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Unit 6: Literature of the Middle East with Critical Review

Literature of the Middle East

Literary Unit: Driven Learning and Teaching in a Flat, Flipped, Mastery-Based Classroom

Autonomy.  Mastery.  Purpose.  Technology.  Differentiation.  Choice.  R.O.W.E.

Teacher as Facilitator in a Flat Classroom.

Instructional model created by Travis Macy and colleagues based on Daniel H. Pink’s Drive: The Surprising Truth Behind What Motivates Us, the Flipped/Mastery Classroom model of Jonathan Bergmann and Aaron Sams (http://mast.unco.edu/programs/vodcasting/), and Philippe Ernewein’s Flatter Classroom (www.rememberit.org).  More information on student/teacher roles is available in Prensky’s Teaching Digital Natives: Partnering for Real Learning.

Roles of the driven 21st-century student:

·         Researcher

·         Technology user and expert

·         Thinker and sense maker

·         World changer

·         Self-teacher

Teacher’s roles as facilitator and partner:

·         Coach and guide

·         Goal setter and questioner

·         Learning designer

·         Context provider

·         Rigor provider and quality assurer


Unit Checklist

Student carries sheet and checks off or assesses tasks with teacher as they are completed.

Student          Teacher


___/3               ___/3               Personal calendar (identify due dates, your dates, number of

pages per reading, booktalks, work done at school/at home, etc.)

___/3               ___/3               Mid-unit check-in with teacher

                                                            Are you on track?

___/5               ___/5               Booktalk #1 (2 thoughtful and text-based contributions,

2 thoughtful questions)

___/5               ___/5               Booktalk #2 (2 thoughtful and text-based contributions, 

2 thoughtful questions)

            [Vodcasts] (linked on class web site)

___/3               ___/3               WRITING ML: SENTENCE STRUCTURE Vodcast: view, take notes,

ask a compelling question

___/3               ___/3               WRITING ML: CONVENTIONS Vodcast: view, take notes,

ask a compelling question

___/3               ___/3               Read the following and view the two embedded videos











___/10             ___/10             Pop quiz (date undisclosed; may cover reading up to and including

that day’s booktalk)

___/3               ___/3               US Cold War Propaganda in the Middle East (read, code the text)

                                                            p. 1-12

___/3               ___/3               Poetry (all poems in the poetry section) (read and code the text)

                                                            p. 13-22

___/3               ___/3               Smile!  (read and code the text)

                                                            p. 23-24

___/3               ___/3               Islamic Modest Dress  (read and code the text)

                                                            p. 25-34

___/3               ___/3               Lida’s Cat, the Bakery, and the Streetlight Pole   (read, code text)

                                                            p. 35-38

___/3               ___/3               Iranian Cleric Says…  (read and code the text)

                                                            p. 39-40



___/5               ___/5               Literary Journal entry #1 (choose text; options online)

___/5               ___/5               Literary Journal entry #2 (choose text; options online)


___/10             ___/10             Internet Research:

·         What is the Middle East?  Who lives there?  What are three or four big ideas or themes we should look for in examining literature of the Middle East?

·         Working alone or with a partner, print information from two reliable sources, code the text, write out answers to questions above, and share with a peer.

_____              _____              Written piece complete (see Writing Rubric for scores); three

drafts are checked off and D3 edited by peers with checklist

                                                D1___     D2___    D3+Editing___


___/0               ___/0               EXTRA Credit: Up to 20 points for reading and creating a book

trailer for Persepolis or Persepolis II (graphic novels)


___/73                        ___/73                        Task-based score total for this unit (grades for paper and video

not included)







Unit Introduction: Exploring Background Knowledge and Asking Questions (Multimedia/Multiple Intelligences Video Piece)

Using technology of your choice (see video editing resources on our class website), work alone or with a partner to create a short (2-5 minutes) video directed towards students your age who live in the Middle East.  Please include the elements below and address the following questions:

·         Describe/show three images that come to mind when you think of the Middle East.

·         What are three things you believe to be true about the Middle East?

·         What important themes should we consider when studying literature from the Middle East?  Do a bit of research to determine these themes.

·         Look ahead to one of the literary pieces we will examine for this unit.  After previewing and scanning the reading, present one excerpt that you find to be compelling and explain why it is compelling.

·         Finally, pose three or four questions that you would like to be answered by student(s) in the Middle East.  These questions should be both WRITTEN in the video and also SPOKEN (voice over).

·         You will turn in your video by publishing it online (youtube, blip.tv, etc.) and e-mailing the link to Mr. Macy

·         Please consult the VIDEO EDITING RESOURCES link on our website.


__/3  Go beyond summary.  This piece is all about critical thinking and developing your skills with new digital media.

__/3  Three images that come to mind

__/3  Music, auditory words, images, text

__/3  If working in a pair, each partner gets equal driving time

__/3  Voice over (all partners)

__/3  Three things you believe to be true about the Middle East

__/3  Examines important themes we should discuss

__/3  Previews one class texts and includes an excerpt

__/3  Poses 3-4 questions for students in the Middle East

__/3  Addresses intended audience appropriately, respectfully, and effectively

__/3  Teach Mr. Macy at least one thing about the creation process.  Provide and receive feedback by collaborating with two other groups during the process.

__/11  Include citation page with links to all web sites and sources used

__/3  Introductory slide with names and title of your piece

__/3  Creativity and overall impression.



___/10 Score for Technology Standard



 Example videos:










Synthesis/Reflection Paper

Having completed the reading material for this unit and your own research, reconsider the ideas put forth in your unit introduction video as you answer the following questions in a five paragraph essay.

·         What is/are one or more themes that run through the literary pieces from the Middle East that we have examined?  Please support your argument with at least six quotes (total) from three or more sources.

·         How, if at all, has your understanding of the Middle East and the people there changed through this learning experience?

Please be sure to include a correctly-structured thesis statement with three key terms, a works cited, a complete rubric, editing checklist, and assigned drafts.


**EXTRA CREDIT (20/0 points)


Read and create a book trailer (guidelines online) for the graphic novel, Persepolis or Persepolis II (points become part of your score on this unit).

A few possible themes that you might consider discussing in your paper include:

  • colonial rule and/or foreign interventions
  • post-colonialism
  • individualism vs. collective identity
  • role of women
  • the land
  • desire for peace
  • ongoing unrest
  • religion
  • other themes also exist!

Thesis- Literature of the Middle East


U.S. Cold War Propaganda in the Middle East this article has footnote links for a variety of primary source documents.