Christians in Iraq

Texas Essential Knowledge and Skills (TEKS) standards:
(1) History. The student understands how geography and processes of spatial exchange (diffusion) influenced events in the past and helped to shape the present. The student is expected to:
(A) analyze the effects of physical and human geographic patterns and processes on the past and describe their impact on the present, including significant physical features and environmental conditions that influenced migration patterns and shaped the distribution of culture groups today

(2) History. The student understands how people, places, and environments have changed over time and the effects of these changes. The student is expected to:
(A) describe the human and physical characteristics of the same regions at different periods of time to evaluate relationships between past events and current conditions

(5) Geography. The student understands how political, economic, and social processes shape cultural patterns and characteristics in various places and regions. The student is expected to:
(A) analyze how the character of a place is related to its political, economic, social, and cultural elements

(21) Social studies skills. The student applies critical-thinking skills to organize and use information acquired from a variety of valid sources, including electronic technology. The student is expected to:
(A) analyze and evaluate the validity and utility of multiple sources of geographic information such as primary and secondary sources, aerial photographs, and maps;
(B) locate places of contemporary geopolitical significance on a map

(14) History. The student understands the development of radical Islamic fundamentalism and the subsequent use of terrorism by some of its adherents. The student is expected to:
(A) summarize the development and impact of radical Islamic fundamentalism on events in the second half of the 20th century, including Palestinian terrorism and the growth of al Qaeda; and
(B) explain the U.S. response to terrorism from September 11, 2001, to the present.

Further familiarize students with the geography of the area

Give students a geographical and historical context for the lesson, both ancient and more recent in order to introduce them to the players, past and present, in this current tragic drama

Have students, after some guided fact-finding, compare and contrast life for Christians under Saddam Hussein vs ISIS

Provide a blank line map of Iraq and surrounding countries. The map should be more or less to a scale that Iraq is large enough to identify some fairly broad areas of its interior.

Preview all videos before showing to students. The Fox News video may be less appropriate for grades younger than high school.

Lesson can be done individually or in groups, in or outside of class, and can be modified to have students do more their own research on the topic. In class, the lesson should take approximately one class period.

Part 1 is intended to check student’s prior knowledge of the topic in the process of introducing them to Saddam Hussein.

If assigned outside of class, 2-3 nights, and the lesson can be divided into parts of two or three class periods if preferred.

Video: 60 Minutes – Iraq’s Christians persecuted by ISIS:

For further reference/interst:

Fox News Reporting Unholy War The March of ISIS Part 1:

  • John Rappazzo
  • Union Grove High School
Grade Level
  • High School: 9, 10, 11, 12
Time Frame
  • One class period

If you have any questions about this lesson plan, or if you wish to contact the author, please email us at [email protected]