We usually go in once a year for an RE day – this year, we decided to do a play about sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (saw). With only one practise, Alhamd the Key Stage 2 kids did brilliantly! Here is the script.
There were two performances, one to the whole of KS1, and then to KS2. After they had watched the play, there were follow up activities that the classes went on to do in their classrooms with their teachers, and a parent helper.
Reception, Year 1:
This class had an activity based on the hadith: “Greeting people and having a cheerful face is a form of charity.” They had a quick discussion on this, and then moved on to the activity of making a smiley paper plate. They put googly eyes on and decorated it, and stuck on a piece of paper with the hadith written on it. They stuck it on a lollipop stick so that they could wear it as their own face when greeting someone!
They then could colour this colouring sheet or take it home:
The activity organised for this class was centered around concept the of forgiveness, taken from a hadith of the Prophet pbuh: “Forgiving is the best of all actions.” The children all got busy making a chatterbox, in which they all had to write something about forgiveness or what they understand forgiveness to be.
After that was completed, we used dissolvable (Vitamin C) tablets in which the children picked one and put into a jug of water with the thought of forgiving somebody. As the tablet fizzled away into nothing, this was related to any hurt or anger fizzling away inside them as well. This giving them an opportunity to practice forgiveness.
After this activity, this short story was read to them. The children were really engaging and enjoyed their afternoon.
After the play the year 4 classes had activities based on the Saying of Prophet Muhammad – “The strongest among you is the one who controls his anger.”The activities for the classes were as follows:The following clip was to be shown which was based on what happens in our brains when we get angry and how to control our anger.
The students were then asked to make these anger chatterboxes. Students were given the pre printed chatterboxes and they cut them to size and thereafter folded them and coloured them in as appropriate and played the chatterbox game with their peers. The purpose of this activity was that the chatterboxes had techniques on how to control one’s anger so it was an indirect method to educate the students on anger management.Once all the students had finished making their chatterboxes, the following clip had been arranged to be shown which was based on relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
A recommended book to read with them was Angeryella!
After the play, the children from Years 5 and 6 stayed in the hall to discuss another saying of the Prophet: “The cure for ignorance is to ask questions.” (PPT available for download here). We began by looking at what ignorance means, and then what type of things we are ignorant about. As the kids brainstormed, they began to realise that there is a lot we don’t know, and actually “we are ignorant about what we are ignorant about”! Some things included other cultures, religions, foods, and even what other people have been through and are feeling.
We then moved on to talk about what ignorance leads to – one main thing being fear – we are often scared by what we don’t know, especially if we look through the world with our BLM glasses – ‘Be Like Me’ glasses mean we expect everyone to be like us and we don’t like it when things are different. This fear then leads to things like prejudice and racism, and acting on these feelings hurt others.
Then we discussed how we could prevent this from happening – and it led us back to the saying, to cure ignorance, we need to ask questions to learn, and take off our BLM glasses. The students then had a ponder on different questions they wanted to ask, and wrote a question down on a post-it note and stuck it up. Their questions were thought-provoking and honest, and ranged from: “Why do people feel the need to be rude about people’s religions” to Why has your hand got 5 fingers?”, “Why do people eat meat”, “Why do Muslims wear headscarves” and – my favourite – “What is chicken masala?”
Unfortunately we did not have the chance to answer all these questions! We wrapped the session up by watching Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Kindness Diaries – a series where a guy called Leon travels from Alaska to Argentina in a bright yellow VW beetle, with NO money and relying only on the kindness of others. He comes across 2 people in this episode that reflect the impact of ignorance and fear – such as the removal of Native Indians from their home in the Bush in Canada to forcibly being schooled in English schools to remove their culture, and another guy in Canada who hosts a BBQ every Wednesday in his home for refugees and people from all over the world, to give them a sense of community, saying that the answer to this fear is simply to get to know the other.
A fitting end to the session on the beautiful saying of our Prophet!
In ‘Adventures of a Qur’anic Family’ – a book designed to help children learn and apply different Quranic verses in their lives through stories – there is a section at the end devoted to memorisation.
In it, is a section on games to help them learn! This is a great way to make learning fun, as opposed to boring and heavy. Indeed, children learn best when they’re having fun 🙂
Traffic Lights: Concentrating on the verse that you’re teaching them that day, get them to run around when you say ‘Green’, then freeze when you say ‘Red.’ They can only ‘Go’ again if they recite the verse. Again, they race around, and you say ‘Red’, etc. If more than one child, say it to them individually so as one is still moving around, the other is stopped; that way, if they’re each working on different chapters, they can each get a turn to say their line.
Tag: Same concept as above, but this time try and catch them. When you do, hug them tight. They can only get out of your ‘hug’ if they recite the verse correctly. If they get it wrong, squeeze them even tighter!
Supermarket Game: Can be played with parent and child, or with any number of children. The longer the chapter, the better! The first person recites one verse of a chapter of their choice. Then the second recites the first AND the second, then the third recites the first two AND the third, etc… going round and round in circles. This really drums it into them!
Turn, Turn: If more than one child, or for longer chapters, turns can be taken to recite the verses. If they have to be prompted or they get it wrong, they get a forfeit (e.g. jump up and down 5 times).
Reverse Psychology: Challenge the reluctant child, “’Bet you can’t recite Chapter Lahab.” Chances are, he’ll say, ‘Just watch me!’, and he’ll recite it! Make a big deal of it, saying, “Oh I’m wrong again, not fair!” Then challenge him with another, etc…
Push Mummy Over: This is especially nice to teach them their 4 Quls. Tell them the Chapters are like a force field around them, where if they recite it they’re super-protected and Allah makes them really strong. First, sit cross-legged on the floor and get them to try and push you over, while you’re resisting really hard. Then, get them to recite one of their chapters and then try. Allow them to push you very easily, making a big dramatic scene of falling over of course, and exclaiming, “Not fair, you became all strong!”
Teacher, Teacher: Make them the teacher. Recite your chapters with mistakes here and there and get them to point out the corrections. Alternatively, get them to recite it correctly as you repeat after them.
Sooo many people have said that a buloogh party is an excellent way to make turning 9 a celebration and something to look forward to, as opposed to just being about all the new responsibilities and musts (which is how it used to be not so long ago)…
And you don’t have to limit the celebrations to other Muslim friends – a few mums have invited their daughter’s school friends also and it has been a great way to get them aware of buloogh and everything about it!
Check out this awesome example 🙂
There were stations around the room, each one with a different hadith and corresponding activity. So there was:
* A charity station – as you could see on the invite, they requested people to donate charity in lieu of presents. As the mum explained, it was a great opportunity to talk to her daughter about Sawaab-e-Jaariya and how this was her way of now collecting for the hereafter instead. What a great way to start your life after buloogh!
* A pampering station – here the girls got a chance to be pampered which becoming aware of the importance of cleanliness in Islam.
* A photo booth – a hadith on how even a smile can be a form of charity is a perfect accompaniment to taking a photo as a memento of the party!
* A mehndi station – a chance for the girls to put on mehndi and look pretty
* A talk was also given to the girls on buloogh and the importance of Akhlaaq and representing Islam as young hijaabis.
In another party, there was a beauty theme and there were mini pampering stations all around!
And one mum did a play on becoming baligha! Check out the play here.
Idea No 7: Re-enact the Story of Karbala through a Play – and make it come alive for both those participating, and those watching. (Sent in by Jawad Yusufali, 13 years old)
The play I acted in was based on the events when Imam Hussain (as) along with family and companions left Medina and started their journey towards Kerbala. Some of the highlights were when Imam Hussain was in the court of Waleed (la), and when Imam gave his last farewells to the graves of his grandfather, mother and brother. The play ended with Imam Hussain (as) asking the tribe of Bani Asad to bury their bodies after the day of Ashura and to treat the Zawaars of Karbala with respect and honour.
In this play I acted as Imam Hussain (as) and being the main character was a big responsibility, but also a blessing, because out of the whole crowd of spectators and other actors behind stage, I was the one who was able to understand the situation Imam Hussain was in the most. Because I had to show different emotions in different parts such as courage and grief, I in turn felt the hardship and burden that Sayyed Shuhada felt when he had to stand up for Islam.
To conclude, the play I acted in was a very unique experience, one that I learned from, and Inshallah, one I hope that many other people will learn from in the future.
This series shares ideas to make the marking of Hajj and Eid-ul-Adha fun and memorable for our children, as well as spread the message of love and celebration to the wider community about us!
Idea Number 1:
1. Go into school and do a presentation
Most nurseries (especially Montessori/Steiner and the like) encourage parents to come in and talk about Eid. Likewise, some schools also invite parents to come in but if they do not, GO TO THEM YOURSELVES! They will never say no, and most R.E. teachers will even appreciate an expert going in and explaining Eid better than they ever could 🙂
The best part is, you can involve your children in the nursery and school presentations, and they LOVE it! I know mine are already asking me about going in to their classroom again this year!
JUMP at this chance and do it! If you’re stuck for ideas, check out this lesson plan, which has ideas for objects to take in to show, a rhyme to sing and things to do.
And for a change, how about doing a play? We did a play on Hajj at our primary school: The whole school came in to the assembly wearing their Eid Mubarak stickers which we had distributed to their classes earlier on. After a quick intro, the Key Stage Two-ers began their presentation and there was pin drop silence throughout!
Alhamd they did great, right to the very end where they all called out ‘Happy Eid everyone!” Cheers accompanied the applause for them, and Alhamd, the participants were all buzzing after and wearing their religion with pride. 🙂
Their classmates were truly appreciative, especially when we went round and dropped off their Eid Mubarak cupcakes off, with calls of “Thank You!” coming from them as we did so. The teachers and head were all given Eid gifts and Eid cards, and Eid cards were given out by the children as well.
As well as the informal thank yous from the staff, we got a very official looking letter from the school to say the same, and that they hope for more such opportunities for us to share our customs with them! Who can refuse such an invitation?! 😉
Alhamd all in all a great morning with Inshallah many seeds planted in minds, young and old 🙂
3. Run a Hajj Activity Day
A group of parents got together and planned a whole day of activities for the primary school their children went to. As there is a lot to it, check out the full post on it here.