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JERUSALEM

Explore the physical and cultural geographies of Jerusalem

Photo: Aerial of Jerusalem.

Photograph by George Duffield

The film Jerusalem provides an eye-opening tour of one of the world's oldest and most enigmatic cities. Discover why this tiny piece of land is sacred to three major religions through the stories of Jewish, Christian, and Muslim families who call Jerusalem home. Five thousand years of history have not dulled Jerusalem's appeal or importance; rather, this special city presents an exciting opportunity to engage middle school and high school learners in awe-inspiring content. 

Use the activities, reference materials, and other resources in this collection to discover the physical and cultural geography of this special place, dive into the religions that call Jerusalem home, and make learning personal by encouraging learners to cross social boundaries that exist in their own lives. 


Activities

Use these middle and high school materials in your classroom to teach the physical and human geography of Jerusalem.

Breaking Down Invisible Walls

Breaking Down Invisible Walls  

Students draw social boundary maps showing the divisions that exist in their community or school and discuss ways to cross them. 

Reasoning With Physical Geography

Reasoning With Physical Geography  

Students analyze a variety of maps to create a map of Israel and the Palestinian territories’ physical geography, and reason about Jerusalem’s location.

Culture and Food and Ritual, Oh My!

Culture and Food and Ritual, Oh My!  

Students plan a menu for a religious ceremony in accordance with food rituals.

Gender Roles in Jewish and Muslim Cultures

Gender Roles in Jewish and Muslim Cultures  

Students examine the concepts of gender roles, cultural convergence, and cultural divergence in the context of Jewish and Muslim religious cultures.

Mapping Jerusalem's Old City

Mapping Jerusalem's Old City  

Students learn about and create their own map of Jerusalem’s Old City after watching excerpts from the film Jerusalem.


Case Studies

Read case studies featuring active archaeological sites, and compare and contrast the different technological techniques that are being used to rediscover Jerusalem's past.

Huqoq Excavation Project

Huqoq Excavation Project  

An explanation of the technology being used in Dr. Jodi Magness’ archaeological work at Huqoq, Israel.

Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations

Tell es-Safi/Gath Excavations  

An explanation of the technology being used in professor Aren Maeir’s archaeological work at Tell es-Safi.

Tel Kabri Project

Tel Kabri Project  

An explanation of the technology being used in professor Eric Cline’s archaeological work at Kabri, Israel.


Location, Location, Location

Learn more about the physical geography of Israel and Jerusalem.

Water Works

Water Works  

The reliable water source provided by Gihon Spring was important to Jerusalem’s early development.

Jerusalem

Jerusalem  

Download and print this black and white map.


The Israeli-Palestinian Conflict

Learn more about how National Geographic Emerging Explorer Aziz Abu Sarah is working to build relationships between Israelis and Palestinians in Jerusalem and throughout Israel.

The Conflict Zone

The Conflict Zone  

People from both sides of the conflict discuss how this international dispute impacts their everyday lives.


Building Bridges

Read about these inspiring people and organizations working to foster cultural understanding in a region rife with conflict.

Cultural Educator: Aziz Abu Sarah

Cultural Educator: Aziz Abu Sarah  

Aziz Abu Sarah is a 2011 Emerging Explorer and peace activist dedicated to building bridges, not walls, between Israelis and Palestinians.

The Authority for Community and Youth

The Authority for Community and Youth  

The Authority for Community and Youth, part of the Hebrew University of Jerusalem, works to deepen the involvement and connections between the university and different communities and populations across Israel. 

Coexist Foundation

Coexist Foundation  

The Coexist Foundation works globally to build religious literacy and encourage cross-cultural understanding. 

Teaching Tolerance

Teaching Tolerance  

Teaching Tolerance is a program of the Southern Poverty Law Center. Its mission is to reduce bias and promote equity in schools throughout the United States.


Historical Maps

Travel through time using historical maps from the National Geographic archives. Zoom in and around the high resolution maps.