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January/February2015

aramcoworld.com

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WRITTEN BY JULIE WEISS

Classroom

Guide

FOR STUDENTS

We hope this guide will

help sharpen your reading

skills and deepen your

understanding of this

issue’s articles.

FOR TEACHERS

We encourage reproduction

and adaptation of these

ideas, freely and without

further permission from

AramcoWorld

, by teachers

at any level, whether

working in a classroom or

through home study.

THE

EDITORS

Curriculum Alignments

To see alignments with

US

national standards for all

articles in this issue, click

“Curriculum Alignments”

at

www.aramcoworld.com

.

Julie Weiss

is an education

consultant based in Eliot,

Maine. She holds a Ph.D. in

American studies. Her com-

pany, Unlimited Horizons,

develops social studies,

media literacy, and English

as a Second Language

curricula, and produces

textbook materials.

CLASS ACTIVITIES

Conflict and Cooperation

At a time when there is a great deal of

conflict in the world, it can be inspiring to

see how people in the past found ways to

live with conflict. How were they able to

cooperate with people who might have

been perceived as opponents? Two articles

in this edition address this question, and

they offer insight into how conflict and

cooperation sometimes coexist. (Each

article is addressed separately in the

activities that follow. That way, it will be

easy to focus on one of them if that’s all

you have time to do. Should you have time

for both, forge ahead—but the activities

for each article can stand alone.)

1.

An Irish Tale of Hunger and the Sultan

To make the most of your time with your

classmates, read the article at home and

come to class prepared to work with its

content.

The first part of the article describes

the situation in Ireland from 1845 to

1847. Review that segment of the article,

thinking about the instances of conflict

it describes. Remember, conflict doesn’t

necessarily mean actual fighting. Answer

these questions to help you see the

conflict: Who owned the farms in Ireland?

Who worked on the farms? Irish farms

were producing a great deal of food during

“The Great Hunger.” Why weren’t the poor

among the Irish people eating it? Who

was getting the food? Who was making

money from the food? Write a sentence

that summarizes the situation in Ireland,

pointing out the clash of interests of the

different groups.

That’s the conflict part of the

story. Now turn your attention to the

cooperation part—and the next part of

the article. List words that the article uses

to describe Sultan Aldülmedjid

I

. Discuss

with a partner how these personality

traits might contribute to his willingness

to assist the Irish people. Looking at the

list of words, think of anyone you know,

or any prominent person, past or present,

who you think had or has those traits. Has

that person behaved like Aldülmedjid in

terms of generosity and cooperation? If

not, why do you think the traits did not

show in the same way in him or her as

they did in the Sultan?

Other factors can be at play when two

parties cooperate. Perhaps cooperation

is more than just the expression of

being a compassionate person. Perhaps

such a person has something to gain by

cooperating with someone else. The article

uses the word

diplomacy

to describe

the content of letters between members

of the Irish gentry and the Sultan. What

did the Irish have to gain through their

relationship with the Sultan? What did the

Sultan have to gain by helping them? As a

class, discuss these questions: Would you

like to believe that the Sultan helped the

Irish solely because it was the humane

thing to do? Do you think differently

about him knowing that one of the

reasons he aided the Irish was because

it was in the best interests of his own

country to do so? If so, why? If not, why

not? Finally, make a visual image that

shows the complex relationships among

the groups described in the article. Make

sure your visual includes both conflict

and cooperation.

2.

The Travel Writer Ibn Jubayr

“The Travel Writer Ibn Jubayr” also tells

a story of conflict and cooperation. Read

the article, highlighting sections about

conflict in one color, and sections about

cooperation in a different color. When you

review the parts that you’ve highlighted,

what do you notice about conflict and

cooperation? What groups are involved

in the conflict the article describes?

Why were they in conflict? How do the

conflict and cooperation coexist? Make

a visual image that shows the complex

This edition of

AramcoWorld

has

some particularly

fascinating

photographs of

artwork, so a larger-

than-usual portion of

this Classroom Guide

focuses on visual

analysis. Beyond

that, students will

explore conflict and

cooperation in two

articles—one about

Ottoman assistance to

the Irish during “The

Great Hunger”; the

other about the 12th

century travels of Ibn

Jubayr. In a 15-minute

activity, students

examine the way a

writer poses, and then

goes about answering,

a question for readers.

44

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