Cultural Awareness: Supporting Learners During Ramadan
Our shared vision and guiding documents communicate being culturally responsive and celebrating our rich diversity. As educators in Klein, we commit to knowing our students academically, emotionally, and socially which allows us to have a better understanding of the whole learner. Teaching students about diverse cultural and religious traditions holds a host of benefits, including increased empathy and kindness.
To achieve the district vision, I would like to share some tips and resources to better serve our Muslim children during the month of Ramadan.
History Of Ramadan
Ramadan is a month-long spiritual period of fasting and prayer that commemorates the revelation of the Quran to the Prophet Muhammad, according to Muslim tradition. Ramadan is celebrated in the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar, which means it starts on a different date each year. This year, it starts the evening of May 5th and will end at the beginning of June, depending on when the new moon appears. During Ramadan, Muslims do not eat or drink from dawn to dusk, and the month culminates with Eid al-Fitr, a three-day celebration that involves praying, visiting relatives, giving gifts to children, and helping those experiencing poverty. There are some exceptions as to who can and cannot fast. Fasting is not obligatory until children reach the age of puberty, or if someone is ill, traveling, elderly, pregnant, or nursing.
Tips for Teachers/Staff
- Provide an opportunity for Muslim children to share their culture. During the month, Muslims give a lot to charity. You may hold discussions for appreciation, gratitude for food, and empathy for people who are suffering.
- During lunch, allow students to utilize the library so they are not around food.
- Consider the length of homework or projects during that time due to fasting and change in routine.
- Give extra time for in-class assignments.
- Don’t penalize your students for not attending PE.
Multicultural Book and Resources:
- It’s Ramadan, Curious George by Hena Khan
- Night of the Moon by Hena Khan
- Ramadan (Celebrate the World) by Hannah Eliot
- Under the Ramadan Moon by Sylvia Whitman
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