Lesson: The Languages of the Region
Lesson Name: Languages of the Region Course: High School Language Arts by Anke al-Bataineh
Students will be familiar with the major languages spoken in the Middle East
Students will recognize letter types associated with Arabic and/or Farsi
Students will write or trace their names in either language
Essential Questions: (write on board)
What languages are spoken in the Middle East?
How are these languages similar or different?
Sharpies or paintbrushes
Anticipatory Set: (5 min) Visual, Verbal
Display the image of languages spoken in Iran, which students should recall from the lesson on demographics. Solicit observations about it.
Display the map of language families. Solicit observations.
Input: (20 min) Auditory, Interpersonal
Tell the students that today we will learn some different facts about the two most important languages in the region, and we will write a little bit in each one.
Read the history of Farsi together as a class.
Read the history of Arabic together as a class.
Ask students to compare and contrast the languages. Distribute the Farsi and Arabic Basics sheet.
Guided Practice: (5 min) Kinesthetic, Auditory, Visual, Musical
Give students white boards and/or drawing paper. Have them attempt to write letters from either alphabet, and then attempt to string them together in cursive. Help them pick out letters that can spell their names phonetically. Remember that short vowels are often excluded from writing and the reader infers them, or they are marked with small marks resembling Spanish accents.
Independent Work: (15 min) Kinesthetic, Auditory, Visual, Musical
Play music videos and language samples from both languages while students work. Challenge them to make a beautiful sign with their name on it for a door or locker.
Alphabet song in Farsi: http://www.todaytranslations.com/language-history/farsi-language-history
Farsi music videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNfSTHuav_U
Alphabet song in Arabic http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=oNfSTHuav_U
Arabic music videos: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=w3wef_F_xvg
Conclusion/Assessment: (10 min)
Have students display their written work and discuss the experience of trying to write in a different language.
Vocab to Watch Out For:
Farsi vs. Persian
What went well?
What would you change?
What needs explanation?
Students are always really excited to see the alphabets, but they get easily discouraged. Making a playful atrmosphere and setting low expectations helped them take risks.
If I didn’t know how to read and write Arabic fluently, I might switch this up, print out some Arabic texts and calligraphy, and challenge students to identify letters rather than producing them.
Arabic is probably the best language for lower-functioning students to work on. The history is easier and the letter shapes are less intricate.