Arabs, Islam and Stereotypes

With these activities and lessons, students can learn more about Arab culture and Islam. They will also learn more about the dangers of stereotypes and how we can identify and challenge them in our day to day lives. 

Aladdin and arab stereotypes 

Taking an example from cinema, this lesson looks at how something a simple as a Disney movie can end up perpetuating lazy stereotypes about other cultures. 

Arab World Quiz

A quiz about the Arab world, its culture and its peoples. Includes a teachers answer sheet

Deserts and palm trees

What are Arab countries like? This activity helps move away from the cliched images to try and get a develop a more realistic understanding of the landscapes of the Arab World. 

Do stereotypes matter? 

What is a stereotype? Are stereotypes important? Are they a harmless way of simplifying the world or a way of perpetuating misunderstanding and prejudice? 

Famous Arab muslim women

A surprising look at some of the influential public figures to emerge from the Middle East, and the impact they have had on the world, challenging expectations about gender and culture. 

Freedom of speech and the Danish cartoons 

What is free speech? Should there be limits on freedom of expression if you risk offending others? Should some topics be out of bounds for criticism, satire and debate? 

Goha, the wise fool

Introducing the popular figure Goha, star of many Arabic folk tales. Students will have the chance to explore some of his stories and to consider the importance of fables and folk culture. 

Islamic art 

Many people are unaware of the rich heritage of Islamic art. This lesson will give a very good introduction for students to this beautiful and fascinating style, and help understand it in a religious and cultural context. 

Media stories

How does the UK media deal with Arabs and Muslims? Is coverage always fair and balanced, or are there problems with how these groups are presented?

Middle Eastern proverbs

A fun introduction to some traditional elements of Middle Eastern culture through the use of proverbs and other forms of folk wisdom. Can we draw parallels between popular sayings in the Middle East and those from our culture. 

Reading political cartoons - Islam and multiculturalism 

Newspaper cartoons can seems like a light hearted way to treat current events, but can they have more sinister undertones? This activity looks at how these sort of images can reinforce negative and hostile stereotypes in our society. 

Stereotypes in action 

How can negative stereotypes impact our daily lives? How can we deal with situations in which stereotypes limit or direct our actions?

Telling a story

When creating a story, how do the backgrounds of the characters involved change our expections of how they should behave?

Veiling role play  

Why do some people choose to wear a face veil? What reasons are there for this? What is it like wearing one?