Muslim Holidays–With a Freebie!
I must start off with a big thank you for all the birthday wishes. I hope you enjoyed your birthday presents. In addition to all of the amazing birthday wishes, I also received some amazing feedback from all of you, which is sometimes the best present of all. If you missed out on the big giveaway, check out my Facebook page to see what everyone received.
For those of you who are unaware, I currently live and work in Morocco. Morocco is a Muslim country, and we just celebrated one of the biggest Muslim holidays, Eid al Adha. You can read about my personal experiences with this holiday on my personal blog – Journey to Morocco. (Warning, there are a few graphic pictures of sheep sacrifice, which is an important part of the holiday.) Because of Eid I was off Monday and Tuesday, but we are in school Wednesday – Friday. Also because of Eid, lots of kids did not come to school today, as they are still traveling with their families (6 in my class alone!). I knew this would happen, so I did not want to do the classic weekly center packet that I do for my class. Instead, I decided to get a jump start on our Social Studies topic for this month, which coincided nicely with the holiday – Muslim Stories & Holidays. (We follow the AERO standards for Social Studies because we are an overseas school.)
So, I decided to make a Muslim Holidays center packet, which is what we are doing this week. I started out the day by letting kids write about how they had celebrated Eid. (Not all of my students are Muslim, but all experienced Eid in one way or another, even if it was just seeing all the sheep around the streets.) Then, I read the book called Celebrating Ramadan. It is a good book to talk about Muslim Holidays, especially Ramadan, but it is also a good overview of Islam overall. We reviewed some of the topics we had touched on last week, the Quran, prayer etc. We also talked about some new topics, like the lunar calendar, and traditions we have during the big 3 holidays: Ramadan, Eid al Iftr and Eid al Adha. You can find a link to this book on my Shelfari profile.
Once we finished the read aloud (and specials), we began our center packets. These packets could be done in a few different ways, but since we have 3 days, I decided to do one section each day. Today, we did the Ramadan section. My kids decorated prayer rugs, made prayer rug patterns, wrote about waiting, drew pictures of common Ramadan words (sunrise, sunset, quran etc.) and read a small paragraph about Ramadan and answered questions. They did really well with it, and I was excited at what they could tell me at the end of the day (especially those who come form non-Muslim homes.)
Tomorrow, we will talk about Eid al Iftr, the celebration at the end of Ramadan by counting with crescents, drawing our Iftr feast, writing about charity, reading a recipe and talking about traditional Foods. On Friday, we will talk about Eid al Adha (the one we just celebrated) which is often called the Celebration of the Sacrifice, and commemorates Abraham’s willingness to sacrifice his son for god. Friday’s centers will be to subtract using sheep, to create a sheep, to write about sacrifice, to sort the long E words (for a sheep) and to read an abbreviated version of the Quran story.
I know most of those who read this blog won’t be teaching about Muslim Holidays to satisfy your Social Studies curriculum. However, if you would like to use this packet for a Word Celebrations day or to teach your students about other cultures, feel free to grab it HERE from my TPT Store for FREE.