Activities & Lessons
April is National Arab American Heritage month! It’s a culturally important moment to celebrate the community’s history and potentially teach your students something new.
Try one of the activities below with your classroom. Take the time to introduce the month and culture to your students if they are unfamiliar with it. For resources and to learn more, visit the Arab America Foundation website.
Research an Arab Country
Choose a country from the list of 22 Arab countries in the video below. Have students research their country of choice. Ask them to either write an informational essay on it or share what they’ve learned in a short presentation. For extra fun, have students create posters or drawings with their chosen country's flag and decorate the classroom.
Classroom Food Activity
Food can be a great way to bring different cultures together. Students may be familiar with U.S. Department of Agriculture’s “My Plate” program. Share the image below that includes foods traditional to the Arab community. Talk through each item:
- Labneh - A middle-eastern dish made from strained yogurt that has a taste similar to cream cheese. It is often served as a mezze dip, like hummus.
- Fig - A plant of the mulberry family and its sweet, edible fruit. Examples of fig dishes include Labneh stuffed figs and couscous with figs.
- Falafel and Pita - Fried spiced balls or patties of ground chickpeas or fava beans stuffed into a pita.
- Kebabs - A popular street food; skewers with chunks of chicken or beef and vegetables, marinated and grilled on coals or gas.
- Leeks - A vegetable used in many dishes, such as mujadara. Leeks are part of the Allium family that includes, garlic, shallots, and onions.
What are students familiar with or have tasted before? What would they like to try in the future? If possible, bring in an example of one of the foods to share with the class.
To take the activity further, have students design their own food plate with foods from their own cultures. If needed, carve out some time to do research on what to include. Then have students work in small groups to share their food plates and discuss their choices with their classmates.
For more monthly celebration ideas, visit our calendar of activities to celebrate holidays and other milestones throughout the year.
Zoe Del Mar