Global Awareness

Exploring Islamic Traditions: Ramadan and Eid

60 minutes


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 Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr is 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 the Muslim faith in those countries. Students will then design their own handbook on a country of their choice from with a high Muslim population, and examine their culture and traditions.

Background and Information:

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 the different ways Eid is celebrated in Egypt, Ghana, Indonesia and Turkey
• Design a country specific hand book based on the culture and traditions of that country and explore how they celebrate Eid 
• Compare the similarities and differences of their findings 


60 minutes


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:

Interpersonal Realm:
• 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
Cultural Realm:
• 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.
Global Realm:
• 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
  1. Belief
  2. Worship
  3. Fasting
  4. Almsgiving 
  5. Pilgrimage
• 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 these countries participate in Ramadan and Eid
• Assign students a country with a high Muslim population and challenge them to create a handbook on how that country participates in Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr and the Muslim Culture
(Countries may include, Sudan, India, Pakistan, Yemen, Kuwait, Somalia, Libya, Iraq, Afghanistan etc)
  1. The World Fact Book
  2. UNdata
• 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

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