The Spirit of Islam
Resources
Glossary
Acknowledgements
Unity Diversity Knowledge Historical Summary
Curriculum Overview
Overview   |    Lesson 1   |    Lesson 2   |    Lesson 3   |    Lesson 4   |    Lesson 5   |    Lesson 6

Broad Understandings:

Islam is a faith community in a world of faith communities. Knowledge is an effective tool for overcoming stereotyping ethnic, cultural and religious groups. We all share in the responsibility for overcoming stereotyping.

Rationale:

Canada is a culturally and ethnically diverse country. Frequently, in an attempt to find a place within this diversity, people make generalizations about people such as the followers of Islam. Such generalizations are not only unfair but also fail to recognize the diversity within cultural, ethnic and religious groups. Knowledge is an effective tool for overcoming this kind of stereotyping. By gaining a new perspective on Islam and Muslim people, students will be able to understand how all people must work together to combat stereotyping and apply this knowledge in their daily lives.


Lesson 1: Spirit of Islam

Introductory lesson in which students begin their exploration of Islam through the University of British Columbia Museum of Anthropology's (MOA)The Spirit of Islam web site. Includes:

  • discussion of preconceptions about cultural/ethnic/religious groups and how those preconceptions affect behaviour

  • role-play of a situation in which perceived perceptions might result in stereotyping

  • discussion about how stereotypes are created with conclusion that knowledge overcomes commonly held stereotypes

  • introduction of the unit and the final research project

  • investigation of the MOA The Spirit of Islam web site as an information resource

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Lesson 2: Introduction to Islam

Students begin to develop an understanding of Islam. Includes:

  • a PQR (Perceptions, Queries, Results) activity in which students brainstorm their present awareness of Islam then propose questions to be explored

  • a jigsaw approach to researching the basic philosophical and ethical ideas of Islam and the ways in which they are similar to or different from other major religions of the world

  • exploration of what it means to be part of a faith community and whether or not we live in a world of faith communities

  • response to two quotations

  • categorization of questions on the Queries chart

  • research to find information that could be used to help overcome stereotypes about Islam

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Lesson 3: The Spirit of Calligraphy

Students develop an understanding of the role calligraphy plays in Islam. Includes:

  • examination of two overhead transparencies of religious artifacts -- a Medieval Manuscript and a Mosque Lamp

  • creation of a T-chart to determine whether or not the items are religious artifacts

  • discussion of how calligraphy is used both as a transmitter of knowledge and an artistic expression

  • demonstration of and instruction in the four styles of calligraphy on the MOA The Spirit of Islam web site

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Lesson 4: Muslims in Canada today

Students investigate the Muslim presence in Canada to develop an understanding of the diversity within the Muslim faith community and the contributions Muslims make to society. Includes:

  • research to locate the nearest mosque

  • investigation of the beginnings and growth of the Muslim community in their area, reflecting on how its continued presence has contributed to the larger community

  • research to locate other Muslim communities and mosques in Canada to become aware of how individual Muslim communities respond to their faith in various locations

  • discussion about how the presence of the Muslim faith community has contributed to Canadian society over the years

  • creation of a class time line showing the growth of the Canadian Muslim community and how it has contributed to the richness of Canadian society

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Lesson 5: Working to overcome stereotyping

Students design and present their three-part research projects intended to help develop an understanding of the challenges inherent in changing attitudes and overcoming stereotypes as well as of the shared responsibility for bringing about those changes. Includes:

  • development of a questionnaire about present attitudes towards cultural, ethnic and religous groups

  • discussion of collected data and possible conclusions

  • formation of a research question or thesis statement about combating stereotypes

  • development of a preliminary list of references and resources to be used in the project

  • development of a multi-media (text and visuals) presentation about combating stereotypes about Muslims

  • presentation of projects for peer review and evaluation

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Lesson 6: Wrapping it up

Culminating lesson focuses on helping students reflect on what they have learned about Islam and working together to combat stereotyping. Includes:

  • class discussion to clarify understanding of the broad understandings for the unit

  • development of an action plan for a realistic, effective and doable plan for working together to overcome stereotyping

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Overview   |    Lesson 1   |    Lesson 2   |    Lesson 3   |    Lesson 4   |    Lesson 5   |    Lesson 6



Heritage Canada Museum of Anthropology at UBC
Copyright 2002 Museum of Anthropology at UBC