Celebrating Cultural Diversity With Ramadan
Bring cultural awareness and a knowledge of world religions into your PreK–Grade 3 classroom with these resources for teaching Ramadan.
- Grades: PreK–K, 1–2, 3–5
What is Ramadan?
Observed by more than one billion Muslims around the world, Ramadan is the holiest time in the Islamic religion. This month-long observance marks the time when the first verses of the Koran were revealed by Allah to the prophet Mohammed.
When is Ramadan?
Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, or Hijri. The beginning and ending of months is determined by the sighting of the crescent moon. Since the Gregorian calendar used in the United States is a solar calendar, Ramadan begins on a different date every year. In 2012, Ramadan is from July 19 to August 18.
How is Ramadan observed?
Ramadan is a month of fasting; participating Muslims do not eat or drink during daylight hours during the 29 to 30 day observance. Muslims also commemorate Ramadan by reading the Koran, praying, and doing good deeds. Ramadan culminates in a three-day festival called Eid-al-Fitr, which literally means "the feast of the breaking." This is a joyous event, marked by the preparation of elaborate meals and the exchange of gifts.
To learn more about Ramadan, including why Muslims fast during the holy month and more, see Ramadan, part of our collection on the world’s religious holidays.
Lesson Plan: Let's Celebrate Ramadan! (Grades 1–2) Introduce your young students to Ramadan with this day-long lesson plan that emphasizes listening comprehension, handwriting, and reading skills.
Islamic Festival Classroom Decorations
The free Ramadan Islamic Festival Sign from Printables can serve as a centerpiece for your Ramadan classroom decorations or as part of a teaching center about diverse holidays.
Display the Ramadan Holiday Word Bank Printables poster, which features words associated with the holiday, as a useful vocabulary-building tool.
The Ramadan: Holiday Ideas worksheet, also from Printables, features facts and discussion starters, as well as a short essay by a Muslim child growing up in New York City.
Ramadan, by David F. Marx, describes how Ramadan is celebrated in the United States and around the world, and includes ideas for observing the holiday in your classroom.
My First Ramadan, by Karen Katz. Follow along with a young boy as he learns about Muslim customs and practices, and participates in the Ramadan fast for the first time.
Celebrating Ramadan, by Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith. Photographs tell the story of the daily life of Ibraham and his family, who are devout Muslims, during the month of Ramadan. Includes a glossary and map.
RESOURCES FROM AROUND THE WEB
Explore Islamic History
Expand your own knowledge of Islam and Ramadan by viewing these videos on the history of Ramadan, including footage of a 1955 Ramadan Ceremony, from History.com.
Discover the Tastes of Ramadan
Hosting a classroom celebration? Epicurious.com offers explanations of Ramadan's culinary traditions, including the traditional fast-breaking snacks of dates and lemonade, as well as tips and four recipes. You'll also find recipes for a month's worth of Ramadan meals, side dishes, and sweets on Allrecipes.com.
The Ramadan classroom activities from the BBC range from art projects and videos to a discussion of fasting and the building of a calendar of religious dates.