Teaching Islam to Children
Basic Rules of Lessons
1. Plan what you will do during the lesson.
2. Arrive before the students and arrange the materials you need.
3. Greet the students as they arrive and maybe set them a task to start them thinking about the topic to be covered.
4. Have an agreed framework of procedures in the class which students are familiar with, within which everyone will operate.
5. Work towards achieving these procedures.
6. Use a variety of techniques for teaching.
7. Encourage student participation.
8. Finish and clear up on time.
9. Have an organised exit.
Planning a lesson is essential when teaching. The headings below will show you how to plan and complete good plans:
Content of lesson e.g. lecture, activity…..
Teaching and learning method
Links with other areas
The benefit of a lesson plan is to structure a lesson. It provides:
i) A framework to refer to
ii) Good practise
iii) Guidelines of what to teach
iv) Help to breakdown long term goals into achievable tasks
v) Recorded proof to parents and visitors
vi) The option to re-use the lesson plan
vii) A backup to be used by someone else should the teacher be absent (thus should be detailed)
A lesson plan should include:
i) Purpose/Aim (What am I going to teach?)
ii) Learning objectives (With what I teach what will the student be able to do?)
iii) Links/Continuity (How does this relate to the previous and next lesson?)
iv) Delivery Strategy
v) Materials e.g. Worksheets, Audio Visual aids….
vii) Staging (Activity, time allocated for each interaction involved)
Points to note on Lesson Planning and Teaching - Tips
There should not be a time limit in teaching a particular topic to children. The teacher must be able to gauge whether what she has taught has been understood or not.
There must be 5-10 minutes of each lesson dedicated to story time.
There is no better way of teaching Fiqh than through practical demonstrations. Perfection in actions, pronunciations - makharij and tajweed should be aimed at from a young age. Games like Suhail says .."Do Qiyam, Do Qunoot , Do Rukoo......(similar to Simon says.....) are a perfect way of teaching.
For pronunciation there is no better way than repetition.
If there is signs of boredom then the topic must be changed immediately and returned to at a later time or date.
The 'DAY IN THE LIFE OF A MUSLIM CHILD' must be adapted to the place of residence and a child's own timetable.
Finally, always treat a child as an individual and not a name on the register. Find time to talk to him/her. Find out what makes him/her 'tick'.
You'll notice that in every class there will be at least one child who may question everything you say. Don't silence him/her immediately for he/she may be the only one listening to you!!!
A quiet child is not necessarily a good child and neither is an 'active' child necessarily a daft child.
If homework is set it should take into account the children's ages and abilities. Most children of this age range cannot write essays and would prefer simple questions or worksheets.
Suggested Weekly Teaching Schedule
If there is a significant date or event from Muslim history (i.e. Eid, Isra and Miraj, mawlid) in the week to come there must be a mention of that matter and a little talk on it.
Explain the event and history behind the date at the outset.
A summary of the occasions for each month with a suggested topic schedule could be given at the outset which can be incorporated with the lessons.
History lessons will have to be varied according to the dates and therefore need not be in the sequence in the lessons.
Weekly Assignments serve as a communication between child and home.
For Every Lesson
1. Greet with As'salamu Alaykum and encourage the children to reply with wa'alaykumus salaam and also putting emphasis on the correct pronounciation.
2. Begin with Bismillah........ loudly and correctly encouraging the children to say it. Ask them to put their hands near their mouths to feel the air when they say ` in 'Rahman and Raheem
3. Recite the Du'a for beginning a lesson loudly encouraging the children to follow.
4. Recite Surat al Fatiha and Ikhlas.(Each day paying attention to a particular makharij and rule of tajweed)
5. Write the Islamic date on the board. The children may not know it but if this practise is continued every day they will get used to it.
6. Ask them what sort of a day it is - Is it rainy, sunny, cloudy ....... Ask them to say Alhamdulillah and say something good about each type of weather e.g. if it is cloudy there is shade, rain makes the plants grow, sun gives warmth ... In every weather , situation Alhamdu lillah... Maybe a chart with various weather pictures can be made by the children themselves and used.
7. Use Nursery rhymes at some point of the day to assist in memorising names of days, dates, weather, etc
8. End with du'a, recitation of Qur'an etc
Sample Lesson Plans
1. Teach children the Arabic months. Do Worksheet on months. Colouring with silver glitter etc. may be an idea. Talk of how the moon is like a mirror which reflects the light of the sun. Talk of how it goes around the earth. Maybe a mobile can be made with a ping pong ball representing the earth and cut out card in different phases of the moon (with foil stuck on them) around the ping pong ball.
2. Talk about the Prophet (salAllahu alayhi wasalam) Explain how Allah (aza waj'al) has made us. Things we buy like a computer, toys... come with an instruction booklet to make sure it works correctly. Allah too sent instructions through His messengers to teach us how we work best. The messages came from Allah like that through a special angel called Jibrail* to the Prophet (SalAllahu alayhi wasalam) Explain terminology of rasul meaning messenger. Discuss the importance of passing the message just as it was told... Here you can introduce talking about telling the truth.. *Explain who angels are.
3. Talk about their whole day. Write down on the board what they do in a whole day from Waking up to Going to Bed prompting and helping them. Discuss the Akhlaq of waking up. Discuss du'as recited when waking up, changing clothes, etc. Teach these du'as to the children and help them to memorise it. Tell them about the angels on both their shoulders who write down everything they do. It is like they have a secret video camera and they are recording everything. If we say sorry and correct our naughtiness and promise to try our best not to do it then Allah (aza waj'al) will surely forgive us.
4. Go over the manners of the toilet. How many times do you wash? What do you say when you see the water? What do you say when you enter the toilet? Who gave us water? Work your way from the tap, water company, river, rain, clouds...-ALLAH. Introducing the word NAJAS. Mention the things that are NAJAS. Explain how we cannot pray if we have anything NAJAS on our clothes and bodies. Teach them about najasa. (It must not be confused with dirty).
5. Have a sketch in class of two people eating. One with bad manners and one with good manners. See if the children can differentiate between them. Encourage them to correct the actions that are wrong. Teach them about the manners and adab of eating. What to say before we begin eating (Bismillah), what we say afterwards. Sunnah of eating, etc
Basic Rules of Lessons