Iran History Lesson Plan

Instructor: Artem Cheprasov

Artem has a doctor of veterinary medicine degree.

This lesson plan uses numerous mini activities, an activity, and extension to ensure your students come away with a good foundational understanding of Iranian history.

Learning Objectives

Upon completion, students should be able to:

  • define important terms related to Iranian history
  • understand the importance various empires and people played in Iranian history


60-120 minutes without the activity


  • Handouts of the following lessons (one per student):
  • An unlabeled map of the world
  • Images or videos of various ethnic groups, their customs, cultures, dress, etc.
  • An unlabeled map of Iran
  • Colored pencils
  • Paper and art supplies for creating the visual timeline

Curriculum Standards


Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary of the source distinct from prior knowledge or opinions.


Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary specific to domains related to history/social studies.


Describe how a text presents information (e.g., sequentially, comparatively, causally).


Warm Up

  • Project or show an unlabeled map of the world onto the screen.
  • Ask your students:
    • Where is Iran?
    • Where was the Persian Empire?


  • Pass out handouts of the following lesson's text:
  • Read the lesson together as a class, then discuss:
    • What language is spoken in Iran?
    • What religion is practiced in Iran?
    • Describe the Persian Empire and show where its various boundaries lay on a map
    • Of what importance were the early caliphates to Iran's history?
    • What was the Safavid Dynasty?
    • Why was the CIA involved in Iran?
    • Who or what is a Shah?
    • Who was Ayatollah Khomeini?
  • Answer any remaining questions before passing out handouts of the lesson:
  • Read this together, then discuss:
    • Fill in the blank: the majority of Iranians are _____.
    • Show students images and/or videos of these various ethnic groups, their customs, cultures, dress, and so forth.
  • Mini-activity:
    • Students should be given an unlabeled map of Iran and colored pencils. They should work in pairs or small teams of 3-4 to research and then map out the where Iran's various ethnic groups mentioned in this lesson predominantly reside using color coding.

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