Help your children learn more about Ramadan using the best resources available online. You can have a fun time in the process whether your youngster loves cooking or crafting, these tools will engage people of all ages!
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Ramadan is an important practice of the Muslim culture and applies to those over the age of twelve where they undergo a period of fasting i.e. do not consume any liquid or food and refrain from making and malicious comments against each other.
Description of site:
This website provides a range of teaching resources that can be used to educate children on the practice of Ramadan, as well as the values that underpin this cultural practice. These resources range from arts/crafts, sweet recipes, worksheets and colouring prints. Additionally, it recommends several reputable picture books that aim to educate young children on the practice and values of Ramadan: Under the Ramadan Moon, Ramadan and My First Ramadan.
Link to pedagogical research:
Reading to children is an effective educational/teaching strategy for a number of reasons (Spence, 2004, p. 7):
Children generally love the sound of language and therefore, it is an effective and engaging teaching mediumProvides graphical representations to assist student’s understandingProvides the opportunity for discussion between the reader and listener around the concepts and ideas presented in the books and how it relates to the students
Moreover, concepts such as cultural practices can be difficult for young children to learn. Picture books are an effective alternative that condenses and simplifies complex ideas into a (relatively) short and engaging narrative. Under the Ramadan Moon is the simplest of the three suggested texts as it contains fewer, less complex text; however, the limited amount of text is strongly guided and supported by the generous amount of detailed illustrations (Doodling Through Life, 2013). Comparatively, Ramadan and My First Ramadan would be considered more complex books as they are more detailed in their description of Ramadan, where illustrations are limited to a supporting role (Amazon, n.d.).
I would recommend choosing one of the suggested picture books to introduce young children to the Muslim practice of Ramadan. As some of the books are quite deep in content, it would be advised to stop at each page (or every other page, as stopping constantly may disrupt the fluency of the reading) and ask students to reflect on the provided information and clarify new words. For example, ‘fast/fasting’ is used but fast in this context means something different and the teacher needs to clarify what it means in this context. As Ramadan may be a new and foreign concept to many students, it is also another reason to pause and allow the students to process this new information. At the end of the reading, students can compose a mind map of the main ideas and values behind Ramadan. This conceptual task will reinforce students of their new understanding of Ramadan; to further this, and extend their vocabulary, a series of colouring sheets is also provided on this web source (direct link: https://app.box.com/shared/qziz6m1648). Each child can be given a letter to colour in (which corresponds to a word related to the cultural practice of Ramadan). Once completed the class can come together and discuss each letter/word.
Amazon. (n.d.). Retrieved 06 April 2014 from http://www.amazon.com/Ramadan-Own-Holidays-Susan-Douglass/dp/1575055848/ref=sr_1_7?s=books&ie=UTF8&qid=1374179918&sr=1-7&keywords=ramadan+books
Spence, B. (2004). Reading aloud to children Pen 146. Newtown: PETAA
Doodling Through Life. (2013). In Under the Ramadan Moon Book Review. Retrieved 06 April 2014 from http://reemfaruqi.com/2013/10/27/under-the-ramadan-moon-book-review/