Date of Graduation


Document Type


Degree Type



College of Education and Human Services


Curriculum & Instruction/Literacy Studies

Committee Chair

Joy F Saab

Committee Co-Chair

Samuel Stack

Committee Member

Roxann Humbert

Committee Member

John Oughton

Committee Member

Nathan Sorber

Committee Member

Michael Vercelli


This study aimed to build on previous research by creating a multidisciplinary unit of study incorporating music, dance, folk literature, and cultural highlights that originate from the Middle East - coupled with virtual field trips to areas in the region to give greater depth to the students' understanding of the Middle East and its people. The study was completed with rural upper-elementary students in West Virginia who were participating in a summer program aimed at low-income students to assist them in increasing or maintaining reading levels over summer break, as well as providing two meals a day. Initial and endpoint data were collected using an anonymous poll delivered through PollEverywhere that was meant to measure participant perceptions of the Middle East at each of those points, with audio transcripts of the lessons, field notes, and surveys collected by the researcher. An observer and the camp site coordinator provided observations which served as additional sources of data to track perceptions throughout the study. Results did indicate a positive change in participant reactions to the lesson activities related to Middle Eastern culture after participation in these educational activities.