I am teaching a topic now called 'What is important to Muslims?'; a basic introduction about the 5 pillars and the story of Mohammed. The title of the topic and some of the materials are somewhat dreary - can anyone think of a memorable introductory activity? The class is year 6 children in a very rural school with little or no knowledge of Islam. I would like to include activities such as drama, food, music, art etc in the teaching. So far I have a couple of very catchy songs from youtube on the 5 pillars, but that's it.
For Ramadan, make them keep a small bar of chocolate on their desk all day to introduce them to the idea of temptation.
Salah they could try out prayer movements on a prayer mat.
Hajj, do a 'mock' hajj complete with throwing 'stones' ie tennis balls at the pillars.
I would do a lesson each of the pillars. For an introductory lesson I would give them some photos of Muslims and get them to write 5w questions about what is happening, get them to do some research to find answers to the questions and then present it to the class.
At my school (Yr. 8, I think it was) we designed and drew Koran stands. Perhaps we even made them from cardboard (it was a long time ago now!) But I do still remember it as a fun activity and learning a key element of the Muslim faith.
Also we decorated some work with Islamic patterns using the rules of no animals, humans, etc. and talked about how difficult but also interesting it was to come up with the intricate geometric designs (as well as learning about the belief in false idols).
We visited a couple of mosques too which I still remember. Perhaps you could get them to take off their shoes and sit with boys and girls separate for the first lesson on the topic, to introduce it?
I just started Islam with year 5. We are looking at it through the angle of "round the world" and so we started off by looking at Islam locally. I spent the first lesson brainstorming what they knew / wanted to know, and based on that we will look at where Islam is growing / strong geographically ( world maps), where people worship locally, nationally, and through pilgrimige, how Islam has contributed to the countries it has settled in ( art, buildings, medicine, focus on history) and also ( due to the classes interest) why there are disagreements between muslims ( we'll be looking at conflict zones and Islamic Aid.)I hope to end up with a food lesson to see how Islam has contributed locally to our supermarkets!
All the way through I will be comparing it to other religions in the same context and finding similarities and differences.