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Technology-rich, standards-based lessons for upper elementary and middle school
Salat: Prayer in Muslim Life



Prayer is a central feature of every religion, and even non-religious people may pray as a spiritual practice or a form of meditation. In this lesson, students examine the role of prayer in the lives of Muslims, who pray at five specific times each day in a practice known as salat (alternate spelling: salah), one of the Five Pillars of Islam.

A RELIGION & ETHICS NEWSWEEKLY video presents an interview with a Muslim who talks about the centrality of prayer in his life. Students learn about Muslim prayer practices and write about and reflect on the role of tradition in their own lives.

Time Allotment: Two to three 45-minute class periods, with additional time for discussion and culminating activities as needed

Subject Matter: Social Studies; English/Language arts; Religion

Learning Objectives
Students will be able to:
  • Recognize the centrality of salat, or worship conducted five times daily, in the Islamic faith;
  • Understand that salat incorporates special formalized movements and postures as well as formal prayers from the Qur'an chanted in prescribed ways;
  • Differentiate between formal and personal Muslim prayer practices;
  • Understand the importance of the Qur'an in daily worship;
  • Reflect on the importance of ritual and tradition in their own lives.


Behavioral Studies
    Standard 1, Level III, Benchmark 1
      1. Understands that each culture has distinctive patterns of behavior that are usually practiced by most of the people who grow up in it.

    Standard 2, Level II, Benchmark 3
      3. Understands that different groups have different expectations for how their members should act.

    Standard 4, Level II, Benchmarks 6
      6. Knows various forms that institutions take (e.g., religious, social, political).
Language Arts
    Standard 7, Level II, Benchmarks 1, 5-6
      1. Uses reading skills and strategies to understand a variety of informational texts (e.g., textbooks, biographical sketches, letters, diaries, directions, procedures, magazines).

      5. Summarizes and paraphrases information in texts (e.g., includes the main idea and significant supporting details of a reading selection).

      6. Uses prior knowledge and experience to understand and respond to new information.
    Standard 7, Level III, Benchmarks 1, 6
      1. Gathers data for research topics from interviews (e.g., prepares and asks relevant questions, makes notes of responses, compiles responses).

      6. Organizes information and ideas from multiple sources in systematic ways (e.g., time lines, outlines, notes, graphic representations).
Listening and Speaking
    Standard 8, Level II, Benchmarks 1-4, 11, 12
      1. Contributes to group discussions.

      2. Asks questions in class (e.g., when he or she is confused, to seek others' opinions and comments).

      3. Responds to questions and comments (e.g., gives reasons in support of opinions, responds to others' ideas).

      4. Listens to classmates and adults (e.g., does not interrupt, faces the speaker, asks questions, summarizes or paraphrases to confirm understanding, gives feedback, eliminates barriers to effective listening).

      11. Listens for specific information in spoken texts (e.g., plot details or information about a character in a short story read aloud, information about a familiar topic from a radio broadcast).

      12. Understands the main ideas and supporting details in spoken texts (e.g., presentations by peers or quest speakers, a current affairs report on the radio).
Media Components

Muslim Prayer
Web Sites: Materials

For teachers:
  • Board and/or chart paper
  • Ideally, a screen on which to project the video
  • Handouts of Web resources if computers are not available in the classroom

For students: Prep for Teachers

Prior to teaching the lesson, review all of the Web sites and video segments used in the lesson to make certain that they are appropriate for your students. Bookmark the Web sites used in the lesson on each computer in your classroom, or upload them to an online bookmarking utility such as Download the Acrobat Reader plug-in from to each computer in your classroom. Download the free RealPlayer plug-in from to play the video clips.

Download, print, and copy all of the student organizers listed above for each student in your classroom.

Prerequisite: Before beginning this lesson, be sure to do the Introductory Activity from the "Religion and the First Amendment" lesson with your class.