Create a Baalbeck Festival
Overview: This lesson teaches Lebanese culture; heritage, traditions, holidays, music and art. The students will create their own version of the famous Baalbeck Festival which is held each year at the Roman ruins of the ancient city of Baalbeck, Lebanon. There visitors can enjoy opera, ballet, symphony and drama as well as traditional Lebanese song, dance, poetry, and crafts. Our version will be a combination of the festival and a Lebanese marketplace where farm produce, foods, and goods such as handmade linens and inlaid wooden items are sold.
Grade Range: Students in grades 1-6 will present projects that they have worked on throughout the year.
Duration: The festival will take place for two days in the school auditorium. All of the students in the school will be invited to enjoy the festivities.
Lesson Plan Objectives:
The purpose is to allow students to develop an appreciation of the diverse Arab Culture of this small country.
The students will develop tolerance toward cultures which are different from their own.
Social Studies Standards
1. Distinguish differences and similarities among individuals and families.
2. Compare different holidays, traditions and celebrations around the world.
3. Read, view and listen to multiple sources that reflect diversity of culture.
4. Identify and compare different types of global communities.
Collaboration: Roles and Responsibilities of Teachers Involved
in grades 1-6 will assign and present appropriate materials to the students. The students will acquire background information from books, video, and internet research. They will study the family life, housing, clothing, manners and customs, schools, geography, and history of Lebanon. The teacher will help the students to relate what is learned to their own lives. The lessons will incorporate Social Studies, Language Arts, Math, and Science whenever possible.
The Art teacher and the Industrial Arts Teacher
will help the students make arts and crafts similar to those made in Lebanon.
Note: for Arts and Crafts projects that reflect an Arab theme, see the Yale New Haven Teachers Institute Unit created by Judith Zurkus 2002, called
Islamic Art: Exploring the Visual Arts of the Middle East
The Music Teacher
will teach the students folk songs from Lebanon. A good source is the Fayrouz (fay ROOZ) Website at http://Fayrouz.org. Fayrouz, whose real name is Nouhad Haddad, is a Lebanese woman who is popular all over the Arab world. “She became popular by singing traditional Arab songs in a way that made them come alive to the listener. She also created new kinds of music by blending different styles and instruments.”33
The Gym Teachers
will teach the students folk dances done in Lebanon such as the Dabke which is the national dance and done at weddings and parties, usually to the beat of a drum called a derbakka. Directions for doing the Dabke can be found at http://mobilityexpress.com/sourat/dabke.htm
The Home Economics Teacher
will help the students create a Mezza (a spread of Lebanese foods) to be samples by the students who visit the festival. See some sample recipes provided in Appendix B of this unit as well as lesson three of this unit.
Internet, books such as
Fiesta! Lebanon: A Portrait of the Country Through Its Festival and Traditions
by Richard Kennedy Walker, magazines, various arts and crafts materials as needed.
Students in grade 6 should design a “passport” for all of the students in the school. Using a digital camera the students’ pictures should be put on the passports. When the students arrive at the Festival the passport will be stamped with a symbol that is appropriate for Lebanon, perhaps a cedar tree stamp.
Each teacher will be responsible for creating and storing the projects made under that teacher’s supervision.
Tables will have to be located and brought to the festival area beforehand. Another possibility is to have the Industrial Arts teacher and students make “street vendor carts” which can be brightly decorated.
Any televisions, VCRs, tape players, projectors, or computers that will be needed must be located and brought to the festival area.
Volunteers will be needed to setup and the displays of the students’ projects and the food.
Student volunteers will stamp the passports as the other students arrive at the festival.
Students will sing, dance, and perform.
The assessment of this Festival will be through observation of the students and how much they are enjoying the activities.
Further assessment will be through observation of the quality of the displays.
Teachers will be given a questionnaire asking for suggestions of how to make the festival better if it should be held in the future.