Lawrence of Arabia
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High School Lesson Plan
Time: 3-4 class periods

Level: High School

Objective: Students will be able to critically examine the life and contributions of Lawrence of Arabia to the modern Middle East.

Subject Area: Media Studies, World or European History

  • Lawrence of Arabia: The Making of the Modern Arab World video
  • Poster board

V. Individuals, Groups, & Institutions
b. analyze group and institutional influences on people, events, and elements of culture in both historical and contemporary settings
VI. Power, Authority, & Governance
g. evaluate the role of technology in communications, transportation, information processing, weapons development, or other areas as it contributes to or helps resolve conflicts
VIII. Science, Technology, & Society
a. identify and describe both current and historical examples of the interaction and interdependence of science, technology, and society in a variety of cultural settings
b. make judgments about how science and technology have transformed the physical world and human society, and our understanding of time, space, place, and human-environment interactions
IX. Global Connections
c. analyze and evaluate the effects of changing technologies on the global community
h. illustrate how individual behaviors and decisions connect with global systems


View Lawrence of Arabia: The Making of the Modern Arab World, Part I (60 mins). As you view the film answer the following questions and be prepared to discuss after the viewing.
  1. How did Lawrence's experiences as a young boy, student and archaeologist affect his role in the Middle East?
  2. What were the benefits and drawbacks for Lawrence traveling in the Middle East?
  3. How did technology and advances in engineering during the early twentieth century affect the Arab cause during WWI? e.g. guns/ammunition or transportation routes
Lawrence of Arabia was a leader, a hero and a celebrity who became a legend through the propaganda of American journalist, Lowell Thomas. As a class, discuss what propaganda is, and how and why it is used in times of war.
View documentary: 0-4 mins. (Part I) & 20-25 mins (Part II).

Create working definitions for 'leader', 'hero', 'celebrity' and 'legend'. Discuss whether or not Lawrence of Arabia meets your class definitions. Have students create propaganda posters or stories identifying Lawrence as a leader, hero, legend or none of the above. Next, compare in writing the military and political leadership of World War I - compare and contrast leaders and their strategies; assess their immediate and long-term success.


Participation in film discussion, completion of propaganda poster showing opinion and completed essay for content and writing mechanics.

Extension Ideas

Fact vs. Fiction. After viewing the documentary and reading excerpts of Lawrence's Seven Pillars of Wisdom: A Triumph, view the film, Lawrence of Arabia (1962). How well does the popular film convey the history of the man and the region?

Go to Middle School Lesson Plan


Lawrence of Arabia