It contains vocabulary words and links that can be used in a middle or high school setting.

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    The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict has been going on for decades and is a difficult subject to understand, let alone teach. The lesson plan below is meant to serve as a guideline for teachers in grades 7-12 when attempting this task. The lesson will help teachers examine the political, economic, and social issues associated with the conflict.

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    Israeli-Palestinian Conflict Lesson Plan

    Lesson focus: To provide students with the history of the Israeli-Palestinian conflict so that they can understand its history and develop informed opinions.

    Performance Objective: Students will acquire an understanding of Israeli and Palestinian history and learn the underlying reasons for the conflict.

    Time: 1 – 2 Class Periods

    Grade Level: 7 - 12

    Educational Standards Met:

    NCSS (National Council for the Social Studies) Thematic Standard: IX. Global Connections.

    NSS (National Social Sciences) -WH.5-12.1 ERA 9: The 20th Century since 1945: Promises and Paradoxes. 1c.

    Lesson Outline:

    1) Introduce the topic and ask if anyone has an opinion they would like to share.

    2) Create a list of issues, facts, and terms that need to be addressed from above responses.

    3) Discuss the history of the region.

    a) Ancient Palestine

    i) Judea, ancient Jewish homeland, conquered by Rome and renamed Palestine.

    ii) Came under the rule of many nations and Empires throughout its history.

    iii) Muslim Arabs conquered Jerusalem in 637 AD bringing Ancient Palestine to an end.

    b) British Rule-begun 1917 by the League of Nations.

    i) Balfour Declaration and support for Zionism.

    c) Land partition by U.N. in 1947.

    d) Israel is established as a nation in 1948.

    e) Six-Day War

    f) Oslo Accords and Road Map to Peace.

    g) Hamas’ rise to power in Palestine.

    4) Continuing Conflict Late in 2008, rockets were fired upon southern Israeli towns by Hamas. The retaliation by Israel, and counter attacks by Hamas have escalated bringing to light disagreements over the occupied territories and Israel’s control of the borders into Gaza.

    5) Assign homework: Each student should find and read an article, essay, or first-hand account about the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict and write a list of 5-10 facts from the chosen source that they will share with the class during the next few meetings. They should concentrate on any issues, facts, and terms brought up in the beginning of the class.

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    Vocabulary Terms

    Judaism-the way of life, and religious expression for Jewish people.

    Zionism-Basically, the belief in a Jewish homeland.

    Balfour Declaration A letter from the British Foreign Secretary to the head o the British Zionist movement supporting the creation of a Jewish homeland.

    Arab-Israeli War of 1948-49-Following the 1947 U.N. partition of Palestine into Jewish and Arab States, Egypt, Syria Iraq, Lebanon, Jordan, and Saudi Arabia declared war on Israel.

    Six-Day War-Fought in 1967, victory gave Israel the lands in the Sinai Peninsula, Gaza Strip, West Bank and Golan Heights.

    Hamas-A Palestinian movement that can been defined as a militant, political, or terrorist group depending on its acts and those providing the definition. (Read more here.)

    West Bank-Territory on the western bank of the Jordan River.

    Gaza Strip-Strip of land on the Mediterranean coast.

    Oslo Accords-An agreement signed 9/13/1993 between Israel and Palestine that established the Palestinian National Authority and included for the withdrawal of Israeli Defense Forces (IDF) from the Gaza Strip and West Bank.

    Road Map to Peace-A 2003 American brokered plan that included the goal of a separate Palestinian state.

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    References

    http://avalon.law.yale.edu/20th_century/balfour.asp

    http://topics.nytimes.com/top/reference/timestopics/organizations/h/hamas/index.html?inline=nyt-org

    http://www.time.com/time/specials/2007/article/0,28804,1644149_1644147_1644129,00.html

Lesson Plans on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

A two-part series of social studies lesson plans on the Israeli-Palestinian Conflict. The first lesson focuses on the history of the conflict and the second is a cooperative learning activity that deals with the issues surrounding the turmoil.
  1. History Lesson Plan: The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict
  2. Israeli-Palestinian Conflict: A Cooperative Learning Lesson Plan