Focus on: The law, right and wrong, fair, unfair

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4th Grade

9-10 years old

Focus on: The law, right and wrong, fair, unfair




"The Pre-Adolescent"

By the age of 10, children have informally chosen the leader of their peer group, whether it is the child who plays baseball well, the one who can run fast or the one with new ideas for games. At the same time, those who fail to fit in are often reminded of their faults and pushed aside. 10 year olds have primarily same-sex friends. Friends assume greater importance, and the child's independence from the family is now obvious. Focus lessons on leadership and why we should not exclude those who do not fit in. Talk about peer pressure. Give a chance to everyone to be leader of the classroom in different assignments so that other students can see their good sides and not focus on their bad sides (appearance, etc.)

Role models are important to a nine year old. He is very impressionable, and beginning to show a bit of hero worship. Build lesson plans about great Islamic heroes.

Nine years old are developing a conscience. They recognize when they have done wrong, but also when they have failed to do right. They are not ashamed to say it openly because they conscience are bothering them. Work lesson plans on truthfulness. Fairness is of utmost importance to the nine year old, and she will respond willingly when she perceives that justice and fairness are being considered. Build lesson plans about the court of justice and how the sahabas would judge each other fairly regardless of position or status.

They are affectionate with both Mom and Dad. Children this age are usually industrious, helping with household tasks, pet responsibilities and small domestic projects. Show how the sahabas would work hand in hand. Explain how Rasulullah would repair his own things, how tidy he was and how he kept their things clean and nice. Teach how to take good care of a pet and the respect Muslims have for every living creature.

At nine years old, students are learning how to make decisions and set standards. Help the child make decisions for himself or herself, get a greater sense of responsibility, set personal standards, develop personal interests and abilities, develop social skills, learn to engage in group decision-making because they typically have poor self-confidence.

Praise him or her for achievements made. Identify the child's strengths and always keep the lines of communication open. Work lessons on recognizing each other’s strength and making excuses for weaknesses. Teach not to criticize peers because opinion of friends is highly respected at this age, more than opinions of parents. Lessons on backbiting would work here. Work on the respect and love sahabas had for each other and how they admired Rasulullah. It is ok to be different. Show sahabas who looked different like Bilal who was black but was well integrated. Bilal was given a big responsibility, the Adhan. The sahabas only saw what was best in him: his voice.

Children this age like board games. Make Islamic board games; you might think of creating them with the help of the children even if the teacher will have to do the bigger part.

They read for pleasure. Build lesson plans that reinforce the love for reading.

They have a sense of humor. Teacher will ask: "do you know any good jokes? What's your favorite joke?" and introduce jokes in the program. Talk about Rasulullah and his love for making jokes.

They are ready to start talking about sexuality. Most girls are ready to menstruate by now. An open dialogue about puberty and sex is important. This will ensure that the child will learn facts within a framework of values that Muslim families feel is important. Prepare the girls for menstruation, and boys for wet dreams.

School changes quite dramatically for students in fourth grade. Students will be asked to read and apply what they have understood. They will now be asked to write reports and handle long-term assignments. They will need to know how to use contextual clues to discover the meaning of words. Plan Islamic lessons where children can learn new words, do some basic research, and can write small assignments with confidence. Present to classroom and organize expositions with making posters and illustrations in a group project.

Students are also learning about the history and geography of their state. Include lesson plans on the first Muslim settlers in America. Introduce them to the landscape of Arabia and Qur’anic locations. Introduce them to strategies in the planning of space like oasis, etc.

When the teacher does not have any authority over the class or the student, isolation, removal of privileges, warnings, and second chances all work well with the nine year old who accepts his punishment at the condition it is not accompanied by shaming, yelling, or extreme criticism.


Format of lessons to Avoid: Keep things varied. No lecture format. They prefer activities and stories. Read lessons and have them do activities from their books.

At the end of Grade 4, students should know:
Qur'anic Knowledge

Surahs: At Teen, Ad Duha, Al 'Alaq, Ash Sharh, Ayat 59:22-24. (English/Arabic)



'Aqeedah

  1. The seven beliefs of the Eman ul Mufassil: belief in Allah, the Angels, the Books, the Prophets, the Day of Judgement and that all Good and Bad comes from Allah.

Let students know that who does not adhere to these beliefs will not be called a Muslim. Build the lesson plan in a way it does not sound unfair. Avoid the discussion on who is going to Jannah and who is not going based on being Muslim or not because they are not ready for that. Build the lesson on the positive of the seven beliefs. Stress the fact that the seven beliefs makes us belong to one whole community(ummah) where everyone is important and plays his or her role in society. Stress the fact that Allah does not look at our appearance or status in life but look into our heart, our sincerity (we need to have hearts of little birds) and mainly faith.Define faith and what is it. Design a way to tell how much faith a person has using the haadith and Qur’an. You could involve the chidlren in that too; they will love the desicion making that they can apply.

2.  The laws of Allah are more important than any laws people make. Talk about the justice among the sahabas and how even great Muslims were humble and accepted any punishment for their acts.

3.  Any laws people make that go against the laws of Allah must not be followed. Talk about celebrating birthdays, going to non-Muslims celebrations even the secular ones and how they contradict Islam. Talk about innovations in Islam like salat Tasbeeh (the month before Ramadhan) or the birthday of the prophet, etc. Stress the fact that whoever says something our prophet (peace and blessing be upon us) did not say or report is considered a lie in Islam and has consequences. This way, teach children they are responsible about what they say.Teach children they have to be truthful in words; they cannot say anything untrue even while joking (and they love jokes at this age).

4.  Allah has forbidden some foods because they are harmful to us. Let children know they cannot eat anything non halal because Allah will not accept acts from them if they pollute their body (haadith). Talk about halal and non-halal foods. Make lists and check packages. Talk about the kosher and halal signs. Talk about the fact that Muslims will not eat any animal that has suffered or has been ill-treated. Talk about the good treatment of animals in Islam, even for pigs or dogs.

5.  Non-Muslims don't care what they eat despite the fact that the Bible says not to eat pigs or blood or badly prepared food. Talk about he references to this in the Bible and the eating habits of Jews like not eating butter, the animal waist down, etc.

6.  Preparation of the meat. Explain the preparation of Dhabiha (prepared Islamically) meat and encourage children to assist at the slaughter of the animal in the Islamic way.  Animals cannot be slaughtered in front of each other, the knife has to be sharp, etc. Talk about why we eat animals while other religions prefer to remain vegetarian in order not to harm the animals.


'Ibadah

1. Teach how to say the Adhan and the Iqamah. Give responsibility to give the Adhan and Iqamah to boys in turns. Encourage girls to say the Iqamah between them. Talk about the reasons why the female voice is Awrah (beautiful, enticing) and compare to the use of the female voice in advertisements, etc., to attract clients. Look around and make a list of places where female voice is usually preferred (on the phone, receptionists) and male voices are preferred (language materials).

2. Teach both boys and girls that they must repeat the words of the Adhan when they hear it. Explain the benefits of doing that. Read the Hadith on this subject to them. Also, they should memorize the Hadith Qudsi about Allah commenting on the shepherd who makes Adhan and prays on a mountain top.

3. The procedure for performing the 'Eid prayer, Witr and Tarawih can be introduced.. Explain that children are now required to fast and pray regularly. Make it appealing and stress that doing this will make them look grown up and respected in their community.

4. Tayammum.

Du'a, Phrases & Hadith

1.  When we see something that is nice we say, "Masha'llah."  "As Allah wills."

2.  "When entering the Masjid we say, "Allahumma aftahli abwaba rahmatika."  "O Allah open for me the doors of Your mercy."   (Muslim)

3.  "Miftahul Jannati Shahadatu an la ilaha illallah."   "The key to Jannah is to say that there is no god but Allah."   (Ahmad)

4.  "Alaykum bil Jamaa'at."  "Pray with the group."  (Nasa'i)

5.  "Talibul 'ilmi fareedatun 'ala kulli Muslimin wa Muslimat."  "Learning is a duty on every Muslim, male and female."   (Ibn 'Adi)

6.  "La dina liman la ahda lahu."  "Whoever doesn't keep their promise has no deen."  (Ibn an-Najar)


Akhlaq & Adab

1.  When Maghrib time comes, we say, "Amsaynaa wa amsal mulku lilahi rabbil 'alameen."  "We enter the night and so does the kingdom of Allah, the Lord of all the Worlds."

2.  When we break our fast at the end of a day of fasting, we say, "Allahumma laka sawmtu, wa 'ala rizquka aftartu."  "O Allah I fasted for you and I break my fast with what You gave me."

3.  Whenever we start to think of doing a bad deed, drive the Shaytan away by saying, "Owthzubullahimin ash Shaytanir Rajeem."  "Allah protect me from the rejected Shaytan."



Sirah

  1. Look for stories in the sirah that talks about fairness and male-female responsibilities, and stories talking about the formation of the personality especially in young children.

  2. Use the story of the boy and the king as a base for several lesson plans.

  3. Explain about the Hijra

  4. Building the first masjid in Islam

  5. Learn about the first battle in Islam (Badr) and the fact that Muslims fought to recover their goods stolen and sold.

  6. Explain how disobedience in Battle Uhud caused defeat

  7. Learn verse 3:152. A verse of the Qur'an revealed soon after the battle cited the Muslims' disobedience and desire for loot as the cause for this setback:

Allah did indeed fulfil His promise to you when ye with His permission were about to annihilate your enemy,-until ye flinched and fell to disputing about the order, and disobeyed it after He brought you in sight (of the booty) which ye covet. Among you are some that hanker after this world and some that desire the Hereafter. Then did He divert you from your foes in order to test you but He forgave you: For Allah is full of grace to those who believe [3:152, Yusuf Ali translation]







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