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Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim calendar. The Muslim calendar is a lunar calendar, which means that the months follow the cycles of the moon. This also means that the months do not correspond to the western calendar months. Each year, Ramadan is approximately 11 days earlier than the year before. As the years go by, Ramadan falls in different seasons, which can lead to some very long, or very short, days of fasting!
This year (2019) , Ramadan begins on or around the evening of May 5th. Traditionally, the new moon must be sighted to recognize that Ramadan has begun. Many Muslim communities enjoy going out in the evenings to look for the moon. There is great celebration when the moon is spotted at the beginning of Ramadan. Pakistani communities often host parties for the occasion known as “chaand raat” (the night of the moon).
During Ramadan, Muslims around the world re-focus on their spirituality and refrain from indulging their appetites. The most visible examples of this are not eating or drinking from dawn to dusk. But, fasting in Ramadan also includes controlling one’s anger and other negative emotions and actions, among other things.
When the new moon is spotted again at the end of the month, the global Muslim community celebrates with a festival known as “Eid al-Fitr” (celebration of breaking the fast). Eid al-Fitr festivities around the world generally include wearing new clothes, going to the mosque for community prayer, and visiting with friends and neighbors. Local communities have a wide range of traditions they also enjoy.
Learning About Ramadan
Here are some resources to help you put together a mini unit about Ramadan. I also recommend checking out Diamond Montessori for some great book recommendations and other resources! Ashley has an inspiring perspective on adding diverse resources to your learning environment.
What is Ramadan?
Learn some Ramadan vocabulary with these informational cards. I recommend binding the cards together into a book but you can certainly leave them loose as cards if you prefer. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
Here’s a black and white version of the book with clipart in case your students would like to create a version of the book for themselves. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
Continue practicing Ramadan vocabulary with these 3-part cards. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
These Ramadan Riddles are a great way to practice oral comprehension and inferencing skills. Use the clues in the question to figure out if you have the right card! (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
More About Muslims and Ramadan
Did you know that losing one’s temper can make you break your fast in Ramadan? Yes, practicing self control in all areas is an important part of Ramadan! Use these sorting cards as a jumping off point to talk about how to handle frustrating situations peacefully. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
This is a simple category sorting activity for your younger students! Sort pictures of people (Muslims) and buildings (masjids/mosques) (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
Print two copies of these Islamic art and architecture cards to create a beautiful matching work! Or simply display them in your classroom for some art inspiration. Your older students may be inspired to create some new designs with the metal insets after they see these! (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
Phases of the Moon
Because the moon sighting features so prominently in the month of Ramadan, it is a great time to learn about the phases of the moon.
Use this chart to learn about how the position of the moon affects how much of it is visible. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
Learn the vocabulary for the different phases of the moon. (Source: Ramadan Mini Unit)
I had the pleasure of meeting Suba from Mirus Toys recently and I got to examine some of her beautiful materials in real life. Her wooden phases of the moon material is absolutely gorgeous! It will be a great addition to any classroom!
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Millions of Muslims around the world are observing Ramadan, the holy month. Ramadan kareem! . . If you received a #moonphasepuzzle in the past month, you might have already noticed an addition to the companion guide. As part of my obsession to make my products the best and most useful in the market, I have added a few more sections to the companion guide. It talks about the #Hijricalendar, difference between calculation of the start of a generic lunar calendar versus Hijri calendar, a guide to moon journaling to mark the progress of the moon every day and finally a few moon coloring pages for the littlest ones to participate and get started on #moonjournaling. . . I also added an option for the outer ring to start at the #lunarcrescent vs new moon for ease of use during the month of Ramadan. . Every single one of my products is well thought out in terms of design to not just teach one thing or just be a toy. This #moonphase puzzle is designed to not only teach the names and shapes of the phases of the moon like all other #moonphase puzzles out there but also the how and why of the lunar magic. It also teaches the special lunar phenomenon like the supermoon or eclipses. Along the same lines, I would like to keep adding to the teachers guide to include festivals that follow lunar calendar or based on moon. This puzzle was inspired by #ramadan so that is what I started with. If you already have my moon phase puzzle and would like the updated sections please let me know, I will send that this weekend. . 🌖 What other festivals or occasions do you like to see discussed in the companion guide? 🌒
Nancy Stewart has a couple of free downloadable mp3s that you may want to add to your class collection
Cat Stevens, now known as Yusuf Islam, has a children’s song too: Ramadan Moon (on Amazon)
Check out these other Ramadan songs on Amazon
Activities for Muslim Families
Find a Word in the Quran, a Ramadan 30 Day Activity at Parenthood: Muslim Style (free printables!)
Use this list of 30 Days of Good Deeds as jumping off points to come up with your own! From In the Playroom (handy printable included)
Check out this series of Ramadan posts on Multicultural Kid Blogs
Children’s Books About Ramadan