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Lesson Plans for Eid al Adha, an Islamic Celebration

Learning Tolerance by Learning Each Other's Traditions

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Eid al Adha is perhaps the most joyful of Muslim holidays. Coming at the end of the Hajj, it is a family celebration involving gift giving and gathering as a family. This part of the unit introduces the core belief’s of Islam, the specifics of Eid al Adha, and celebrates the cultural differences of two cultures. If you have a Mosque in your community, I would suggest contacting them to find a speaker. Or, you can invite a Muslim that you know to come and speak about how their family celebrates Eid al Adha. They will be thrilled that you recognize the importance of this festival.

Day 1: An introduction to Islam and to the Festival

Objective: Students will be able to identify Ibrahim, Ishmael and Eid al Adha.

Procedure:

Do a KWL chart: What do you know about Islam? You students are likely to know very little, and it may negative. How you respond to that will have to do with the ability of your students: You can find majority Muslim countries on a map. You can find pictures on Google Images.

Tell the following stories:

Muslims believe that many years ago God, or Allah, sent an angel to a man named Mohammed who lived in Mecca in what is not Saudi Arabia. The angel gave Mohammed a holy book called the Koran that told them what God wanted from people. Mohammed is called a prophet, because he brought the word of God to the people of the Middle East. The people who believe the writings of the Koran are called Muslims and the religion is called Islam, which means “Submission,” or to obey God. Muslims believe that they need to obey God by reading the Koran and doing what it tells them. What they should do is defined by five pillars:

  • Pillar One: Shahadah (Declaration of Faith) “There is no God but Allah and Muhammad is His Prophet”

  • Pillar Two: Salat (Prayer) Muslims pray at least 5 times a day.

  • Pillar Three: Zakat (Almsgiving)

  • Pillar Four: Sawm (Fasting,) which goes for thirty days during the month of Ramadan.

  • Pillar Five: Hajj (Pilgrimage) Every Muslim hopes to make the pilgrimage to Mecca during the Hajj in their lifetime.

Eid al Adha:

This festival, which comes at the end of the Hajj, remembers an event in the life of Ibrahim, which is the Arabic name for Abraham.

Ibrahim was chosen by Allah to share the word of the Unity of God. He had a single son, Ishmael.

The Koran tells the story of how Ibrahim was commanded by God to take his son, Ishmael, to the mountaintop and there to sacrifice him to Allah. Allah wanted Ibrahim to prove to him that he truly was obedient. Ibrahim took his son to the mountain with a heavy heart. He built a fire. He bound Ishmael. As he was about to kill his son, Allah sent Gibril, a messenger angel, to stop him. He brought the message that by being obedient, Ibrahim had truly made a sacrifice. Muslim people gather in the Mosque to remember Ibrahim’s sacrifice. They gather in their homes later to feast and to share gifts.

Evaluation:

Make the following cards for your word wall: Allah, Islam, Mohammed, Eid al Adha, Ibrahim, Ishmael.

Identify the Cards:

  • Mohammed is the Prophet of Allah.
  • Islam is the name of the religion of those who believe in the teachings of Mohammed and the Koran
  • Eid al Adha is a family celebration.
  • Ibrahim was the faithful servant of Allah
  • Ishmael was Ibrahim’s son.

After putting them on the wall, ask them to identify:

Point to the name of the prophet, etc.

Day 2: Zakat (or Alms Giving)

Objective: Students will understand that generosity is a value of Islam, by identifying gift giving as a practice of Zakat, or Almsgiving.

Procedure:

Read the book Aminah and Aisha’s Eid Gifts.

Questions: To whom did Amina give gifts? Why did they give gifts?

Activity: Coloring Pages Have the children color several packages and label to whom they would give the gifts.

Evaluation: Ask students what it means to be "generous."

Day 3: Symbols and Not Images

Objective: Students will identify the symbols of the star and crescent with Islam.

Procedure:

Review

  • The Story of Eid al Adha
  • The five pillars.
  • The Word Wall.

The Crescent and Star: Copy the coloring page on to transparencies, one for each each child (or reduce, and run two per sheet.) Distribute colored markers, either permanent or transparency, and have the students color the crescent and star. Cut around them and mount in the window.

Day 4: A Taste of Islam

Objective: Students will name Kheer as a traditional Middle Eastern food, served in many Islamic countries.

Procedure:

Prepare as much of the Kheer Recipe ahead of time as possible. Save heating and the addition of spices for school.

Add spices and heat the Kheer in the school microwave.

Serve individual portions. Discuss taste, when you would eat the Kheer, and find out whether students do or do not like it.

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