Eid Activities

On the subject of times and seasons... Eid is coming up.

It's time to talk about activities to enjoy in school as a way to mark the festival and enhance pupils' religious and cultural learning and sharing. This post is another link-fest, because sharing, in one place, the expertise of colleagues working in education, for the benefit of other colleagues, is one of the main reasons for the existence of the new Mantra Lingua blog.

Let's start with the biscuits. Those who got here from the email will know what I'm on about. I mean, obsessed, moi? 

So, a nursery child brought in biscuits. How gorgeous. The sight of those kids watching a video (whilst eating said biscuits) seems a little passive, but it’s probably the best way to get across to children some kind of impression of the cultural mixture of sights, sounds and experiences associated with such a holiday. You'd want to get really involved as well, making things, creating art, not just being passive. (I'd want to make those biscuits, as Rusul Alrubail suggests in the Guardian alongside some other really thoughtful activities. There's no recipe there though. There are lots online, but does anyone have a failsafe recipe that they can share?).

Pinterest has about a zillion beautiful craft ideas. On this less colourful page, track down the Arabic script and get kids to colour it in in all its beauty. Gold, maybe? (Encouraging a sense of fascination around different languages and scripts is something that we at Mantra Lingua are very happy to encourage). 

I spent a lot of my childhood, both in and out of school, writing acrostic poems (of varying quality). This particular restriction of form can lead to surprising play with language. It's really good for getting children thinking about how language works and how they can use it. From this page, I got the idea of making an acrostic poem about Eid (remember, it's Eid al-Fitr that you want in this case). I'd get kids to write their own beautiful starting letters though. Send us yours, and the best will go up here.

Hurrah for TES, as usual; there are lots of ideas (grouped around the theme of Ramadan as a whole, but with ideas for Eid) here.

Seriously, though, you'd get an enormous amount of mileage from the last few pages of Samira's Eid, by Nasreen Aktar and Enebor Attard. There are card designs, a quiz, and patterns to explore; what I like about these is that the patterns are broken down into their basic shapes, and you're asked to trace them and see if you can put them back together leaving no gaps.

Moving away from Ramadan and Eid specifically, I haven't mentioned the unmentionably beautiful Journey through Islamic Art, by Na'ima bint Robert and Diana Mayo, which covers gardens, souks, science, Spain, Turkey, more tiles, the Taj Mahal ('a building born from a deathbed promise') and more. Really, your quest for accessible ways in to Islamic culture ends here. I cannot think of a more lovely children's book.

Anyway. I'll see you in a few weeks. I'm just going to sit and fiddle with tile designs for a while.

*Sfouf

I didn't know what this is, but there's a recipe for it at the back of the book, and it sounds delicious.