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September 10, 2013

“Connecting Syria’s allies and enemies” infographic – Lesson Plan

by Katie Gould, Teacher Resource Producer for NewsHour Extra

This lesson features the infographic “Connecting Syria’s allies and enemies” by Al Jazeera to help students understand the complex relationships between the countries who either support or do not support military intervention in Syria as a response to the use of chemical weapons. An infographic is a visual image such as a chart or diagram used to represent information or data and can be a helpful way for students to visually process information.  For more outstanding infographic resources to teach Syria please visit our “Visual Resources for Teaching Syria” blog resource or Visual.ly, a website dedicated to creating, sharing and exploring great visual content.

Subjects

Social studies, geography, current events, social issues

Estimated Time

One 45-minute class

Grade Level

Middle and high school

Warm Up Activity

  1. Find out what students know about the Syrian Conflict by taking an Online Quiz from the “New York Times” as a class:
    • Bring up the Quiz on the board with a projector so the whole class can see
    • Ask students to share what they think is the correct answer by voting
    • Have them keep track of how many answers they got right
  2. Pass out the handout Connecting Syria’s allies and enemies and have students write down which countries they think support using military action in Syria and which countries do not support military action on page one of the handout.
  3. On the board write down “Support Military Action” on one side and “Do Not Support Military Action” on the other. Go through the list of countries and ask students to vote either “yes” or “no” for each country. Write the country on either “Support Military Action” side of the board or “Do Not Support Military Action” depending on the majority vote from the class.

Connecting Syria

by AlJazeera.
Explore more infographics like this one on the web’s largest information design community – Visually.

 

 


Main Activity

  1. Have students turn to page two of their handout and then either bring up the infographic “Connecting Syria’s allies and enemies” (above) on the board in front of the whole class or have students bring it up on individual devices (lap tops, phones, etc.)
  2. Start by reading through each country and comparing it to the list they had come up with before. Then have students mark each country either as a country that:
    • Opposes Military Intervention
    • Supports Military Intervention
  3. Before filling out the “fact” column ask students to make guesses about the reasons a country would be for or against a military intervention. See if students can come up with a list of factors that explain the country’s choice and write their list on the board. For example, explanations could be related to geography, lack of support from countries citizens, history, religion, etc.
  4. Return to the infographic, clicking on each country to reveal why they do or do not support a military intervention in Syria. Have students write the reason on their table in their own words and relying on the categories of reasons list they made prior to seeing the reasons on the infographic.
  5. Debrief with a short class discussion about:
    • What surprised them?
    • Something important they learned?
    • Has it shaped their own choice?
    • What questions do you still have?
  6. Have students watch the video clips and read the editorial from major players:
  7. Debrief on the opinions of the three men they heard from and again ask students:
    • What surprised them?
    • Something important they learned?
    • Has it shaped their own choice?
    • What questions do you still have?
  8. Pass out “Essay Assignment”
    • Ask students to make their own decision on whether to support or not support a military intervention in Syria. They should support their opinion by outlining and providing evidence for their decision gathered from both the text and media resources shared in this lesson. Make sure students contextualize their decision with background information and to make sure they address and defend areas of their line of reasoning that could be challenged. Read through the handout “Essay Assignment” with them.
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  • Common Core Standards

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    Relevant National Standards:
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.1 Cite several pieces of textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.3 Analyze the interactions between individuals, events, and ideas in a text (e.g., how ideas influence individuals or events, or how individuals influence ideas or events).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.7.7 Compare and contrast a text to an audio, video, or multimedia version of the text, analyzing each medium’s portrayal of the subject (e.g., how the delivery of a speech affects the impact of the words).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.1 Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.8.3 Analyze how a text makes connections among and distinctions between individuals, ideas, or events (e.g., through comparisons, analogies, or categories).
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, assessing whether the reasoning is valid and the evidence is relevant and sufficient; identify false statements and fallacious reasoning.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3 Analyze a complex set of ideas or sequence of events and explain how specific individuals, ideas, or events interact and develop over the course of the text.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7 Integrate and evaluate multiple sources of information presented in different media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively) as well as in words in order to address a question or solve a problem.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.7.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.1 Write arguments to support claims with clear reasons and relevant evidence
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.8.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts, using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
    • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas, concepts, and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.

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