Ramadan will soon be upon us in shaa Allah. And with it comes the responsibility of Madrassahs teachers to motivate children to be in the right mindset to prepare themselves spiritually, physically and socially to earn as many benefits as possible during this blessed month.
Madrassahs will vary in the amount of time they choose to dedicate to teaching Ramadan and fasting to their students. Whether you have a whole day, a few hours or a couple of weeks to teach Ramadan, your delivery must be planned and well prepared for in advance in order to ensure effective outcomes.
Good planning will give careful consideration to the intended learning goals, objectives and outcomes you want your students to attain by the end of the teaching session. It will also divide the available time wisely ensuring that the learning session includes a grasping warmer, engaging activities (auditory, visual and kinaesthetic) ), independent learning, assessment for learning and a plenary. All resources and material should be prepared in advance.
Below are some ideas for lessons that help children understand important concepts and actions during this blessed month.
Select a well written story about the beginning of revelation with context about pre-Islamic Makkah and read it to your students on the carpet with special lightning. Ensure that you engage the children using visual stimulation, sound effects, facial expressions and body language. Follow up the story with a quiz or a quiet task, such reflection on the significance of the day of the beginning of Quran Revelation.
2. Taqwa Role plays
The concept of Taqwa is a crucial one in Islam, yet not the easiest to understand. Use a short visually animated lecture to explain the concept of Taqwa. Then give out a sheet with questions and ask students to complete it quietly, then check in pairs and feedback to the rest of the class. Have your students further practice the concept by working in pairs to write a short story where Taqwa is achieved or not achieved and then ask them to act it out in a role-play. After each role-play ask other individuals in the class whether Taqwa was practised or not, why and what would be the opposite case.
3. School Assembly
If your students come from local schools, contact the schools and ask them if they would like you to deliver an assembly about Ramadan with the students that attend both your Madrassah and that school. Many schools would be very welcoming of the idea, not only is it helping build positive networks with the neighbouring communities, but it will help them understand their students better. The benefits for your students and other Muslim children in the school are outstanding; not least of which is that it could give them confidence to discuss and practice Islam among their peers.
4. Participate in a Quran Competition
If there is a central Mosque or Islamic centre that is organising Quran competition, enrol your top students and use it to motivate them and others. Once enrolled, give your students as much support and encouragement as possible and remind them that the real purpose is to speed up their memorisation of the Quran so they can reap the real rewards from Allah.
5. Healthy Fuel
Early on in the month or just before, organise a well-being workshop where you teach the importance of eating a balanced diet, excising and hygiene. Through the workshop help them explore food that is particularly nutritious for the brain (which could aid their studying as well as their memorisation of the Quran). Help them create Suhour and Iftar planners. And if you feel very creative and have access to a safe kitchen facility, help them work in groups to prepare a healthy Iftar or Suhour meal for themselves.
6. Iman Fuel and Goal planner
In a separate lesson, teach your students that just as we need food fuel, we need Iman fuel, which comes from Reciting, reflecting and understanding the Quran and doing Salah properly and making sincere duas from our heart.
Set the lesson around the stories of Zachariyah, Maryam, Yahyah and Jesus peace be upon them and how they were spiritually healthy and superb. The Quran speaks repeatedly about their Salah and Dua.
At the end ask your students to create a goal planner and on it write two goals under Salah, Dua and Quran.
7. Personal Quran memorisation /Revision Goals and Prizes
If your Madrassah will be closed during Ramadan, this is a good idea to keep your children motivated and focused on memorising Quran throughout the month. Sit down with each student separately and discuss with them Golden, Silver and Bronze goals, each entailing a personalised Quran memorisation/revision target (Gold being challenging, Silver- Moderate, Bronze- Easy). When students return, you will assess them to see which goals have been achieved and award them accordingly. For example, you could award a number of merits if you have a successful meriting system, a money prize, a gift, trophy or certificate. If a certain number of students in the class achieve their Golden goals, you would take them on a special trip.
8. Interactive teaching of Surat Al-Qadr
In this lesson, students get to practice reading and memorising this Surah with Tajweed, they then watch an animated short video highlighting key meanings and lessons. Follow this up with a quiet independent written assessment for learning. Draw lessons from the Surah that impact us on our daily life.
Encourage students to maintain reflection diaries and ask them to bring their diaries after Ramadan where they can tell the class about the most difficult challenges they faced and how they overcome them, or about special reflections and inspirations.
10. Visit a local Soup Kitchen or children’s hospital
The prophet peace be upon him highly encouraged Sadaqah and gave so much charity during the month of Ramadan. Help your students experience helping the poor and the weak by donating food and visiting a Soup kitchen or buying toys and taking them to a children’s hospital.