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Honoring Muslim Artistic Traditions

How much do we know about Islamic traditions? Students use their understanding to express what they have learned in a beautiful display that communicates their growing awareness.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • Multiple Lesson Periods
  • Directions

    1. Islam has unique traditions and practices. Many are universal, and others are specific to an area or group. Students start their exploration by listing the things they already know about Muslims and questions they have. As a class, students prepare a dramatic presentation of their understandings of Islam. This is one way to demonstrate what they have learned.
    2. Cover the art area with recycled newspaper. With Crayola® Premierâ„¢ Tempera, paint a base color on a large piece of construction paper. Air-dry the paint.
    3. Cut small black paper squares all in the same size with Crayola Scissors. Make enough for each child in the class to design one or more. Create traditional Islamic geometric and floral patterns on the squares with Crayola Watercolors. Air-dry the paint.
    4. Highlight the designs with gold Crayola Premier Tempera. Air-dry the paint.
    5. Cut cardboard into the same size squares. With Crayola School Glue, attach each decorated piece to a cardboard square. Arrange the squares in a formal pattern. Leave wide borders around each piece. Glue the squares to the base. Air-dry the glue.
    6. Students share their thoughts and understandings about Islamic beliefs and record their reflections (words and designs) on black paper with Crayola Gel Markers. Cut them into narrow strips. Glue them between the squares for a masterpiece of understanding.
  • Standards

    LA: Read with sufficient accuracy and fluency to support comprehension.

    LA: Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.

    LA: Engage effectively in a range of collaborative discussions with diverse partners on grade level topics and texts, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly.

    LA: Write informative/explanatory texts to examine a topic and convey ideas, concepts, and information through the selection, organization, and analysis of relevant content.

    LA: Report on a topic or text, tell a story, or recount an experience in an organized manner, using appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details to support main ideas or themes; speak clearly at an understandable pace.

    SS: Use appropriate resources, data sources, and geographic tools to generate, manipulate, and interpret information.

    SS: Explore and describe similarities and differences in the ways groups, societies, and cultures address similar human needs and concerns.

    SS: Give examples of and explain group and institutional influences such as religious beliefs, laws, and peer pressure, on people, events, and elements of culture.

    VA: Intentionally take advantage of the qualities and characteristics of art media, techniques, and processes to enhance communication of experiences and ideas.

    VA: Select and use the qualities of structures and functions of art to improve communication of ideas.

    VA: Use subjects, themes, and symbols that demonstrate knowledge of contexts, values, and aesthetics that communicate intended meaning in artworks.

    VA: Describe and place a variety of art objects in historical and cultural contexts.

  • Adaptations

    Possible classroom resources include: Golden Domes and Silver Lanterns: A Muslim Book of Colors by Hena Khan; Night of the Moon: A Muslim Holiday Story by Hena Khan; Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman;

    Students compare contemporary maps with ancient maps to locate places that hold importance to Muslims. Students further investigate why each of these places are significant to the Muslim people.


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  • Creativity.
  • Capacity.
  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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