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Moon Over Mecca

Create a portrait representing Ramadan with the phases of the moon.

  • Grade 4
    Grade 5
    Grade 6
  • 30 Minutes or Less
  • Directions

    1. More than 1 billion people in the world, from various countries and walks of life, are Muslim. They use a lunar calendar to determine the length of the months and the year. During the ninth month of the Muslim calendar, Muslims mark an important time in their religion with the observance of the fast of Ramadan.
    2. Invite students to investigate the observance of Ramadan and its importance to Muslims. Provide a variety of text and electronic resources for students to use during this research. When inquiry is complete, students share their learning with classmates.
    3. Inform students that they will be creating representations of their Ramadan knowledge. Have them cover their work areas with recycled newspaper. Encourage students to paint a picture that illustrates their understanding of this solemn Muslim observance using Crayola® Watercolor Paints. This picture might take the form of an illustration of the moon phases, a mosque, traditional Muslim clothing, important cities such as Mecca, or other symbols of the fast of Ramadan. Allow paint to dry.
    4. Add details with Crayola Erasable Colored Pencils.
    5. In preparation for displaying student artwork, each member of the class will write a summary paragraph representing learning about the Muslim religion and Ramadan.
  • Standards

    LA: Draw on information from multiple print or digital sources, demonstrating the ability to locate an answer to a question quickly or to solve a problem efficiently.

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

    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 with appropriate facts and relevant, descriptive details, speaking clearly at an understandable pace.

    MATH: Know relative sizes of measurement units within one system of units including km, m, cm; kg, g; lb, oz.; l, ml; hr, min, sec. Within a single system of measurement, express measurements in a larger unit in terms of a smaller unit.

    SCI: Obtain and communicate information about the sizes of stars, including the sun, and their distances from Earth to explain their apparent brightness.

    SCI: Use a model of a rotating, spherical Earth and the relative positions of the sun and moon to explain patterns in daily changes in length and direction of shadows, day and night, and the phases of the moon.

    SS: Compare ways in which people from different cultures think about and deal with their physical environment and social conditions.

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

    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.

  • Adaptations

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

    Encourage students to construct a lunar calendar and compare it to the calendar they typically use. How is it similar? How is it different?

    Students work in small groups to sketch a world map, including all countries' boundaries. Identify the 50+ countries where Islam is the religion of the majority of the people. Investigate what other aspects of live these countries have in common.

    Students sketch the phases of the moon and other symbols of the observance of Ramadan. What is the meaning of each of the symbols?


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  • Creativity.
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  • Collaboration.
  • Change.
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