This April is the perfect time to bring Ramadan activities into the classroom – it’s the first in-person school year since 2008 in which the entire holy month overlaps with class time! In 2022, Ramadan will last from April 2nd to May 2nd. Integrating celebrations of Ramadan into class days is informative and fun for your non-Muslim students and provides support for Muslim students.
If you’re wondering, “How do you teach about Ramadan in school?” – look no further than this article! We’ve compiled the following ELA-based Ramadan activities to equip classrooms of all grade levels with educational and engaging ways to celebrate the holiday!
Ramadan Activities for Elementary Schoolers
It’s especially important to introduce discussions of diversity and cultural traditions in early years of schooling in order to foster open-minded and empathetic students. Ramadan’s practices emphasize self-discipline, kindness, and introspection – students engaged in Ramadan activities, such as the ones below, are sure to take home life lessons while enhancing their ELA capabilities!
1. All About Ramadan – Reading Comprehension
This activity is a great way to introduce Ramadan, as well as a discussion of world religions, into an early elementary curriculum. This Ramadan activities printable consists of a fun, non-fiction guide to the basics of Ramadan and fasting, a page that highlights the features of that text, and a page with coloring-based reading comprehension questions.
This “All About Ramadan” guide is a wonderful way to celebrate the holiday with students, whether they have prior knowledge of Ramadan or have never heard of it. It explains the meanings behind fasting and other aspects of the month-long holiday, quizzes them on their understanding of the guide’s text, and opens up several topics for classroom discussion, such as religious practices, the Qur’an, other Ramadan practices, and more!
Created and made available for free download by DoubleSS.
2. Free Ramadan Word Walls – Vocabulary-Learning Tasks
This free Ramadan activity combines vocabulary acquisition and writing practice in an on-the-go format for students! Several printable word lists, packed with vocabulary about Islam and Ramadan (both in English and in Romanized Arabic) are provided to post around the room or on specific word walls for students to explore on their own or in groups. Further, various activities check students’ understanding and assist their syllable counting skills.
Finally, this resource comes with several themed writing paper printables, which can all be utilized for writing exercises related to the words students have learned! Published in PDF format with straightforward, guiding instructions on printing and organizing the words as well as instructional ideas, this activity should be a breeze to implement and a valued tool for classrooms for years to come – Ramadan will continue to take place during the school year until the early 2040’s!
Created and made available for free download by Differentiation Station Creations.
3. Let’s Talk About Ramadan!
“Let’s Talk About Ramadan” is a comprehensive guide to the holiday month, perfect for elementary students of all ages! This Google Drive-based presentation (fit for virtual learning as well as in-person) educates students on Islamic values and Ramadan-based vocabulary terms through several slides on various aspects of the holiday, a video of elementary-aged Muslim children sharing their ideas about Ramadan, and a conclusion page in which students can reflect on what they learned over the course of the presentation.
The explanations provided by this creator are perfect for elementary students, conveying the meanings behind the holiday while remaining simple to read. By exploring the vocabulary of Ramadan, words rooted in Arabic, students will also develop their vocabulary-building skills and can learn what to do when they read an unfamiliar word. This activity is a great way to honor your Muslim students and introduce students that are unfamiliar to this wonderful holiday!
Created and made available for free download by Berry Sweet Elementary.
Ramadan Activities for Middle and High Schoolers
The practice of fasting during Ramadan usually begins for individuals when they encounter puberty; therefore, many of your Muslim middle and high school students may be fasting.
By holding discussions and assigning tasks themed for the holiday (such as ones suggested below), educators provide support for Muslim students by listening to their experiences and educating non-Muslim students on global cultural practices – all while practicing key ELA skills such as writing, research, reading comprehension, and critical thinking.
1. What is Islam and Ramadan?
This activity is a great introduction to Islam and Ramadan for any grade level. The slideshow explores what Islam is, what it means to be Muslim, what constitutes Ramadan celebrations, and how people celebrate Eid al-Fitr. The presentation is full of images depicting famous Muslim icons, Islamic cultural practices, and food often eaten for Iftar or Eid. Further, it explains both cultural/religious and health reasons behind the fast from sunrise to sunset.
A great starting point for other activities, this presentation can be followed up with a variety of assignment options, depending on the needs of your classroom. This could include:
- A research writing assignment in which students choose one of the five pillars of Islam or another topic related to Ramadan to explore.
- A brief reading comprehension quiz on the content of the presentation.
- A research assignment comparing & contrasting Islam to another religion or comparing Ramadan to a different religious celebration.
The possibilities are endless!
Created and made available for free download by Esl e learning.
2. Ramadan & Eid al-Fitr Lesson and Activities
This activity focuses on the celebrations of Ramadan and Eid al-Fitr and comes with several engaging activities for students. The presentation is great for classrooms that distribute assignments digitally – students can fill in the blanks of the presentation on their own file or on paper/a word document. For your convenience, the file contains a .png image for each activity slide in the presentation as well as a word document with reading comprehension/understanding questions.
An interactive presentation, students are provided links to informative videos paired with questions, open-ended opinion questions to answer, and tasks of writing themed letters, newspapers, and greeting cards. Educators can pick-and-choose from these assignments, depending on the curriculum needs of their ELA classroom or the needs of particular students!
Created and made available for free download by ECPublishing.
3. Ramadan Virtual Choice Board
This resource is packed with several Ramadan activities, all digitized for easy student access! It includes a quest for finding online resources on Ramadan (providing practice for research skills by asking students to find and explain reliable sources), three writing prompts, a prompt on creating Ramadan-themed visual art, and a multiple choice quiz to check students’ understanding.
The three included writing prompts are designed to promote reading comprehension of students’ own research as well as critical thinking skills. The art assignment is a way to unite the classroom after each student’s completed their own tasks – printing or otherwise displaying students’ Ramadan-inspired art is a wonderful way to celebrate together as a classroom and raise discussions of different aspects of the holiday.
As a “Choice Board”, educators can pick-and-choose from the provided tasks to customize this contribution to classroom Ramadan celebrations. Further, each task is editable in Google Drive so that educators can shape prompts to fit perfectly into their own ELA classroom curriculum.
Created and made available for free download by MrsDMiddle.
Ramadan Reading Comprehension Questions by Piqosity
We hope you’ve enjoyed the collection of Ramadan activities above!
The following excerpt from an article in Atlas Obscura identifies the first known iftar in the United States! We have created three reading comprehension questions for this text to celebrate Ramadan and emphasize the importance of respecting the religious practices of others and being open to celebrating along with them. These reading comprehension questions, each more difficult than the last and covering a variety of ELA subtopics, quiz students on their English knowledge while they read about this historic event.
Excerpt from “America’s First Ramadan Break-Fast Was Hosted By Thomas Jefferson” by Natasha Frost
Reading Comprehension Questions
1. Mellimelli was…
A. A newspaper commentator.
B. A diplomat from Tunisia.
C. The president’s secretary.
D. An Islamic religious leader.
2. What is iftar?
A. A meal eaten during religious holidays.
B. A dinner for politicians.
C. A special wintertime dinner.
D. The fast-breaking meal after sunset during Ramadan.
3. “Contemptuously” (line 10) most nearly means…
A. in a disrespectful and hateful way.
B. in an observant and detailed way.
C. in a way that pressures someone to do something.
D. in an objective way.
Passage Answer Key and Explanations
The passage states, “Far from his friends, family and home, one Tunisian man was attempting to observe it in Washington, D.C. This was the statesman Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, who was spending six months in the United States, on a diplomatic mission,” (lines 2-6). Therefore, B. A diplomat from Tunisia is the correct answer choice.
Even if you aren’t sure what iftar is before reading, this passage provides several context clues. It describes that a Tunisian diplomat, Sidi Soliman Mellimelli, spent six months in the United States – one month of which was Ramadan (lines 1-6). The text says further, “…Jefferson looked after his Muslim visitor graciously, going so far as to rearrange a dinner party around Mellimelli’s fast. In doing so, America’s third president became the country’s first ever host of an iftar meal,” (lines 14-18). Upon reading this, one can clearly see that “iftar” is a meal that is associated with fasting during Ramadan. Further, the passage explains that Mellimelli was unable to eat during that month (Ramadan) until after sunset (lines 25-26). Thus, the answer is D. The fast-breaking meal after sunset during Ramadan. Though it is a meal eaten during a religious holiday (A), B is far more precise, as iftar isn’t just any meal during a religious holiday.
Following is the context for “contemptuously”: “Observing this holy month and its daily fasts in such a foreign environment must have been a challenge. Newspaper commentators at the time thought of him [Sidi Soliman Mellimelli] contemptuously, variously ‘depicting him as a barbarian…’ writes Jason Zeledon. But in Thomas Jefferson, he had an unexpected ally…” (lines 7-12). Newspaper writers wrote of him contemptuously by depicting him as a barbarian – since they wrote of him in an insulting way, it doesn’t make sense that contemptuously is connected to “observant and detailed” or “objective”. “In a way that pressures someone…” also doesn’t fit because the passage doesn’t describe that newspaper writers were urging him to do something. Because they insulted him, the correct answer choice is A. in a disrespectful and hateful way.
Find More ELA Resources Like These at Piqosity!
We hope you found the above Ramadan activities educational and engaging! Inviting your students to learn about and celebrate Ramadan in the classroom, even if for only one day of the holy month, is incredibly supportive for Muslim students – especially if they’re fasting.
By educating non-Muslim peers about the holiday and providing a space for Muslim students to share their experiences, educators are helping form an open-minded, empathetic group of students and fostering the growth and morale of Muslim students. Our aim is for the above activities to help educators do so while enhancing their ELA curriculum!
You can find more (non-themed) reading and writing lessons with questions of similar difficulty levels in our ELA courses! These are complete courses available online through our app and can be purchased separately or received for free when bundled with our ISEE test prep courses!
If you’re looking for Math prep, look to our collection of Math courses!
For your convenience, we have outlined lessons relevant to or at the same difficulty level as the above passages and word problems. These can be found below.
Related ELA Lessons by Piqosity
Lessons related to questions #1 and #2:
Lessons related to question #3:
Thank You, and رمضان مبارک! (Ramadan Mubarak – Happy Ramadan) from Piqosity!
P.S. Make sure to keep an eye out for our upcoming holiday activity blogs – Earth Day and Easter are also this month, so don’t let your classroom miss out!