by E al-Adha — Eid al-Adha is the second of two major holidays observed by Muslims Eid al-Adha coincides with the last day of Hajj. Both Eid Glossary%20of%20Terms.pdf.
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1Why Do We Study Different Cultures? As our city becomes more and more diverse, the likelihood of interacting with people of other cultures is very high. Because of this, it is increasingly important that we learn to respect and show empathy toward other cultures and to understand their beliefs and ways of doing things. Appreciation of other cultures requires nurturing our sense of tolerance and acceptance. The more we understand and appreciate each other, the more we strengthen the social fabric of our city and our schools. Connection to NYC Social Studies Curriculum/NYS Framework for Social StudiesOf the ten unifying social studies themes identi˜ed within the NYSED Social Studies Standards and Curriculum Guide, there are two that reference culture: Ł Individual Development and Cultural Identity. Ł Development, Movement, and Interaction of Cultures. These themes reinforce culture as essential to the study of social studies and history. They include learning about aspects of culture, such as belief systems, religious faith, or political ideals as in˚uences on other parts of a culture. 1 Only through the study of culture can students come to understand the beliefs, values, institutions, behaviors, traditions, and way of life of a group of people. Most importantly, in a multicultural, democratic society and an increasingly interconnected world, students are served well if they understand the multiple perspectives and complexities of cultural systems. All students are enriched by studying culture. Young learners can explore cultural groups through social studies as they interact with class members and discover culturally based likenesses and differences. They can identify the celebrations and ways of life in their community and in examples from across the world. In the later grades, students can explore the nature and development of various cultures and cultural identity throughout history. Teaching about Religion and Culture in Public School The First Amendment protects students™ rights to practice religion. In following the First Amendment, schools should be ﬁneutral among religionsﬂ and should not ﬁrestrict religious freedom.ﬂ 2 Therefore, when teaching about religion and religious practices in school, teachers should be careful not to denigrate 1 New York State K-12 Social Studies Framework (November 2014) http://www.engageny.org/resource/new-york-state-k-12-social- studies-framework.2 C. Whittaker, S. J. Salend, and H. Elhoweris, ﬁReligious diversity in schools: Addressing the issues.ﬂ Intervention in School and Clinic , (2009) 44(5), 314-319.
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2a particular religion or promote another faith. It is important to present lessons about cultural practices and religious traditions that are supported by factual information, are free from bias, and demonstrate understanding and inclusiveness. It is equally important to incorporate lessons about all faiths, particularly those represented by the students taught in New York City schools. Children™s book author Fawzia Gilani-Williams cautions, ﬁBy leaving out some children™s heritage while others are 3 Fawzia Gilani-Williams, ﬁSay the W ord Again? Eid.ﬂ School Library Journal , December 1, 2007. http://www.slj.com/2007/12/opinion/say-the-word-again-eid-up-for-discussion/#_ visible presents youngsters with an image of being undervalued or unimportant.ﬂ 3 Also, while comparison can be a useful strategy to develop understanding about diverse faiths, teachers should avoid presenting simple equivalencies and stereotypes. Teachers should present holidays and other religious practices to students in sensitive and developmentally appropriate ways. Mayor De Blasio and Chancellor Fariña Designate Eid Al-Fitr and Eid Al-Adha Of˜cial School Holidays
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3Teacher Background Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-AdhaEid al-Fitr translates to the ﬁFestival of Breaking the Fastﬂ and is celebrated starting on the ˜rst day of Shawwal following the month of Ramadan . For Muslims, Ramadan is a month that marks the initial revelation of the Quran to Prophet Muhammad. During this month, 4 Muslims are also required to fast from dawn to sunset for each day of the month. They attend special prayers each night, and the Quran is read from beginning to end over the course of the month. Laylatul Qadr (The Night of Power) is a special observance during the month which marks the initial revelation of the Quran. Interestingly, the ˜rst word of the revelation is a command to ﬁread!ﬂ. Ramadan is not considered a celebration, but rather a period of religious observance, and during the observance of Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to sunset. Eid al-Fitr is a grand celebration and a day of special prayers and charity to mark the end of this spiritual month. Cultural festivities last three days in many Muslim countries and cultures. Eid al-Fitr celebrations can vary from region to region and are often as diverse as the practitioners across the world who celebrate. For many Muslims, Eid al-Fitr begins with attending prayer at a local mosque. Gift-giving and festive meals are also part of Eid al-Fitr celebrations. Muslims will greet each other by saying ﬁEid mubarakﬂ (blessed holiday) or ﬁEid sa™eedﬂ (happy holiday). While celebrations re˚ect local traditions and customs, ﬁmost celebrations include gift-giving and family visits or other communal activities.ﬂ 5 While Eid al-Fitr is celebrated in a variety of ways across cultures around the world, all Muslims begin this holiday with a congregational Eid al-Fitr prayer service. Visiting family and friends, sharing festive meals, and giving gifts are also practiced in many communities. The practice of zakat is also emphasized during this holiday . Zakat, a ˜nancial offering to the poor and destitute, links the practices observed during Ramadan to the celebrations of Eid al-Fitr. Because the day of Eid al-Fitr is based on the lunar, or Hijri , calendar the holiday falls at different times each year, roughly 11 days before the previous year. Here is a schedule for the Eid al-Fitr holidays: Ł In 2016, Eid al-Fitr is on July 7. Ł In 2017, Eid al-Fitr is on June 26. Ł In 2018, Eid al-Fitr is on June 15. Eid al-Adha is the second of two major holidays observed by Muslims across the world. Celebrated on the tenth month of Dhu al-Hijja , Eid al-Adha coincides with the last day of Hajj. Both Eid al-Adha and Hajj commemorate the life story of Prophet Abraham, who is a shared ˜gure in Christianity, Judaism, and Islam. Eid al-Adha commemorates the tradition of sacri˜ce and is celebrated by all Muslims, including if they are at Hajj. ﬁMuslims on the day of Eid sacri˜ce a sheep, goat, or cowﬂ (Gilani-Williams, 2007) . 4 The months of the Islamic calendar are demar cated by the lunar cycle. The ˜rst year of the Islamic calendar is the year that Prophet Muhammad emigrated from Mecca to Medina, in the year 622 C.E. (Each numbered year is designated either ﬁHﬂ for Hijra or ﬁAH.ﬂ We are currently in the year 1436 AH) 5 AANM Educational Series, ﬁIslam and Muslim Americansﬂ Arab American National Museum. Web. Accessed August 15, 2015.
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4The meat is divided into thirds, with one-third given to the poor, one-third given to friends, and the ˜nal third kept for the family to eat in celebration. In addition, Eid al-Adha coincides with the last day of the hajj for the roughly three million people who take part in the pilgrimage to Mecca each year. When discussing this with students, it is important to note the focus on spiritual rejuvenation, new beginnings, and principles of sacri˜ce. There is also an important communal aspect to Eid al-Adha. Some ways to celebrate Eid al-Adha include prayer, family and community gatherings, and the exchange of food and gifts. 6 Eid al-Adha is also based on the lunar calendar. Here is a schedule for the Eid al-Adha holidays: Ł In 2015, Eid al-Adha is on September 24. Ł In 2016, Eid al-Adha is on September 13. Ł In 2017, Eid al-Adha is on September 2. Eid Holidays in America Eid festivals and celebrations take place throughout New York City™s ˜ve boroughs. In addition to visits to family and friends, Muslims will often celebrate with feasting, dressing in ˜ne clothes, and during the celebration of Eid al-Fitr, decorating their homes with lights. Additionally, in the United States, Muslims focus on humanitarian efforts as part of their celebrations. Echoing this sentiment, in 2015 President Barack Obama said this about the Eid al-Fitr celebrations, ﬁDuring the past month, Muslims have honored their faith through prayer and service, fasting, and time spent with loved ones Many of us have had the opportunity to break fast with our Muslim friends and colleaguesŠa tradition that reminds us to be grateful for our blessings and to show compassion to the less fortunate among us.ﬂ He continued, ﬁFor millions of Americans, Eid is part of a great tapestry of America™s many traditions, and I wish all Muslims a blessed and joyful celebration. Eid mubarak.ﬂ 76 BBC, ﬁEid-ul-AdhaŠ04 October 2014,ﬂ. Accessed August 15, 2015. http://www.bbc.co.uk/schools/religion/islam/eid_haj.shtml 7 Barack Obama, ﬁStatement of the President on the Occasion of Eid-ul-Fitr ,ﬂ The White House, July 16, 2015. Accessed August 15, 2015. https://www.whitehouse.gov/the-press-of˜ce/2015/07/16/statement -president-occasion-eid-ul-˜tr
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6President Obama and First Lady Michelle Obama visit the Istiqlal Mosque in Jakarta, Indonesia in 2010Congressman Keith Ellison, the ˜rst-ever Muslim elected to serve in the U.S. Congress, was sworn in to Congress on the Quran once owned by former President Thomas Jefferson
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7Sample Lesson: Images and Islam Suggested Grades: KŒ2Ł Let™s work together to make a list of at least three things we learned about the Islamic faith. Share one thing you remember. Ł Based on what you heard, how would you explain this religion to someone who has never heard of it before? Ł What do you think are the most important parts of the religion that need to be shared with others? After the discussion, assign student partnerships and tell students that they will work together to analyze an image. Using one of the images from the book, model for students how to use the Image Protocol . Then, assign a second image (from the ones that follow) and ask students to analyze the image with their partners using the protocol. Ask students to share their responses as a check for understanding. Assign additional images depending on time or students™ readiness. After the image analysis, ask students to think of one aspect of Islam that they ˜nd most interesting, either from what they remember about the book or from the images. Students create their own image that represents this aspect of the Islamic religion that they chose to focus on. Conclude the lesson by having students use evidence from the reading and one of the images to explain their selected aspect of Islam to the class. Materials: Picture and non˜ction trade books about Muslim holidays, such as: Ł Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan Ł Night of the Moon by Hena Khan Selected images that represent aspects of Islam Objective: Students will understand that Muslims celebrate holidays and traditions that re˚ect their religious beliefs and practices.Introduce a book about the Islamic faith. Possible books include: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns and Night of the Moon, both by Hena Khan. Explain to the students that Islam is an important religion practiced by many people all over the world, including many people in New York City. Read aloud the picture book. During the reading, pause periodically to clarify unfamiliar words or phrases, pose questions to check for understanding and comprehension of the text, or prompt students to focus on sections that contain key information or details. After the reading, engage students in an open discussion to explore speci˜c traditions mentioned in the text. During the discussion, you may want to ask:Ł What images did you see as we read this book together?
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