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Lesson Plans
Exploring the Spirit of Islam, Ramadan, and the Hajj
Overview Procedures for Teachers Organizers for Students


Procedures for teachers is divided into three sections:
Prep -- Preparing for the lesson
Steps -- Conducting the lesson


Prep



Media Components

Computer Resources:
  • Dreamweaver or other Web-authoring software (optional)
  • Modem: 28.8 Kbps or faster.
  • Browser: Netscape Navigator 3.0 or above or Internet Explorer 3.0 or above.
  • IBM-compatible computer: 386 or higher processor with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 3.1. Or, a 486/66 or Pentium with at least 16 MB of RAM, running Windows 95.
  • Macintosh computer: System 7.0 or above and at least 16 MB of RAM

Bookmarked sites:

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Steps

Introductory Activity:


1. Ask students: "How do people celebrate their religions? What types of religious holidays do you observe?" Ask volunteers to describe symbols and festivities surrounding student-celebrated holidays.

2. Tell the students that in this lesson, they will be learning about a religion practiced by one in every five people on Earth: Islam. They will first study the basics of the religion and then research two important Islamic holidays. Finally, they will share what they've learned by creating a Web site.

Learning Activities:

Activity One

1. In this activity, students will explore Islam, the religion. Tell them that because there is a vast amount of information tied to the topic, they will be working in cooperative groups. Each group will research a facet of Islam and share what it has learned with the class. Also, remind students that they will be using the information they've collected to create a Web site at the end of the lesson, so they should keep their research in good order for later use. The PBS series, ISLAM: EMPIRE OF FAITH, is a great way to provide the students with background information on the life and times of Muhammad and the spread of Islam. Check local PBS station listings for times, and visit the show's Web site at www.pbs.org/islam for more information.

2. Provide each student with a copy of the Web Sites for Research Organizer. They will need to refer to this handout throughout the lesson. Begin the activity by dividing students into eight groups, and assign each group one of the following topics. A printable version of these topics is available in the Activity One Organizer.

3. Each group should create a handout for the other students. This handout should include the question the group was researching, as well as definitions of new vocabulary. Also, encourage students to include an interesting fact or detail that they came across during their research.

4. Each group should then present their information to the class.

5. After the presentations, ask the class to discuss what they learned about Islam. What did they find most interesting? What surprised them? What new vocabulary did they learn? What main principles are found in the religion?

6. Tell the students that they will now create a mural that illustrates what they have learned. This mural can contain text, cutouts from newspapers and magazines, or student-generated images. Before beginning, have students make a plan of their work. Students should consider whether they want to create a huge, whole-class mural or break the frieze into sub-group, or even individual, illustrations combined to form one wall painting.

7. Once the students complete their mural, display it somewhere in your classroom or school. Have students create a caption for their mural which includes a title and descriptive paragraph.

Activity Two

1. Now the children will explore two of Islam's major events/celebrations in more detail. The two major religious events of Islam are referred to in the pillars. Question students as to what these events are (Ramadan and the Hajj.) What do the students remember about these events from Activity One?

2. Divide your classroom into two groups, one will study Ramadan and the other, the Hajj. Ask each group to appoint a research facilitator. Give each of the Ramadan group members a copy of the Ramadan Organizer, and each member of the Hajj group a copy of the Hajj Organizer. The facilitators should divide the questions up among the group members, and is responsible for ensuring all the questions on the organizers are researched.

3. Once the students are done researching, each group should meet and decide how it would like to present its information to the other group, and then give its presentation. Encourage students to ask questions during the presentations.

Activity Three

1. Ask students to invite a Muslim to come in and speak to the class.

2. Before the guest comes in, students should prepare a list of questions. Ask them to think about unanswered questions still surrounding the Islamic religion or holidays or thoughtful, considerate questions regarding their guest's experience a as practicing Muslim in America.

3. Afterwards, students should write a thank you letter to the speaker. Note: If you are unable to invite a Muslim guest, go to http://www.mepc.org/specialists/ to see a list of specialists and their contact information. Scroll down to see a listing by area of specialty. Your class may be able to contact one of these experts via email to ask questions.

Culminating Activity/Assessment:

1. Tell students that in this activity they will have an opportunity to organize and share their research and thoughts on Islam, Ramadan, and the Hajj by creating a Web site.

2. As a class, ask students to identify their mission for the Web site and their intended audience. Record this information on a piece of chart paper.

3. Ask students to identify information that this audience might find useful to know. What questions might the intended audience have about Islam? Students should also consider the information that is already available on the Web.

4. The next step will be deciding on the major categories of information they would like to communicate. These major categories should all be links from the homepage. Then assign students to categories depending on their interests. One group should be assigned to work on the homepage, which should include the mission statement of the site and links to the major categories they have decided on as a class.

5. Students should then break into groups based on their categories and do the following:
  • Identify the sub topics they will cover on their page
  • Identify the format-e.g., prose, question and answer, etc.
  • Identify any graphics they would like to include
  • Identify places where it might be helpful to link to another page on the site

6. Students should reconvene as a class, and talk about the design of the site--Do they want the pages to have the same color scheme? Layout? If so, they should generate a list of style guidelines for the site, e.g., colors used, fonts sizes used, font used, size of headlines.

7. Each group should sketch their pages, showing what content, images, and navigation will be on their area of the site. As they create, they should keep the style guidelines in mind. It might help to give students a template from which to work to keep the html page structure simple.

8. Students should then write the content of their pages on the computer, being careful not to copy verbatim from reference sites. They may want to include a list of links to other sites that they found informative.

9. Using Dreamweaver (free trial versions are available for dowload) or another web authoring tool, students should create their Web site. Note to teacher: locate server space for the Web site, and help students upload the site by ftping the files.

10. Once their Web site is up on the Web, students should proofread all pages and test all their links.

11. Finally, invite other classrooms to view your Web site.




Overview | Procedures for Teachers | Organizers for Students

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