Resources for K-16 Teachers

Center for African Studies
Center for Global Studies
Center for International Business Education and Research
Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies
Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies
European Union Center
Russian, East European and Eurasian Center

Center for African Studies

The Center for African Studies' Engagement and Outreach Program is designed to increase public knowledge about Africa and
to enhance the broader community's understanding of African peoples and cultures. Our programming serves K-12 schools, community colleges, the media, community groups, the business community, and the general public. For more information, please contact the center at  or visit us online at

The Outreach Council of the African Studies Association announces
2009 Children's Africana Book Award winners

The Outreach Council of the African Studies Association annually salutes the authors and illustrators of outstanding books about Africa published or distributed in the United States for young children and older readers. 

2009 Best Book for Young Children:

One Hen:  How One Small Loan Made a Big Difference
written by Katie Smith Milway and illustrated by Eugenie Fernandes.
(Toronto: Kids Can Press, 2008)

This colorful and informative picture book introduces young children to micro-financing, a loan program that helps budding entrepreneurs in economic-challenged communities. Kojo, the central character in One Hen, uses money from a loan to buy a hen and uses the eggs to build a successful chicken farm. The book is based on the life of Kwabena Darko, one of Ghana’s most successful businessmen. Recently ABC News profiled One Hen, describing it as “A Book That’s Changing the World”

2009 Honor Books for Young Children:

Planting the Trees of Kenya:  The Story of Wangari Maathai
written and illustrated by Claire A. Nivola
(New York, Farrar Straus Giroux Books for Young Readers, 2008)
This inspiring picture book profiles Wangari Maathai, the founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and winner of the 2004 Nobel Peace Prize.

The Butter Man
written by co-authors Elizabeth and Ali Alalou and illustrated by Julie Klear
(Watertown, MA, Charlesbridge Publishing, 2008)

As he prepares couscous for dinner, a father tells his impatient daughter about Berber life in Morocco’s High Atlas Mountains during a time of real hunger.

The Children’s Africana Book Awards were established in 1991 by the Outreach Council of the African Studies Association to encourage the publication and use of accurate, balanced children’s materials on Africa in U.S. schools and libraries.  Sixty books have been honored through 2009.   The jury of seven includes Outreach Council members, specialists in K-12 curriculum development and university-based scholars.  Reviews of nominated titles are published online at  Essays on the winning titles and selected reviews are published each year in Sankofa:  A Journal of African Children’s and Young Adult Literature. 

African Studies’ K-12 Lending Library

The African Studies Outreach Program maintains a lending library of texts and kits that can be loaned out to educators across the country.  Our holdings include books that have received the Childrens’ Africana Book Award, numerous picture books, and an extraordinary collection of children's literature published in Africa during the 1960s and 1970s, which encompasses folk tales, short stories, and more. We have also made an effort to collect teachers' resources and reference texts.

A listing of many of the texts held at the Outreach Library is available online.  The full listing and bibliographic references is still underway.  The texts are arranged by level of readers/audience and title of text.  If you have questions or would like borrow any of these resources, please contact us by phone at  217-244-3648 or email

Celebrating African Women Writers, Spring 2010

From April 4-11, 2010 the Center for African Studies and the Department of Theatre will host an African Women Writers Festival to celebrate the writings – plays, novels, poetry, and short stories – by African women.  In advance of the program, we will coordinate a teachers’ workshop. There will be lots of on-campus programming, and during the visit, these authors, performers, and scholars will be available to visit area schools.  For information, visit:  or email:

Center for Global Studies

The Center for Global Studies (CGS) globalizes the research, teaching, and outreach missions of the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign. CGS is a National Resource Center in Global Studies designated by the U.S. Department of Education. In 2008, CGS was approved by the United Nations as an NGO Affiliate through the UN Department of Public Information.
Global Studies is a multi-disciplinary and interdisciplinary subject area that explores the concept of globalization and the interrelationships of peoples and states.
The Global Studies Virtual Library contains materials related to globalization and global studies and access to numerous resources relevant to this area of study. The library is supported by the University Library and the Center for Global Studies.
To access the “Guide to Resources in Global Studies” page, use the following url:

Finding Materials in Specialized Databases

  • Access World News - News in English from around the world.
  • CIAO (Columbia International Affairs Online) - A wide-ranging source for information on international affairs and policy studies found in full text materials that include working papers from university research institutes, occasional papers series from NGOs, foundation-funded research projects, proceedings from conferences, books, journals and policy briefs.
  • CQ Global Researcher - In-depth coverage of global affairs from a number of international viewpoints, single-topic reports on vital world issues. Contain sections such as "current situation," "pro-con", and "voices from abroad".
  • Ethnic News Watch - Identifies full text access for 200 newspapers and journals of the ethnic, minority, and native press.
  • EIU Country Intelligence - Provides quarterly analysis and forecasts of the political, economic and business environment for nearly 200 countries. Quarterly and annual statistics of at least 150 data points. Country Intelligence contains country reports and profiles, risk ratings, licensing and trading information for the new economies, plus G-8 and regional forecasts. An online newsletter, Business Middle East, is also included.
  • GeoRef - Identifies articles, books and other publications on geology and earth sciences.
  • International Political Science Abstracts - Identifies articles on political science issues such as government theory, political processes, national and area studies.
  • Lexis-Nexis Academic Universe - Full text world publications (news, transcripts).
  • PAIS (Public Affairs Information Service) - Identifies articles, books, websites, statistics, yearbooks, directories, conference proceedings, pamphlets, reports, government documents, and microfiches on political, social, public policy issues from 1915 to date.
  • Web of Science - Includes Science Citation Index, Social Science Citation Index and Arts & Humanities Citation Index.
  • Women's Studies International - Identifies articles, books, chapters, gray literature and media on women's studies and feminism.
  • Worldwide Political Science Abstracts - Identifies articles on political science, international relations, law, public administration/policy and political economy.

Finding Statistical Sources

  • ICPSR - The Inter-university Consortium for Political and Social Research archives a large number of datasets.
  • Eurostats - The European Union collects a large number of statistics about its member countries.
  • SourceOECD - Click the statistics tab at the top of the page for information on both developing and developed economies.
  • United Nations Statistics Division - Compiles economic, development, and environmental statistics from international sources, and provides resources on statistical and data collection methods.  

If you have a reference question, please contact the Global Studies Librarian, Lynne Rudasill (

Center for International Business Education and Research
The Illinois Center for International Business Education and Research (CIBER) is one of 31 national resource centers for international business, and is a leader in designing and delivering programs that equip future business leaders with language skills, cultural awareness, and the specific business skills needed to be at the vanguard of international business management. Funded by a grant from the U.S. Department of Education, Illinois CIBER coordinates seminars and workshops for professional audiences; funds faculty research on international competitiveness; underwrites development and delivery of new business foreign language courses; develops and sponsors overseas experiences for undergraduate and graduate students; supports an annual international business case competition; serves as a resource for the business community through its website, conferences, and consulting; and administers the Certificate in Global Business Culture with Area Specialization. For more information, please contact Lynnea Johnson at or visit our website at
The 31 CIBERs have compiled activities for the K-12 audience in a publication that is available at:  Visit the CIBERweb for more information on international business programs and activities:
The Penn Lauder CIBER and the Wharton School of the University of Pennsylvania is pleased to announce the launch a high school version of its popular online journal Knowledge@Wharton, which reaches 1.25 million subscribers worldwide. Knowledge@Wharton High School (KWHS).  It is a free biweekly site offering articles, videos, podcasts, business-related learning simulations and interactive tools targeted to high school students as well as teachers. The goal is to help the coming generation understand business concepts and the role that business plays in realizing their dreams as well as driving innovation and social change. For more information about KWHS, please visit

Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies
The Center for Latin American and Caribbean Studies at the University of Illinois at Urbana-Champaign and the University of Chicago form a U.S. Department of Education National Resource Center consortium to promote Latin American and Caribbean Studies, teacher training, library resources, and expertise in less commonly taught languages throughout the state and beyond. This joint program hosts annual meetings of the Illinois Conference of Latin Americanists, conducts yearly seminars on topics of mutual concern, exchanges faculty and students, shares distinguished visitors and films, and engages in a variety of K-12 activities for schools and the public. The combined resources of the consortium provide one of the largest concentrations of human and material resources on Latin America in the United States.

Spanish Time consists of bilingual Spanish/English storytelling, live music, and art for children presented at the Urbana Free Library, the second Saturday of the month from 2 to 3 PM.
Dates:   October 11, November 8 and December 13, 2008.
February 14, March 14 and April 11, 2009.



The Américas 2008 Award for Children’s and Young Adult Literature
Yum! ¡Mmmm! ¡Qué Rico! America’s Sproutings by Pat Mora and Rafael Lopez (Lee & Low, 2007). Price $ 11.53 ( Amazon: )
A Haiku celebrating the diversity of edible plants native to the Americas-blueberries, chocolate, prickly pears, pecans and more. Each spread includes an informative paragraph explaining the probable origin, history, and some trivia for the plant described in the poem. (The word pecan, for example, comes from a French word meaning, "nut to be cracked on a rock.") Lopez's vibrant, folklorish illustrations make the book a visual feast, but the haikus are uneven. Some (Chiles: "Dad bites green mouth-fire / laughs when tears fill his eyes, sighs / ‘Mmmm! This heat tastes good' ") evoke the essence of their subject; others (Potato: Underground magic. / Peel brown bundle, mash, pile high. / Salt and pepper clouds) are just confusing. More interesting as social science than as poetry, but visually gorgeous. Kirkus Reviews

Red Glass by Laura Resau (Delacorte, 2007). Price $ 10. 87 (Amazon: )
The author's love for the culture and physical setting of rural Oaxaca and northern Guatemala is shown in beautiful, descriptive detail. Rich, poetic language, elements of the hero quest story pattern, and quotations from St. Exupéry's The Little Prince are braided through this coming-of-age romance as Sophie grows from amorphous onlooker into a strong, risk-taking young woman. Secondary characters, especially the 60-year-old Dika and her "boyfriend," Mr. Lorenzo, are well developed. Readers will sympathize with Pablo and agonize as he chooses whether to stay in Mexico or return to Sophie's family in Arizona. The satisfying love stories and moving glimpse of the immigrant experience make this a captivating read.
Kathleen Isaacs, Towson Universit , MD


University Of Ilinois At Urbana-Champaign  Extension
Volando con Kalami : Una aventura climatica
English/Spanish online resource to teach the weather

RetaNet - Resources for Teaching about the Americas,
Secondary education on Latin America and the Caribbean is the focus of this Web site that offers lesson plans, classroom modules and a multimedia database.

Outreach World
Outreach World is a comprehensive one-stop resource for teaching international and area studies and foreign languages in the pre-collegiate classroom.

The Scholastic web page provides resources for teachers, parents,  children, librarians, and school administrators. The resources include teaching resources, student activities, books, and authors.
Scholastic web pages with different resources to teach different Latin America subjects:
- Scholastic Teachers resources about Latin American books/articles/resources

Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies

The Center for South Asian and Middle Eastern Studies (CSAMES) is a National Resource Center for the teaching of the Middle East and South Asia.  Our Center’s research and teaching covers a very expansive part of the globe, a region that is home to over a quarter of the world’s population, and the cradle of some of the world’s oldest religions and civilizations.  CSAMES' mission is to facilitate scholarship on the Middle East and South Asia by regularly organizing lectures, symposia, conferences, as well as foster a greater understanding among K-12 and community college educators of these regions.  CSAMES has developed K-12 curriculum materials for teachers that focus on cultural, social, traditional and religious issues in these complex and rich regions of the world.  For information on curriculum materials, educator resources, or outreach events, please contact Angela Williams at (217) 333-2258 or

Middle East Outreach Council Book Awards – 2008

Picture Book Category
(Winner) Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad, written and illustrated by James Rumford. (New York: Roaring Brook Press, 2008).  This beautifully illustrated book tells the story of Ali, a young boy who lives in contemporary Baghdad.  Ali loves playing soccer and listening to loud music, but more than that, he loves writing calligraphy.  This celebration of writing and art invokes the story of the master calligrapher Yakut, who lived in Baghdad 800 years ago, also during a time of war.  This timeless story is sure to enchant students and parents alike.

(Honorable Mention) Four Feet, Two Sandals, written by Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed, illustrated by Doug Chayka.  (Grand Rapids, MI: Eerdman’s Books for Young Readers, 2007). When aid workers deliver a shipment of clothes to their refugee camp, both Lina and Ferozi claim a sandal. When Ferozi’s grandmother points out the foolishness of wearing only one shoe, the girls decide to share the pair of shoes by wearing them on alternating days.  This story will engage students and help to put a human face on the plight of refugee children.
(Honorable Mention) The Best Eid Ever, written by Asma Mobin-Uddin, illustrated by Laura Jacobsen.  (Honesdale, PA: Boyds Mills Press, 2007).  The Eid al-Adha (Feast of the Sacrifice) is the biggest holiday in the Islamic calendar, but this year Aneesa’s parents are in far away Saudi Arabia making the pilgrimage to Mecca.  At the mosque, Aneesa meets two young girls, refugees who have just arrived in the U.S. from their war torn country.  Aneesa and her grandmother come up with a plan to help the girls celebrate and make it the best Eid ever.  This book will help students understand the importance of the Eid celebration, as well as the important themes of charity and helping the less fortunate.
Youth Literature (Winner) The Apprentice’s Masterpiece: A Story of Medieval Spain, by Melanie Little. (Annick Press, 2007).  Set in Spain in 1485, this book tells the story of two teens in Cordoba after the reconquest: one is from a Jewish family that has converted to Christianity in the face of the Inquisition, the other a Muslim boy given to them as a slave.  Through short passages written in verse, the tale of these two boys unfolds as they witness the end of Spain’s military campaign against the Moors and face their own uncertain futures in a country flush with nationalistic fervor that views them with suspicion. This book is simply written, but contains powerful and haunting imagery that will engage even adult readers.
Youth Non-fiction (Winner) Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World, by Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi, paintings by Heba Amin. (Lancaster, PA: Global Content Ventures, 2007).  This encyclopedic book provides short pieces on a wide variety of notable women from throughout Islamic history.  From wives of Muhammad to an African poetess to a Turkish fighter pilot to an Indonesian freedom fighter to an Egyptian singer, this book dispels nearly every stereotype about Muslim women, and introduces many famous female role models to a younger audience for the first time.

Middle East Studies Association Albert Hourani Book Award – 2008

Marc David Baer, Honored by the Glory of Islam: Conversion and Conquest in Ottoman Europe, Oxford University Press.  This book is a novel approach to the historical record of Islamic conversions during the Ottoman Age and gathers fresh insights concerning the nature of religious conversion.  Through an integrated reading of previously unexamined Ottoman archival and literary texts, Baer reexamines Mehmed IV's (1648-87) failings as a ruler by underscoring the sultan's zeal for bringing converts to Islam.

Ussama Makdisi, Artillery of Heaven: American Missionaries and the Failed Conversion of the Middle East, Cornell University Press.  In this book, Ussama Makdisi presents a foundational American encounter with the Arab world that occurred in the nineteenth century, shortly after the arrival of the first American Protestant missionaries in the Middle East. By exploring missed opportunities for cultural understanding, by retrieving unused historical evidence, and by juxtaposing for the first time Arab perspectives and archives with American ones, this book counters a notion of an inevitable clash of civilizations and thus reshapes our view of the history of America in the Arab world.

Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies

TThe Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies (EAPS) is the steward of campus-wide teaching, research, programming, and outreach on East Asia, as well as Southeast Asia and the Pacific. EAPS is currently a National Undergraduate Resource Center devoted to the enhancement of campus undergraduate teaching and learning on East Asia and to outreach programming on East Asia for educators, the public, and media and business professionals. EAPS serves over 100 specialists on East Asia, as well as more than 30 off-campus affiliates across the state. For more information, contact Anne Prescott at .

Tucked away on the southeast corner of campus, after a pleasant walk through the Illini Grove, lies a wealth of audiovisual resources for teaching about Asia.  The Asian Educational Media Service (AEMS), a program of the Center for East Asian and Pacific Studies, has been housed at the University of Illinois for 11 years now.  While the main thrust of its services are available nationally and internationally (including an online film database and a film review publication for educators), residents of east central Illinois are privileged to have direct access to the AEMS Media Library and AEMS-sponsored film screenings at the AsiaLENS Documentary Film Series at the Spurlock Museum and the annual Asian Film Festival.

The AEMS Media Library houses a collection of over 1500 items, including DVDs, videotapes, and multimedia curriculum units, from or about virtually every country and region in Asia.  AEMS’s strength is in documentary film, with popular titles such as Daniel Gordon’s film State of Mind, about two young gymnasts in North Korea, and Risa Morimoto’s Wings of Defeat, in which surviving Japanese kamikaze pilots reflect on their youth, as well as rare titles like Shocking Family, on non-traditional families in Korea, and Making Peace With Vietnam, made by philosophy professor Steven Emmanuel.  The library also has a wide-ranging collection of fictional films from Asia, including mainstream popular films and little-known independent features. 

Also available for loan are nearly 200 curriculum units on Asian and other international topics.  AEMS has recently become a Dissemination Center for materials from the Stanford Program on International and Cross-Cultural Education (SPICE).  These extraordinarily well-designed, in-depth units for K-12 levels and above cover such timely issues as “The Road to Beijing” (concerning the hosting of the 2008 Olympic Games), “Democracy-Building in Afghanistan,” and “Feeding a Hungry World: Focus on Rice in Asia and the Pacific.”  History, the arts, literature and other fields are covered as well, by such units as “Along the Silk Road,” an overview of that corridor’s geography and history accompanied by a DVD and audio CD featuring Yo-Yo Ma’s Silk Road Ensemble.  Because SPICE covers more than just Asia, AEMS now has about 25 units on Africa, Eurasia, Latin America and World (General) in addition.

Other popular curriculum units in the AEMS Media Library include “Arts of the Islamic World,” from the Smithsonian’s Freer Gallery of Art and Sackler Gallery, offering an overview of the subject, with full-color reproductions on cardstock and several different lesson plans; “Deai: Lives of Seven Japanese High School Students,” a beautifully produced set of profiles of real Japanese teenagers, presented bilingually, accompanied 100 or so large photo cards illustrating their lives and more than 1000 more photos on CD-ROM; and Film Asia: New Perspectives on Film for English from Australia’s Asia Education Foundation, a set of in-depth lesson plans for use of specific feature films from Asia to teach literature.  A complete list of curriculum units in the AEMS Media Library collection can be found here:

The AEMS Media Library is open to the public and is a member of the Lincoln Trails Library System, the same system that most public libraries and K-12 school libraries in east central Illinois belong to.  Anyone is welcome to apply for a library card at AEMS, and most of the materials are also available to borrowers at other Lincoln Trails libraries through interlibrary loan. 

For more information on the AEMS Media Library, AEMS film screenings, and other AEMS services, please see:

AEMS is located at 805 W. Pennsylvania, Urbana.  For more information, please call 217-265-0642 or 217-265-0640. 

European Union Center

The European Union Center (EUC) serves as a bridge of exchange and understanding between residents of the United States and member states of the European Union (EU).  Since its establishment in 1998 as one of 10 original EU Centers in the U.S., the Center continues to bring together faculty and students from across campus to promote the study of the EU, its institutions and policies, and EU-U.S. relations. Working with other campus units, institutions and over 100 affiliated faculty, the EUC also creates and delivers high-quality programs that serve Illinois businesses, policy makers, high-school teachers and students, and the general public.  As one of the most comprehensive EU Centers in the U.S., the Center is the focal point on campus for teaching, research and outreach programs on the EU. For more information, please contact the center at or visit our website at

Connections -- Illinois and the European Union

The EUC’s new initiative addresses connections between Illinois and the European Union. Thanks to the help of the European Commission Grant “Getting to Know Europe,” the Center has been collecting resources and developing programs that facilitate instruction in related issues important to Illinoisans and Europeans, such as agriculture, biotechnology, business, trade, culture, and mutual heritage.

For a comparative approach to essential issues for Illinois and the EU, visit the EUC’s new website:

Under the sections “For Classroom” and “Culture,” teaching resources can be found on issues of agriculture, coal mining, biotechnology, trade data, European heritage in Illinois, and links for further information about connecting with EU member state clubs and sister city partnerships.

The “For Classroom” page includes interactive materials, such as games and statistical trade Web sites. “The Great Corn Adventure” and “Farmland – The Game” give an Illinois and EU perspective on agriculture and teach students about the traditions and programs in each region. Both WISERtrade and Tradestats Express offer up-to-date data on trade between the EU and Illinois. Each site allows for students to select specific parameters for searching for trade data, down to the EU member state or U.S. state. Maps, charts, graphs and tables can be created with selected results. The second part of the “For Classroom” page is dedicated to lesson plans and classroom ideas dealing with the EU, Illinois, and related themes.

The Connections “Culture” page includes materials from the “Illinois History Teacher.” Articles from this publication provide many details about different settlers in Illinois from most EU member states. The “Culture” page also includes organizations concerning different EU countries, and these Web sites often list upcoming cultural events. To facilitate exchange with different European communities, an extensive sister city list is included, along with information about creating sister city exchanges.

Additional EU materials for teachers include multi-media items and online sources of information for use inside and outside the classroom. The European Commission publishes many teaching tools on its website One such booklet is entitled “United in Diversity.” ( This publication depicts drawings of each EU member state and illustrations of significant figures and images that represent the country well. Each page can be used to learn more about the culture, agriculture, exports, and history of an EU member state, and many country pages incorporate icons that relate to the products or traditions of Illinois and the U.S.

Different organizations have also created many videos that inform listeners about how the EU works and the history of the EU. The “Great Decisions Television Series,” part of the Foreign Policy Association, produced an excellent 30-minute program on the EU at 50. ( This video focuses primarily on how the EU and the U.S. compare as financial and governmental forces in the world, and the video includes expert reports from American scholars.

Just as the designs on U.S. currency have been revamped in recent years, the euro is becoming a personalized symbol of the European Union. The Commission’s “Traveling Euro Exhibit” ( features information about the currency of the EU, from the history of money in Europe to information about the artwork on coins and bills.

The Commission’s publication “Let’s Explore Europe!” ( gives basic information about the EU, its programs, and Europe’s history, geography and culture. This booklet is useful for younger students or students in foreign language courses. To test one’s knowledge, the Commission has developed an online quiz that accompanies each chapter in the booklet. Many of the topics, including agriculture, trade, and infrastructure, relate to similar hot topics in Illinois.

For more information about European Union teaching resources, please contact Sebnem Ozkan, the European Union Center’s Outreach Coordinator, at or 217-244-0570.

Russian, East European and Eurasian Center

The Russian, East European, and Eurasian Center is a U.S. Department of Education-designated National Resource Center, committed to providing information and service to K-16 teachers. If you are interested in the center’s workshops, onsite presentations, or curricular materials, please contact the center at or visit The Web site features a special section for K-12 teachers under Outreach, which includes an extensive annotated bibliography of resources, information on the center’s multimedia lending library, annotated links to relevant Web sites, and more.

REEEC is dedicated to promoting area study within the context of international education and providing resources to assist educator in developing innovative curriculum.  All materials are lent out free of charge.

New DVD Resources
Russian Feminism DVD, Indiana University Press
This DVD portrays how Russians and Americans collaborated in reviving women’s activism in the USSR and post-Soviet Russia and in creating Russian women’s studies on both sides of the ocean. The film is based on interviews with 18 experts who were engaged in this project, including activists and scholars. Participants assess the project’s successes and failures since the days of glasnost and discuss the stiff challenges that Russian feminists face in the Putin-Medvedev era.
Mongol: The Rise of Genghis Khan DVD, Tadanobu Asano
History knows him as Genghis Khan, but before he became a warlord, he was simply a man named Temudgin. Asano Tadanobu portrays Temudgin in director Sergei Bodrov's sweeping, Academy Award nominated epic full of breathtaking landscapes and bloody battles that follows the Mongol warrior as he escapes the shackles of bondage, finds love and rises to become the general who would create history's most powerful empire.
4 Months, 3 Weeks and 2 Days DVD, Anamaria Marinca
Two college roommates have 24 hours to make the ultimate choice as they finalize arrangements to meet a black market doctor for an illegal abortion. What follows is their harrowing descent into a world in where danger, darkness and tragedy lurk around every corner.
Krzysztof Kieslowski's Dekalog [5-Disc Set] (Polish with English subtitles)
The entire 10-episode "Dekalog" mini series on 5 discs, each episode based on one of the Ten Commandments.
San zimske noci (First production)
Goran Paskaljevic's Midwinter Night's Dream (San zimske noci) is the story of a man, Lazar, who returns home from ten years in prison on a murder charge to find his home occupied by two Bosnian refugees, a single mother and her autistic daughter. The film will doubtlessly generate discussion for its frank admission of Serbia's culpability in war crimes and its stark documentary portrayal of contemporary life in Serbia.
Zemlja istine, ljubavi i slobode (MegaCom Film)
It's spring of 1999. Belgrade is being bombed. The psychiatric department has been moved into an atomic shelter that is left without electricity. Under the candle lights and with sounds of detonations blasting in distance, we find a patient without diagnosis. Boris, a young video editor who had survived bombing of Radio Television of Serbia. This film is a partly funny and partly scary story about moral state of human beings who are inhabiting the Land of Truth, Love and Freedom.
The longest siege during World War II was that of Leningrad, which lasted for 900 days, from September 1941 to January 1944, when Hitler attempted to starve the Soviet city of three million people into submission. Comprised solely of rarely-seen footage found in Soviet film archives by director Sergei Losnitsa, BLOCKADE vividly re-creates those momentous events, featuring a meticulously reconstructed, state-of-the-art soundtrack added to the original black-and-white silent footage. The result gives viewers the eerie impression of being a participant in the events as they unfold on the streets of Leningrad.

New and Updated Lesson Plans

Primary: Matryoshka Doll Lesson Plan (Grades 3-5), English Language Arts
Intermediate: Brundibar (Grade  4), Social Studies; Flags of Eastern Europe Internet Research Activity (Grades 5-8), Language Arts/ Technology; Luba and the Wren by Patricia Polacco (Grades 3-5), English Language Arts; Currency of Countries Internet Research Activity (Grades 6-8), Language Arts/ Technology; Pysanki: Imperial Eggs (Grades 5-7), Social Studies; Introduction to Russia (Grades 3-6), Social Studies
Upper Level: Geography of Eastern European Countries: Internet Games-based Lesson Plan (Grades 7-12), Social Studies; Teaching About WWII (Grades 8-12), Social Studies; Kyrgyz Republic (Grades 9-11), Social Studies

Other Thematic Studies Centers at Illinois

Program in Arms Control, Disarmament and International Security
Web site:
Phone: 217-333-7086
Fax: 217-244-5157


Women and Gender in Global Perspectives

Web site:
Phone: 217-333-1994