Lesson Plan

Women in Iran

Objectives: In this lesson, students will



Envisioning Iran
This graphic organizer will help students record information from the opening class activity and from the videos.

Iran Today
Follow-up questions for the videos, organized by category (Politics, Education, etc.).

Scholars Online
We recommend the six short videos below, related to women in Iran for this lesson. There are many others available from our Scholars Online Library.

Class discussion questions

In the Classroom

1. "The Wall"

Begin the class by writing the words "Women in Iran" in the center of the blackboard or on a large piece of paper. Give students 5-10 minutes to approach the board and write whatever comes to mind, including statements, words, and questions. Instruct the class to do the exercise in silence. Encourage students to add to each other's postings as well as write their own independent postings.

Note: You may find that many of your students focus primarily on the topics of veiling and religion. This could generate a very narrow discussion from students. You may wish to prompt students, before they begin the activity, to consider a wide range of topics as they relate to women in Iran, such as education, politics, employment, etc.

Distribute "Envisioning Iran". Direct students to record their personal perceptions in the left column of the organizer. Students may find it difficult to fill out all of the categories. Prompt students by asking them to think about how aspects of life for women in Iran might compare to life in their own country. Ask students to consider what sources shaped their opinions and perspectives on Iranian women. Have they heard about these issues on the news? Radio? In newspapers? Movies? Direct students' attention to specific comments on The Wall. What topics were addressed? Where did there seem to be disagreement? Where did there seem to be agreement? What questions were raised?

2. Viewing Scholars Online

Assign each student a topic (Politics, Education, Employment, Legal Rights, or Veiling). Distribute Iran Today to students accordingly, as there are specific handouts for each topic. Direct students to fill in all of the boxes in Envisioning Iran, but listen closely for information on their assigned category. This will enable them to complete Iran Today and discuss their category in a small group setting.

Recommended videos

The five videos at the right provide a good introductory foundation for exploring women's lives in Iran. These select videos should give students enough background information to fill out "Iran Today" and answer and discuss questions. There are many more related Scholars Online videos that you may utilize as well, organized by topic here. Alternatively, if you have multiple computers in your classroom, students can watch videos in small groups. Group students according to their topic so that they may explore additional related videos.

Scholars Online Videos

3. Follow-up Questions and Small Group "Jigsaw" Discussion

Once students have finished watching the videos, tell them to answer the questions on " Iran Today". Instruct students to use "Envisioning Iran" to help recall information from the videos. Afterwards, assemble small discussion groups with one student from each category. Students will share and discuss their responses to the videos with one another. Tell students to add to Envisioning Iran any new information they learn from their group members. Give students the following questions to guide their discussion:

4. Class Discussion

When groups are finished, call on students to report on their discussions. What information was most surprising? How did students? ideas change by watching the videos? How did they stay the same? Below are some questions you may wish to use for class discussion:

5. Concluding Video

As your class discussion draws to a close, ask students to consider the flipside of their perceptions of Iran. Watch the following video of Professor Jo-Anne Hart.

What do Iranians think about the United States? [Jo-Anne Hart - 1:28]

Inform students that Jo-Anne Hart discusses one component of Iranian attitudes toward people in the United States, and that Iranian sentiment toward the United States is complex and varied. Ask students to respond to the video. Are students surprised by the content of the video? What else have they read or heard about Iranian attitudes toward people in the United States? How does the video change their understanding of the relationship between the United States and Iran?