Valley Teacher Kelsey Hudson Wins Award for “Impact of Islam” Lesson Plan

Kelsey Hudson

Valley High School social studies teacher Kelsey Hudson.

Valley High School social studies teacher Kelsey Hudson received the Don Fett Award for Outstanding Lesson Design at the Iowa Council for the Social Studies Conference on Oct. 2. Hudson’s lesson plan, “The Impact of Islamic Iberia on Western Civilization,” seeks to help students understand the importance of medieval Andalusian achievements through a Document-Based Question.

She designed the lesson after noticing growing concerns regarding misinformation and bias towards the contributions of Islam to our world. The lesson challenges students to analyze multiple sources from and about Al-Andalus in order to form an argument about how the achievements of Islamic Iberia diffused and eventually influenced European History.

“Islamophobia is a trending issue at the state, national, and international level,” Hudson said in her application. “In order to dispel inaccurate information about Islam, (students) need to be aware of not only the history of Islam and of the actual religious practices of Muslims but also of the outstanding achievements made during the ‘Islamic Golden Age’ Caliphates.”

Congratulations to Hudson on her accomplishment and her continued commitment to the students at Valley High School. Watch for more information about this lesson as Hudson prepares to teach it in her classes this November.

(Valley High School teacher Lori Hinton contributed to this article.)