The Breadwinner: Weaving Together Afghanistan’s History, the Taliban Rule and the Impact on Afghan Citizens



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The Breadwinner: Weaving Together Afghanistan’s History, the Taliban Rule and the Impact on Afghan Citizens



Peggy Modglin, Ellen Rehn and Mary Walker

Normal Community West High School






Summer 2009


http://www.rebeccacaudill.org/teacher/covergallery/2004/bread.jpg
Students will read the novel, The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis, and will complete activities using primary resources to further their understanding of life in Afghanistan and the impact of the Taliban on the culture and society. The students will read the novel in literature circles and complete historical background and extension activities using primary resources. Each literature group will present their information to the class.
Overview/ Materials/Historical Background/LOC Resources/Standards/ Procedures/Evaluation/Rubric/Handouts/Extension


Overview Back to Navigation Bar

Objectives

Students will:

  • utilize primary resources to identify the location and understand the history and culture of Afghanistan.

  • utilize primary sources to gain understanding of the influence of the Taliban on the Afghanistan culture.

  • work cooperatively to read the novel, The Breadwinner and complete projects and activities.
  • use primary resources to expand content knowledge from the novel, The Breadwinner.


  • provide oral presentations of their research to peers using good verbal communication skills.




Recommended time frame

Three weeks

Grade level

5th- 9th

Curriculum fit

Language Arts and Social Studies

Materials

  • Novel, The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis

  • Computer lab for internet access

  • www.LOC.gov

  • Historical Background

  • Primary Resource Table

  • Rubric

  • Handouts

Illinois State Learning Standards Back to Navigation Bar




Language Arts:

GOAL 1: Read with understanding and fluency

  • 1.B. Apply reading strategies to improve understanding and fluency

  • 1.B.4b Analyze, interpret and compare a variety of texts for purpose, structure, content, detail and effect.

  • 1.B.4a Preview reading materials, clarify meaning, analyze overall themes and coherence, and relate reading with information from other sources.

  • 1.C. Comprehend a broad range of reading materials

  • 1.C.4a Use questions and predictions to guide reading.

  • 1.C.4c Interpret, evaluate and apply informa­tion from a variety of sources to other situations (e.g., academic, vocational, technical, personal).


  • 4.B. Speak effectively using language appropriate to the situation and audience.

  • 4.B.4a Deliver planned informative and persuasive oral presentations using visual aids and contemporary technology as individuals and members of a group; demonstrate organization, clarity, vocabulary, credible and accurate supporting evidence.

  • 4.B.4b Use group discussion skills to assume leadership and participant roles within an assigned project or to reach a group goal.

GOAL 5: Use the language arts to acquire, assess and communicate information.

  • 5.B. Analyze and evaluate information acquired from various sources.

  • 5.B.4a Choose and evaluate primary and secondary sources (print and nonprint) for a variety of purposes.


Social Science:

GOAL 14: Understand political systems, with an emphasis on the United States.

  • 14.B. Understand the structures and functions of the political systems of Illinois, the United States and other nations.

  • 14.B.4 Compare the political systems of the United States to other nations.

GOAL 18: Understand social systems, with an emphasis on the United States.
  • 18.A. Compare characteristics of culture as reflected in language, literature, the arts, traditions and institutions.


  • 18.A.4 Analyze the influence of cultural factors including customs, traditions, language, media, art and architecture in developing pluralistic societies.

Procedures Back to Navigation Bar




Day One:

  • Teacher will arrive in class dressed in a similar fashion of a woman from Afghanistan and lead a K-W-L activity about Afghanistan. See handout.

  • Students will then complete the Novel Scavenger Hunt handout..

  • Divide students into literature circle groups and give them each their cumulative project assignment and rubric.

Following each chapter:

  • Students will complete the answers to the historical analysis chapter reflection. See handouts.

  • Students will present information gained from their primary resource activity in following completion of corresponding chapters.

Following completion of the book:

  • Students will compare and contrast facts about Afghanistan and the USA and present their results. See handout.




Evaluation Back to Navigation Bar




  • Students will be evaluated based on the accuracy of completion of handouts and presentations.

See rubric.


Extension Back to Navigation Bar



Read Deborah Ellis’ other related novels. See bibliography page.


  • Fiction: “Parvana’s Journey”,Mud City” andParvana”

  • Non Fiction: “Off to War: Voices of Soldiers’ Children” and “Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak”

Complete summarizing extension activity for the novel(s) read.


Historical Background

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General Information

“Ahmad Shah DURRANI unified the Pashtun tribes and founded Afghanistan in 1747. The country served as a buffer between the British and Russian empires until it won independence from notional British control in 1919. A brief experiment in democracy ended in a 1973 coup and a 1978 Communist counter-coup. The Soviet Union invaded in 1979 to support the tottering Afghan Communist regime, touching off a long and destructive war. The USSR withdrew in 1989 under relentless pressure by internationally supported anti-Communist mujahedin rebels. A series of subsequent civil wars saw Kabul finally fall in 1996 to the Taliban, a hard line Pakistani-sponsored movement that emerged in 1994 to end the country's civil war and anarchy. Following the 11 September 2001 terrorist attacks in New York City, a US, Allied, and anti-Taliban Northern Alliance military action toppled the Taliban for sheltering Osama BIN LADIN. The UN-sponsored Bonn Conference in 2001 established a process for political reconstruction that included the adoption of a new constitution, a presidential election in 2004, and National Assembly elections in 2005. In December 2004, Hamid KARZAI became the first democratically elected president of Afghanistan and the National Assembly was inaugurated the following December. Despite gains toward building a stable central government, a resurgent Taliban and continuing provincial instability - particularly in the south and the east - remain serious challenges for the Afghan Government.”

Source

“Afghanistan” CIA World Factbook. 26 June 2009. Internet. 12 July 2009. https://www.cia.gov/library/publications/the-world-factbook/geos/af.html



Taliban

The Taliban is an extremist group that grew out of refugee camps in Afghanistan after the country’s occupation by the Soviet Union in the 1980s. The group took control of Afghanistan and large parts of Pakistan in 1996 and ruled until ousted by the United States and opposition forces in December of 2001. This was in response to the September 11th terrorist attack against the U.S.


The Taliban are composed of fundamentalist Sunni Muslims. The term Taliban means religious students. Originally, the group’s strict policies and elimination of corruption were welcomed by the country. However, under the leadership of Mullah Omar, the Taliban’s harsh treatment of women and censorship of “non-Islamic” influences shocked many around the country’s citizens as well as the world. In the book, The Breadwinner, how the Taliban persecuted and affected Afghan families is evident.
The United States has a mixed past with the Taliban and the region. In the 1980s and part of the 1990s, the U.S. supported the Taliban in hopes that the group would bring stability to the area. This changed with the continual poorer human rights conditions under the Taliban. Additionally, the group is accused of supported and sheltering Osama bin Laden, the leader of al-Qaeda and alleged mastermind behind 9/11.
The Taliban was defeated in 2001, but the group did not disappear. They immediately regrouped and are still in existence today.

Sources

Hayes, Laura, Brunner, Borgna, and Beth Rowen. “Who are the Taliban?” Info please. 2007. Internet. 7 July 2009. < http://www.infoplease.com/spot/taliban.html>.

Tristam, Pierre. “History of the Taliban.”About.com. N.D. Internet. 7 July 2009.

< http://middleeast.about.com/od/afghanistan/ss/me080914a_7.htm>.

Afghan Languages: Dari Persian (or Dari) and Pashto (or Pashtu)

The two main languages of Afghanistan are Dari Persian and Pashto. Both are considered to be the county’s official languages. Dari Persian is spoken mostly in the northern and western parts of Afghanistan as well as in Kabul. Dari Persian is not to be confused with Iranian Persian as there are considerable pronunciation differences. Historically, the usage of Dari Persian is closely related to the rise of Islam in the region.


Pashto is the language spoken by most Afghans. It derives from the East Iranian family of languages and is spoken in Kandahar and Kabul, two large Afghan cities. There are two major dialects of this language – Western Pashto and Eastern Pashto. This language is believed to have originated in the sixteenth century.
Dari Persian is considered the more prestigious of the two languages; therefore, many Pashtu’s learn this language as well for business and education purposes. Parvana and her family speak and write Dari. Her father and mother also spoke Pashtu and English because they were educated in England.
Sources

“Dari (Eastern Persian).” Wikipedia. 5 July 2009. Internet. 9 July 2009. < http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Dari_(Eastern_Persian)>.


UCLA Language Materials Project. “The History of Pashto Language.”Afghan Network.

N.D. Internet. 9 July 2009.



< http://www.afghan-network.net/Ethnic- Groups/pashtu-history.html>.

Primary Resources from the Library of Congress

Back to Navigation Bar

Image


Description

Citation

URL



Afghanistan.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g7630+ct001097))






Central Asia: Afghanistan and her relation to British and Russian territories.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g7210+ct001160))




Afghanistan. 1-68.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g7630+ct002555))


Ethnic groups in Afghanistan.

Library of Congress, Geography and Map Division.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/gmd:@field(NUMBER+@band(g7631e+ct001105))






America has provided over $170 million in aid to Afghanistan ...

Us Department of Defense. America has provided over $170 million in aid to Afghanistan. 2001. Prints and Photographs. Lib. Of Congress. 2002. Prints and Photographs Online Catalog. Unprocessed in PR 13 CN 2002:104 [item] [P&P]. 8 July 2009. http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?pp/ils:@filreq(@field(NUMBER+@band(ppmsca+02038)).


http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?pp/ils:@filreq(@field(NUMBER+@band(ppmsca+02038))+@field(COLLID+cph))





Afghanistan. [Harper's new monthly magazine. / Volume 58, Issue 346, March 1879]

Gustafson, Zadel B., “Afghanistan.” Harper’s. March 1879: 616-619.

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/ncpsbib:@field(DOCID+@lit(ABK4014-0058-89_bib))





Detroit, Michigan. Conference between U.S. Army ordnance and washing machine industry officials to determine the ability of manufacturers to produce parts needed by the Army. After inspecting samples, blueprints, and prices were discussed. Land mines, trench mortars, gun clips and gas containers are on display.

Library of Congress, Prints & Photographs Division, FSA-OWI Collection, [reproduction number, LC-USW3-016116-C DLC (b&w film neg.)]

http://memory.loc.gov/cgi-bin/query/r?ammem/fsaall:@field(NUMBER+@band(fsa+8d13370))

Rubric



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Name: ________________________

Teacher: Modglin, Rehn, Walker




Date : ___________________

Title of Work: ___________________




 

Criteria

Points





1

2

3

4

 

Process of final project and presentation

Did not communicate efforts with teacher, did not use primary resource in presentation, unorganized, did not manage time wisely.

Minimally communicated efforts with teacher, did not mention a primary resource in presentation, somewhat organized, did not consistently manage time wisely.

Somewhat communicated efforts with teacher, utilized primary resource in presentation, mostly organized, mostly managed time wisely.

Communicated efforts with teacher, utilized primary resource in presentation, organized, managed time wisely.

____

Product (Project Oral Presentation)

Format, Mechanics of speaking/writing, organization, creativity, demonstration of knowledge of subject not evident

Format, Mechanics of speaking/writing, organization, creativity, demonstration of knowledge of subject all below average.

Format, Mechanics of speaking/writing, organization, creativity, demonstration of knowledge of subject all satisfactory.

Format, Mechanics of speaking/writing, organization, creativity, demonstration of knowledge of subject all excellent.

____


Oral presentation

Visualizations, eye contact, introduction and closure, and voice all not apparent.

Visualizations, eye contact, introduction and closure, and voice all below average.

Visualizations, eye contact, introduction and closure, and voice all satisfactory.

Visualizations, eye contact, introduction and closure, and voice all excellent.

____

 

 

 

 

Total---->

____







Teacher Comments:

 


Handouts

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K-W-L Activity



What you know

What you want to know

What you learned









.

Novel Scavenger Hunt

Using the novel, The Breadwinner, by Deborah Ellis, students will locate information within sections of the novel in order to become familiar with the book and resources available to them as they read.

1. What are the title, author and publisher of the book?

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

2. Describe the clothing the characters are wearing on the cover of the book.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


3. To whom is the book dedicated?

_____________________________________________________________________


4. Locate and read the Author’s note. (near the back of the book). List 3 historical facts that you learned about Afghanistan.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________


5. Locate the glossary. What is the definition of a Karachi? _____________________________________________________________________

What is the definition of the Taliban? _____________________________________________________________________


6. Locate the novel’s literature circle questions. How many questions are there?

_____________________________________________________________________


7. How many chapters are in the book?

_____________________________________________________________________

8. Make a prediction of why you think the book is called “The Breadwinner”.

_______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________




The Breadwinner by Deborah Ellis

Historical Analysis Chapter Reflection

Literature groups will orally present the information gained from primary resources to the class as the chapters are completed. Upon completion of the book they will present their 4 additional category/fact comparisons from the Comparison Chart.

Chapter 1


  1. Using the primary resources from the Library of Congress table, follow the link to examine the first map of Afghanistan and the map of Central Asia. Locate the countries Parvana talks about in chapter 1; Persia, Greece, Arabia, Turkey, Britain and the Soviet (Russia). Why do you feel these countries wanted to take over Afghanistan?



  1. What was Father’s job? In which languages was he literate?



Chapter 2

  1. Using the primary resources from the Library of Congress table, follow the link to the photographs of America has provided over $170 million in aid to Afghanistan… How is Parvana’s description of her home similar to the home pictured in the photograph?



  1. Why does Parvana have to go to get water for the family? Why does the water

have to be boiled?


  1. Why doesn’t the family talk to the neighbors or invite friends over?


  1. Why do the four soldiers burst in the room and take Father away?

Chapter 3


  1. What problem does Parvana and her mother face on their search for Father?



  1. How did they look for Father?



  1. How did Parvana’s mother have to dress? Since Parvana does not have to dress the same way, what privileges does Parvana have?


Chapter 4
  1. What were the effects of the soldier’s beatings on Parvana and her mother?




  1. What are the living conditions by the end of the chapter?




  1. Go to www.loc.gov

Click on Teachers from the Library of Congress homepage. From Teachers, search Afghanistan

Select the second result

Then select Afghan News Network http://www.afghannews.net/

Read a news article from the front page, refugees or human rights.

How have things remained the same as the issues that Parvana’s family dealt with? What has changed?

Chapter 5


  1. Why was Parvana scared to go shopping alone? How were women supposed to

shop?


  1. Why did the Talib hit Parvana with the stick for shopping?



Chapter 6

  1. Why does Parvana go back to the market?



  1. Go to www.loc.gov

Click on World Digital Media

Click on Global Gateway

Click on Portals to the World

Click on Afghanistan

Click on Organizations

Click on the link for http://www.feminist.org/afghan/facts.html

Read the background on the Taliban and women.
Chapter 7


  1. What is special about Parvana that most people in Afghanistan do not have?



  1. What did Parvana do for the Talib?



  1. What did the Talib help her realize?


Chapter 8

  1. How has Mrs. Weera been living?



  1. Why did Maryam go outside? How was the experience for her?


  1. What became a daily routine?




  1. Who did Parvana think she saw in the market?


Chapter 9

  1. How did the family react to Shauzia?



  1. How is Shauzia’s living situation?



  1. What do Mrs. Weera and Mother want to start in the school?

  2. Go to www.loc.gov

Click on Teachers from the Library of Congress homepage. From Teachers, search Afghanistan

Select the second result

Then select Afghan News Network http://www.afghannews.net/

Go to the Human Rights section and search Women’s rights.

Read the article about Afghan women start businesses, help reconstruct a torn nation

How is Afghanistan changing with regards to women working?



Chapter 10

  1. What is a better way to make money for Parvana and Shauzia?



  1. Do they turn in all their money into their families? Why or why not?

  2. Go to the primary resource table and go to the image described as Detroit, Michigan. Conference between U.S. Army… Click on the link in the URL.

Look at the weapons on display and discuss the use of these weapons in the war. What impact did land mines have on Parvana’s family?
Chapter 11

  1. How does Mother react to Parvana’s job?



  1. What has happened between Nooria and Parvana?



  1. What were the soldiers doing to the men and why?

Chapter 12

  1. How is Parvana feeling?





  1. What is Shauzia planning on doing? Why is she in a rush?



  1. What did Parvana really want?



Chapter 13

  1. What do Nooria and Parvana talk about concerning the marriage?



  1. Why is Parvana not going to Nooria’s wedding?



  1. How does Parvana feel with an empty house?



Chapter 14

  1. Who did Parvana meet? What was wrong with this person? What was this person wearing?



  1. Go to http://seattletimes.nwsource.com/news/nation-world/crisis/theregion/veils.html

Look at the various pictures and descriptions of Afghan veils. Describe the differences. What type of veil did Parvana want the woman to wear outside?


  1. What happened in Mazar?



  1. What happened to Parvana after Homa told her what had occurred on Mazar?



  1. Who came home?



Chapter 15

  1. What conditions was father in when he came home?



  1. What was different about Parvana now?



  1. What did Father and Parvana decide to do? What about Mrs. Weera?



  1. What did Parvana do for the window woman?



  1. Before they left Kabul, what does Mrs. Weera show Parvana and her Father?



  1. What agreement to Shauzia and Parvana make?

Chapter questions adapted from

www.scu.edu/ethics/publications/cblp/responsibility/middleschool/breadwinner.pdf


Final Activity Comparison Chart

Go to www.loc.gov

Click on World Digital Library

Click on Global Gateway: Multilingual resources on world culture from the Library of Congress

Click on Portals to the World

Click on USA

Under the picture of the map, click on World Factbook

Select Afghanistan and United States of America

Compare and Contrast the information using the comparison chart.


Fact

Afghanistan

USA

Support/example from The Breadwinner

Geography; Area











People; population










People;

literacy










Government;

Government type










Economy;

Population below poverty line








Choose additional category/facts of interest to your group











Choose additional category/facts of interest to your group










Choose additional category/facts of interest to your group










Choose additional category/facts of interest to your group












Bibliography Page for Extension Activities

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Fiction

Ellis, Deborah. Mud City. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2004.


Ellis, Deborah. Parvana. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2004.
Ellis, Deborah. Parvana’s Journey. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2002.
Non Fiction

Ellis, Deborah. Off to War: Voices of Soldiers’ Children. Toronto: Groundwood Books, 2008


Ellis, Deborah. Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak. Toronto: Douglas & McIntyre, 2004.

Following the reading of the sequel, Parvana’s Journey, describe what happens to the main characters as their life under Taliban rule continues:

Parvana: ________________________________________________________________

Father: ________________________________________________________________

Mother: ________________________________________________________________

Nooria: ________________________________________________________________

Mrs. Weera: _____________________________________________________________

Shauzia: ________________________________________________________________

Compare the information learned through primary resources, The Breadwinner and sequels to the real life accounts of the non-fiction stories, Off to War: Voices of Soldiers’ Children or Three Wishes: Palestinian and Israeli Children Speak.


Teaching with Primary Sources

Illinois State University




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