Saturday, April 21, 2012

Islam and the Classroom

Outside of all that I am learning about teaching this year, I am learning more and more about the Islamic culture. All of my students are Islamic.

What I found hardest to do this year was find characters that my students could relate to in literature and lessons. So rarely are their Muslim characters in children's literature. Rarer still is to find a book with Muslim characters that is secular. I researched a lot at my local libraries and online. Yet I have wound up with only a few.

I am incredibly happy with two books I got through Scholastic this year: Big Red Lollipop by Rukhsana Khan and The Sandwich Swap by Queen Rania Jordan Abdullah. The only other age appropriate book I found and read is One Green Apple by Eve Bunting.

Clip art images are just as tricky when putting together projects and packets. No, it isn't imperative that I have to use Muslim characters- but I have so many girls that do wear the hijab that it would be nice to show kids like them. So, to add decoration in my room, I look out my Everyday Paper Dolls Cricut Cartridge and created these:




I am happy with them. Each is based on a student in my class. If interested, let me know and I can help you to figure out how to create the look. It took a bit of trial and error to figure out how to make the hijabs!

One of the neatest things about working with students from a diverse background is the culture days we have had. I had a student bring in sambusa and dished me out some. I absolutely loved it! I tried to recreate it and ended up with these ones below. Although they looked far from the Somali dish, they tasted just great. I accompanied them with the Somali rice. Lovely dish!


It has been an adventure with these students. I am still struggling with finding more literature though, let me know if you have crossed books with Muslim characters with little stress on religion!

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