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The Arab-Israeli Conflict

Cindy Severino, a social studies teacher at a Manhattan public high school, teaches a two day unit on the Palestinian/Israeli conflict in a 9th grade global studies class.


This website documents how one teacher strives to help her students understand the history and evolution of the Palestinian/Israeli conflict some of the different perspectives on it. The classroom videos and interviews with the teacher and students provide opportunities for viewers to:

  • Reflect on how the teacher makes comparisons to content addressed in other parts of the course (impact of British colonization on Africa and India Day 1, 22:50-25:21; assassination of Gandhi Day 2, 30:00);
  • Supports students’ intellectual engagement by making connections to student’s own lives and asking them to put themselves in comparable situations (writing prompt #1 Day 1, 1:36; Asking students to take a stand Day 2, 2:27; inviting students to advise President Obama Day 2, 43:00;
  • Goes over basic concepts and vocabulary (“what is a canal?” “Why are canals important?” Day 2, 15:00; “what is an accord?” Day 2, 28:53), but also supports deeper processing of information by interspersing the presentation of content with a variety of activities including 3 individual writing activities (Day 1), a poll (Day 2, 21:00), and an analysis of a political cartoon (Day 2, 30:25). In the process, the teacher touches on a wide range of relevant content including: Zionism, Balfour Declaration, Creation of state of Israel (1948), Al-Nakba (1949), Suez Crisis (1956), Six Day War (1967),Yom Kippur War (1973), OPEC oil embargo, Camp David Accords (1978), Intifada (1987), Assassination of Anwar Sadat (1981), Oslo accords (1993), and the assassination of Yitzhak Rabin (1995).