betterment. This holiday is known as Eid-al-Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast). pdf. • Resources for Schools Related to Ramadan. California Three Rs Project:.
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Dear Parents, Assalam Alaikum This guide was created for you to introduce Ramadan and Eid holidays in only fosters a voice within our Muslim children, but it also helps our tolerance and acceptance. The more we understand and appreciate each other, the more we strengthen the social fabric of our city and our schools. environment for all. Parents, community members, and educators should present religious practices and cultural traditions to students in sensitive and developmentally appropriate ways. your teacher. Most of the suggestions and activities listed in this guide are geared towards preschool and elementary school grades. However, additional resources are listed towards the end for secondary grades. I hope this guide will help you navigate the challenges of reaching out to your swt children. Wa Salaam, Fellow Muslim Parent and Educator

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Date Dear Principal and Teacher, Greetings and Peace. I am the parent of ________________ in your class. I would like to bring to your attention that the upcoming Islamic month of Ramadan will be celebrated by our family. Ramadan is the 9 th month of the lunar Islamic calendar. This year it is expected to begin on ________________ depending on the sighting of the new moon. Muslims who have reached a certain age are required to fast during this month, feed the poor, and expected to be on their best behavior. The fasting entails abstaining from food and drink during the hours just before sunrise to sunset. The month will last approximately 29 or 30 days. Although _______________ is not yet at an age where he/she is required to fast, he/she looks forward to Ramadan every year and likes to join his/her family in fasting and celebrating year to cultivate his/her spiritual growth. I hope that you will support us in this decision, in the interests of our child and other Muslim children like him/her in your class. I have enclosed some information about Ramadan and Eid (the holiday that follows Ramadan). If possible, I would also like to come in to you class and make a short, informal our life. I would very much appreciate it if you could allocate a short time for me to come in and share our traditions. The more we understand and appreciate each other, the more we strengthen the social fabric of our city and our schools. I look forward to hearing from you soon. Thank you Sincerely,

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Tips for Class Presentation discuss what you intend to do. Give yourself enough time to communicate with your teacher. Many schools require parents and guest speakers to obtain permission and following pages with teaching resources and lesson ideas. Be flexible with dates and timings. Keep the presentation short, typically 20 – 35 minutes is enough. The teacher can always extend your presentation later in class if he/she would like. Create a plan of what you intend to do in your brief presentation and communicate it with – Be sensitive and respect everyone and their beliefs in a polite and pleasant manner. Take a few books with you and put them on the desk for display. If you have pictures of mosques or calligraphy or other artifacts, bring them in for display as well. Wear or take special outfits to enhance your presentation. See Book Suggestion List provided. Begin your presentation by explaining a little about yourself and clearly state the purpose traditions do you participate in and how do you celebrate them? Make the presentation age – appropriate. Select lessons and activities that are geared for the correct grade level. See Lesson Plans ideas provided. Get your own child involved, he/she might have good ideas since he knows his classmates well! Seek permission beforehand when bringing foods to taste. Schools have special food policies due to dietary restrictions and allergies. Since henna is applied in many countries as part of celebrations, a demonstration of henna Ramadan Mubarak or Eid Mubarak pencils or toys, gold coins, candies, balloons etc. are a good idea. Attach a simple note about Ramadan and Eid. Be sure to thank the class and the teacher at the conclusion of your presentation. Send a hand – written thank you note afterwards!

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Introduction for Educators Cultural celebrations and festivals are common to people all over the world. These events celebrate different historical and cultural practices, values, and beliefs. Often holidays like these bring together families and communities, and introduce new generations to traditional food, dance, music, and handicrafts. K – 12 curriculum in schools incorporate special celebrations in order to introduce students to diverse peoples and cultures. Learning about multi – cultural celebrations allows both students and teachers to identify aspects of cultural uniqueness, while at the same time appreciate differences. Educators can make a conscious effort in creating a classroom with shared context of personal experiences, cultures, and values. It involves creating a safe, comfortable, and respectful space where students (and their families) can share their stories that are most important to them, thus creating a more welcoming classroom and school. It is in this spirit that this guide was assembled. Recognizing the Muslim month of Ramadan provides a valuable way to understand the diversity and shared values of more than 1 billion Muslims around the world. The information and lesson plan ideas follow will address the historical, social, cultural, and doctrinal elements of Ramadan worldwide. These ideas can be used to discuss similarities and differences among various holiday customs worldwide. How to use the Resource Feel free to select and choose parts of the resource that most fits with your classroom needs. Most of the resources on this guide are geared towards preschool and elementary grades. However, additional resources are listed towards the end of the guide for secondary grade levels. This resource includes a fact sheet, lesson ideas, book suggestions, and other resources to gain more information about Ramadan, Eid, and Islam.

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Fact Sheet for Educators – Christian – Islamic tradition of monotheism (belief in One God). Two of the major holidays in Islam are Eid – al – Adha (Festival of the Sacrifice) which takes place in the month of Hajj, or annual pilgrimage to the city of Makkah (in Saudi Arabia). The other celebration occurs after the completion of Ramadan (also spelled Ramadhan), the Islamic month during which Muslims (believers in Islam) fast daily from dawn to dusk as part of an effort towards self – purification and betterment. This holiday is known as Eid – al – Fitr (Festival of Breaking the Fast). The Lunar Calendar Muslims use a lunar calendar for many of their religious observances. A new month in the lunar calendar is determined by the appearance of a new crescent moon. Since this occurs every 29 or 30 days, the lunar year is about 11 days shorts than a typical Gregorian year. As a result , dates of events in the Islamic Ramadan will begin on ________ (insert date). The Importance of Ramadan Ramadan is important for Muslims because it is believed to be the month in God (Allah) to Prophet Muhammad (570 – 632 C.E.). During Ramadan, Muslims fast from dawn to dusk every day. In the Arabic language, fasting is known as Sawm . This means not consuming food or drink, including water during the daylight hours. Muslims arise early in the morning during Ramadan to have a pre – dawn breakfast meal, known as Suhoor . At the end of the day, the fast is completed by taking the Iftar meal, which usually includes dates, fresh fruits, appetizers, beverages, and dinner. Fasting is also a form of spiritual purification. All Muslims are expected to observe exemplary behavior during the fast (giving charity, helping the poor and hungry, congregating with community members, performing good deeds, complete prayers, etc.).

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Lesson Plans Lesson: Moon and Star Hanging Craft The Islamic calendar is based on the moon cycle. Ramadan begins when the thinnest crescent ( hila l , in Arabic) moon is sighted by the eyes. The middle of the month is marked by a full moon. Then the moon gradually gets smaller until all that can be seen in the night sky is a crescent again. Together with their families, Muslim children go out to scan the sky to sight the crescent in anticipation of the first day of Ramadan. They again, scan the sky at the end of the month to celebrate the completion of a month of fasting marked by Eid al – Fitr . Suggested Grades: Prek – 2 Subject Area(s): Science, Art Materials: by H.A. Ray My First Ramadan by Karen Katz Ilyas and Duck and the Fantastic Festival of Eid – al – Fitr by Omar S. Khawaja Paper Plate Colored tissue paper Scissors, paints, markers, or crayons Contact paper Goal: Students will create a paper plate moon Ramadan/Eid hanging craft after hearing about how Muslims celebrate Ramadan and Eid. 1. Cut out a crescent moon and star from a paper plate. Younger children will need help with this 2. Have kids paint the entire plate. Let dry. Or use crayons and markers to color the plate. 3. Place contact paper on the plate so that the sticky surface faces upwards through the moon and star. Trim around the edges so the contact paper fits the size of the plate. 4. Decorate your design. Have kids tear small bits of tissue. Use the torn tissue paper to fill in the shapes of the moon and star. Tearing tissue paper is a great fine motor skills for little fingers. 5. Punch a hole on top and tie a string to hang. Extension (for older students): Discuss the usage of geometry and colors in Islamic art. Surface patterns on works of art created in the Islamic world have been prized for centuries for their beauty, refinement, harmony, intricacy, and complexity. Have students create geometric patterns on the plate as a mosaic piece. Lesson taken from Nurture Stone – plate – moon – ramadan – craft

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Lesson Plans Lesson: Ramadan Lanterns Ramadan lanterns are hung around in and outside of home to celebrate Ramadan in cities like Cairo. Metal smiths make beautiful creations of molded and punches metal with colored or clear glass inside. Candles are placed inside so that light shines through the glass and holes in the metal. Children sign traditional songs as they walk from house to house swinging their bright colored f anoos (lantern in Arabic) on Ramadan and Eid nights. Suggested Grades: 1 – 3 Subject Area(s): Art, Social Studies Materials: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns by Hena Khan Bright colored paper Scissors, tape, glue, stapler Glitter, stickers, markers Goal: Students will make their own Ramadan lanterns ( Fanoos in Arabic) and learning about the ways Muslim celebrate Ramadan and Eid. 1. half lengthwise (hot dog style, long way). 2. Cut evenly – spaced perpendicular slits through the fold (about 1 in. wide lines). Leave an inch from the end. 3. Unfold the paper. Decorate it with glitter, stars, gems or other shapes and designs. 4. Take one end from the short side and roll it to the other end. Glue or staple the sides together. 5. Get the other colored paper and roll it up to fit into the lantern. 6. Cut a strip of paper for a handle and attach it to the top of the lantern. Extension (for older students): Create a more complicated design for the lanterns. Encourage students to cut out more complicated patterns on each of the sides of the lantern before attaching the liner inside of the lantern. Find arabesque and middle eastern geometric patterns for students to copy or adapt into their artwork. Discussion Questions: How does the custom of hanging Fanoos in Egypt compare to American holiday customs? What types of similarities to you see with Christmas lights, Hanukkah menorah, the Chinese New Year, the Hindu festival of Diwali, etc ?

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Lesson Plans Lesson: Moon Phase Dial The Islamic calendar is based on the moon cycle. Ramadan begins when the thinnest crescent ( hila l , in Arabic) moon is sighted by the eyes. The middle of the month is marked by a full moon. Then the moon gradually gets smaller until all that can be seen in the night sky is a crescent again. This is the sign that Ramadan is ending, and when a new month will begin. Muslim families around the world look forward to scanning the night sky for the Ramadan moon and then again at the end of the moon marking the last day of fast. Suggested Grades: 2 – 4 Subject Area(s): Science Materials: Night of the Moon by Hena Khan Removable dot stickers or black marker Moon phase dial template Glue Goal: Students will observe the different phases of the moon and create their own moon dial 1. Discuss the phases of the moon. – day cycle. During the cycle, it first appears as a crescent. The lighted portion that you can see in the night sky becomes larger as days pass, growing until you see a full moon. As more days pass, the lighted portion gets smaller again, until no moon is seen. The cycle then repeats. This 29.5 – day cycle corresponds to the time during which the moon makes one complete orbit around Earth. When you see a full moon, Earth is between the moon and the moon is between Earth and the sun, and all of the lighted half of the moon faces away from Earth. When there is a 2. Cut out the template (attached) and glue it on a circular paper plate. 3. Peel 4 removable dot stickers and place them in each quadrant of the circle. The dot circle represent the moon 4. label – Crescent, full moon, crescent, new moon. 5. Take the 2 nd paper plate and cut 1/4 of it out. Stack both paper plates one on top of each other. Punch a hole in the middle. Place brad through both plates so the plates spin to create a dial. Ask students to take it home and in the evening to observe the night sky for the moon. Extension (for older students): Teach students the full lunar cycle, (new moon, waxing crescent, first quarter, waxing gibbous, etc ). Modify the template to include all phases of the moon and have students to dree – draw a picture for each moon phase. Students can observe the moon for a month, drawing pictures of the moon each night and bring to class.

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