It can be a challenge to find a quality middle school Ramadan lesson.
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Ramadan, the celebration of when Allah first presented the Qur’an to the Prophet Mohammed, is a critical part of the Muslim faith and is celebrated annually, yet middle school lesson plans about this month-long holiday are hard to find. The date for this holiday changes every year. Ramadan focuses on fasting, prayer, and studying the Qur’an, yet many non-Muslim students sometimes have little knowledge about it.
In 2023, Ramadan in Canada will begin the evening of Wednesday, March 22 and end the evening of Thursday, April 20.
Eid al-Fitr is the day following the last day of Ramadan, a month when many Muslims are fasting. The day often includes special prayer, attending the mosque, and celebrating with family, friends, and food.
Middle School Ramadan Lesson
Even if you have no Muslim students in your class, helping students build background knowledge and understanding of world cultures is an important goal no matter what religion they follow.
I use the Article of the Week format to help my students build their background knowledge. To help with this knowledge building, you can use this middle school Ramadan lesson plan that is focused on a non-fiction article. In it, students will learn what Ramadan is as well as this important holiday’s history and traditions.
- Have students complete a K-W-L graphic organizer about this holiday.
- Watch a video about Ramadan – What is Eid al-Fitr? Ramadan & the Festival of Breaking the Fast – Behind the News. This will help students who struggle with reading comprehension activate their prior knowledge.
- Read the Ramadan comprehension article.
- Complete the comprehension questions.
- Then watch this picture book story My First Fast and Eid (Islamic Festival) / Story For Kids About Ramadan (kids podcast).
- Have students complete the multiple-choice standardized test prep format questions (paper or self-grading Google Form options).
- Have students return to their K-W-L graphic organizer and complete the last column.
- In the next class period, have students complete a follow-up writing assignment. Depending on the grade level you may ask students to write a paragraph or an essay.
- If time permits, have students read over this article – Ramadan: be good to yourself and to others. You can edit this article by using the Google Extension Print Friend and PDF. You can learn more about that in this blog post Support Digital Learning with Print Friendly and PDF.
- Additional Resource: This article and podcast showcases how people can be more respectful during this time – How respecting Ramadan at work means more than asking ‘not even water?’ Ask students to brainstorm ways schools can be more inclusive following the ideas from this podcast.
This Ramadan article resource contains one nonfiction article and three post-reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep, and cross-curricular learning. It comes in both PDF and digital formats to help teachers who are teaching both in the physical and digital classroom.
Middle School Ramadan Lesson Includes
- Teacher lesson plan
- Pre-reading K-W-L chart
- Non-fiction article (modified and regular text)
- 3 Post-reading activities: comprehension questions, grammar questions (2 options: paper and self-grading Google Forms), long answer writing response
- Individual PDFs of student pages to assist with online learning i.e. Google Classroom
- Google Slides formatted lessons for 1:1 school
Ramadan/Eid Book List
This book has hours of activities for children that centre around Eid. Some examples include crafts, recipes and fill-in activities. Children can create their own henna designs, make magical lanterns, and make treats inspired by cultures from around the world.
In My Mosque is a stunning picture book that shows readers the traditions and community found in mosques. The book follows a young child as he goes to Friday prayers and stays with a child’s perspective as various rooms are visited: a room to pray, rooms for food drives and charity, a room to meet with fellow worshippers, etc. The prayers focus on unity among people and the book also contains some Arabic text, which is explained at the back of the book.
Lailah’s Lunchbox: A Ramadan Story
Lailah is at a new school, in a new country, and is finally old enough to take part in fasting for Ramadan. But she’s not sure her new classmates will understand why she’s not having lunch with them. With some help from her teacher and the school librarian, Lailah solves her problem and sees she can make new friends and they will respect her beliefs.
Sophia wants to fast for Ramadan for the first time this year. But not eating from sunup to sundown is difficult and she doesn’t succeed. Now she needs to find other ways to take part. This book is a multigenerational story that looks at various ways to participate in Ramadan.
Learn all about the traditions each day of Ramadan through Yasmeen, a 7-year-old Pakistani-American girl. Night of the Moon takes the reader through each day of the holidays, from when the crescent moon appears to mark the start of the month of Ramadan, to the end of Ramadan and the celebration of Eid.
To help students understand the difference between the two Eids have them read this article – What is Eid? What is the difference between Eid al-Fitr and Eid al-Adha? and watch the embedded videos.
This picture book focuses on a young girl named Aneesa, whose parents are in Saudi Arabia Hajj pilgrimage. Aneesa misses them and is ready to spend Eid al-Adha with her Nonni, who gifts her some new clothing to cheer her up. At the mosque, Aneesa meets two sisters who had to flee their country and are now refugees in America. She comes up with a plan to help make this the best Eid for the girls. (This focuses on Eid al-Adha – but would be a great book to have your students read.)
Other Great Reads
Faizah is excited for her older sister Asiya’s first day of hijab and the first day of school. Asiya’s hijab is a gorgeous blue fabric, but not everyone sees it as beautiful. Amid confusing words and hurtful comments, Faizah will discover new ways to be strong.
This is the sequel to The Proudest Blue: A Story of Hijab and Family. The book tells the story of a picture day at school, where younger sister Faizah is excited to have her photo taken while being dressed in a red dress and hair ribbons. Only when it comes time for sibling photos, Faizah doesn’t match her older sister Asiya. With some help from her classmates and inspiration from Asiya’s hijab, Faizah is shown how acts of kindness come back to you in different ways.
Other ELA Lessons