Overview of Islamic Culture & Muslim Traditions Lesson Plan
Each year, Muslims from across the globe take part in the celebration of Eid al-Fitr marking the official end of Ramadan. In Islamic tradition, Ramadan is a time of reflection encouraging Muslims to participate in charity, fasting and prayer. For Muslims, fasting during this sacred time is significant as it is one of the Five Pillars of Islam (Belief, Worship, Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimage). In 2012, The Pew Research Center found that there are over 1.6 Billion Muslims across the world. This lesson plan will help students explore how Eid al-Fitr and Ramadan traditions are celebrated in Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey by utilizing the AFS-USA Sponsored Program Country Specific Handbooks, to provide them with a clearer understanding of Muslim traditions and faith in those countries. Students will then design their own handbook on a country of their choice with a high Muslim population, and examine their culture and traditions.
This lesson plan will encourage global awareness and intercultural learning by teaching students about key Muslim traditions and customs in Islamic culture, such as Ramadan and the celebration of Eid al-Fitr.
Islamic Traditions & Culture: Important Vocabulary
Five Pillars of Islam: Belief, Worship, Fasting, Almsgiving and Pilgrimage
Ramadan: In the ninth month of the Muslim Calendar, it is the period of time when Muslims abstain from food and drink between the time of sunrise to sunset.
Eid al-Fitr: The celebration that marks the official end of Ramadan.
Students will be able to:
- Identify the Five Pillars of Islam
- Describe different Ramadan traditions and the different way Eid is celebrated in Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey
- Design a country specific hand book based on the Islamic traditions and culture of that country and explore how they celebrate Eid
- Compare the similarities and differences of their findings
Muslim Start Observing Ramadan, Muslims Break Fast Worldwide after Ramadan as Eid al-Fitr Festival Gets Underway, Five Pillars of Islam, AFS Egypt Handbook, AFS Ghana Handbook, AFS Indonesia Handbook, AFS Turkey Handbook, Poster Board
Common Core Standards
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including vocabulary describing political, social, or economic aspects of history/social science.
Compare and contrast treatments of the same topic in several primary and secondary sources.
Determine the central ideas or information of a primary or secondary source; provide an accurate summary that makes clear the relationships among the key details and ideas
Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including analyzing how an author uses and refines the meaning of a key term over the course of a text
AFS Educational Goals
To have a deeper concern for and sensitivity to others and expand their capacity to perceive and respond to the values, and realities of others
To learn about and understand the institutions, customs, traditions, practices and current issues in a country, and to understand the values, attitudes and behaviors in
To develop an increased curiosity and concern about world affairs, to develop a sustained commitment to obtaining information from many sources and seek out perspectives from other cultures in understanding world situations and problems
• Review the Five Pillars of Islam
• Break students into five group and assign each group a pillar
• Challenge students to explain the relevance of that pillar in Islam reference: Five Pillars of Islam
• Watch Muslim Start Observing Ramadan
• Explore the Religion Section of the AFS Egypt Handbook, AFS Ghana Handbook, AFS Indonesia Handbook, AFS Turkey Handbook
• Discuss the similarities of how Muslims in these countries participate in Ramadan traditions and Eid-al-Fitr
• Assign students a country with a high Muslim population and challenge them to create an online guide (in Flipgrid, Padlet, or even Prezi) on how that country participates in Ramadan, Eid al-Fitr, and other Muslim traditions (Countries may include, Sudan, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc—encourage students to use The World Fact Book and UN data)
• Allow students to present on their finding
• Watch Muslims Break Fast Worldwide after Ramadan as Eid al-Fitr Festival Gets Underway
• Ask students to write a reflection on what they have learned and the importance of awareness other cultures