STARTALK Urdu Model Student Curricula

STARTALK Central has adapted six of the STARTALK model curricula to provide support for Urdu student programs in the curriculum development process. The models were created around two general themes—travel and identity—and provide sample templates which demonstrate how these themes might be implemented with different age groups and proficiency levels in the Urdu classrooms. Those involved in creating the models drew upon existing program curricula, and the models capture best practices observed in various STARTALK programs during site visits. The STARTALK model Urdu curricula are intended as examples only. Programs will still have to adjust what is provided to meet the specific needs of their students. The intention was to offer representative samples of learning experiences, with the understanding that teachers would adapt the sample experiences to meet the various linguistic and cultural requirements of their individual classrooms.

You can navigate through the STARTALK Urdu model curricula using the navigation links that list the titles of each STARTALK Urdu model curriculum. This will allow you to view an overview and details about the curriculum in a table below and then click on the link for the curriculum title to download the curriculum as a PDF.

Title Oh, the Places We Will Visit! Tourist and Traveler
Language Urdu
Grade 6-12
Target Proficiency Level Novice High/Intermediate Low
Targeted Performance Level Intermediate Low/Intermediate Mid

A group of friends signed up for an excursion to the Kashf Foundation in Lahore. The group found an exciting option that they will pursue with their parents’ permission. This excursion goes beyond the typical sightseeing expedition by taking them to Lahore, Karachi, and Islamabad. In Lahore they will visit the Kashf Foundation. This was the first specialized microfinance program in Pakistan established in 1999 to specifically target women from low income communities, which has now transformed itself into the first wealth management company for women from low income households. The organization focuses on enhancing the role that women can play in improving the economic status of their families by building their entrepreneurship skills through access to business loans, improving their financial management skills by delivering financial education trainings and reducing family level contingencies by providing micro-insurance services.

Students first spend a week traveling to Karachi to see to landmarks like the Quaid-e-Azam House, Wazir Mansion, Shri Swaminaryan Mandir, and other historical sites, and Islamabad tovisit the Gate of Pharwala Fort, the Mosque at Gulshan Dadan Khan, and Purana Qila. Next, they spend three days with a local family in Lahore where they can practice their language skills and gain an understanding of family life. They will also visit historical sites like Shahi Qila, Badshahi Mosque, Shalimar Gardens, the shrine of Data Darbar, as well as important places such as the inner city and the Lahore Museum. During their stay, they write daily blog posts describing their adventures and include photos that document their journey. The International Rotary Club in Karachi wants them to give lunchtime speeches about their experiences. They plan to bring artifacts and photos to supplement their presentations. Afterwards, they will interact with the members by answering questions and conversing about the trip. This presentation will be part of the final STARTALK program celebration for parents, friends, and community members.

Title Our Identities—Our Heroes
Language Urdu
Grade 6-12
Target Proficiency Level Novice High
Targeted Performance Level Novice High/Intermediate Low

Students will work with appropriate media and script-based texts that portray Malala Yousafzai who, as a young teenager in Pakistan, stood up against violence from the Taliban in order to promote peace and education for all. Students will explore who she is, where she lives, her heritage, and her contributions to society, particularly the right for girls to have the opportunity to get an education. In the process of learning about and discussing Malala’s and other heroes’ contributions, students will consider their own responsibilities at home and in their communities. Students will be able to introduce themselves by giving biographical details and will be able to talk about their interests and activities and the people, places, and things that really matter to them.

They will take part in a field trip to meet individuals involved in the local community work and identify how various individuals are working to create a better future. They will work together to tell the story of this modern-day Pakistani hero and compare it to another hero (real or fictional, such as the Burqa Avenger). They will explore short biographical texts and video about the chosen heroes or important people, to learn who they are, where they live, their nationality and their heritage, and students will consider what constitutes heroism at home and in the target communities.

Title Oh, The Places We Will Visit! Travel Camp Abroad
Language Urdu
Grade 6–12
Target Proficiency Level Novice High
Targeted Performance Level Novice High/Intermediate Low

Students will plan a trip to Swat Valley, Pakistan, an ideal place for a summer camp in the foothills of the Hindu Kush range and Himalayas. It is located in the Khyber Pakhtunkhwa Province in the northern area of Pakistan. It is a place of great natural beauty and is popular with tourists as "The Switzerland of Pakistan".1 They will go to sightsee and to participate in a nature exploration camp with other teenagers from around the world. They will explore various tourist options as well as try to locate places that appeal to them, such as River Swat, the spectacular waterfalls, lush green hills and lakes of Kalam Valley, Malam Jabba; the famous ski resort near the Karakoram mountain range, and Mingora, Saidu Sharif which has the most famous Buddhist shrines like “the stupa”.

Before leaving on the trip, they will need to make preparations. Where will they go? What will they see? They will learn about the mountain ranges of the Hindu Kush, Himalayas, and Karakoram, some of the landmarks, the geography, and the climate. At home in the United States, they will practice greeting others, using courtesy expressions and culturally appropriate gestures, making introductions, and talking about themselves and their preferences. They will make and taste some authentic foods, and they will apply for necessary travel documents. They are excited to travel the country with other pre-teens and teenagers who have similar interests. Swat offers opportunities for adventurous activities, e.g. skiing, fishing, rock climbing, trekking and rafting, and for nature exploration.

In addition, although local tourist agencies and community centers offer opportunities to participate in their projects and activities related to environment and health issues, there are no resources online and/or in the social media about such activities. Students will design camps with activities and locations they will be interested, they write comments on existing webpages (such as on bookingfare.com) and will help local organizations establish online or Facebook presence.

Title Oh, The Places We’ll Go! (Heritage)
Language Urdu (Heritage)
Grade 9-12
Target Proficiency Level Intermediate Mid
Targeted Performance Level Intermediate High

Students plan a trip to a place where Urdu is spoken. Working in small groups, they select Karachi, the largest and most populous metropolitan city of Pakistan. They start making preparations (securing travel documents, creating an itinerary, planning how to get to Karachi, Pakistan) where they choose to help the local people with an environmental problem by working side-by-side with them to improve life in the community.

Students begin by setting a date for the trip and planning a schedule that outlines tasks that need to be completed prior to the trip. They identify resources needed to complete a timeline and tasks and agree on the person responsible for each task. Students then spend time researching various locations, visiting websites, watching videos of the region, and exploring volunteering options and identifying problems in the place of their choosing for discussion.

Once students have collected the information and completed each of the steps for the trip planning, they use this information to prepare a multimedia presentation that will convince educators and potential funders of the educational value of the trip, a trip that will build international understanding while increasing opportunities for cultural exchange. Students present their final projects to a group of interested school officials and to their parents.

Title Oh, The Places We’ll Go!
Language Urdu
Grade K–8
Target Proficiency Level Novice Mid
Targeted Performance Level Novice Mid/Novice High
Students plan a trip to Gilgit-Baltistan, which is the northernmost administrative territory of Pakistan. Students begin by setting a date for the trip and planning a schedule that outlines tasks that need to be completed prior to the trip. They identify resources needed to complete a timeline of tasks and agree on the personal responsibility for each task. Students then spend time researching locations, visiting websites, watching videos of the region, and exploring the possibility of volunteering in a nature preserve or other situation. Depending on their interests, students choose one experience in which they want to help to improve life in the community by working side-by-side with them. Once students have collected the information and completed each of the steps for the trip planning, they use this information to prepare a multimedia presentation that will convince educators and potential funders of the educational value of the trip, a trip that will build international understanding while increasing opportunities for cultural exchange. Students present their final projects to a group of interested school officials and their parents.
Title My World
Language Urdu
Grade K–8
Target Proficiency Level Novice High
Targeted Performance Level Novice High/Intermediate Low
Students will be able to introduce themselves by giving basic biographical details about themselves and their families and will be able to talk about their interests and activities. They will consider the world as a global village of one hundred people and will be able to say and recognize some simple facts about that village—number of people on each continent, number of animals in a village, number of computers, TVs, et cetera. They will consider representative images from Material World to talk about what people have and don’t have. They will discuss items that all children need, such as food, water, clothing and housing. They will take part in virtual field trips to various markets where they will comment on items, indicating likes and dislikes and agreeing on whether it is something that they need or want. They will be able to comment on where items they own are from and locate those places on a world map. They will identify one or two items that are very important to them and give simple reasons why.

The six STARTALK Urdu model curricula are listed in a single document that can be downloaded in a PDF format from this link:
Urdu Model Curricula PDF

Instructional Resource(s): 

  • Student

Language(s): 

  • Urdu

Proficiency Level(s): 

  • Novice
  • Intermediate

Teaching Experience: 

  • Beginning
  • Experienced

Material Type(s): 

  • Curricula

Grade Level(s): 

  • K-2
  • 3-5
  • 6-8
  • 9-12

TELL Domain(s): 

  • Planning

STARTALK Principle(s): 

  • Standard-Based Curriculum
  • Integration of Culture, Content, Language