We usually go in once a year for an RE day – this year, we decided to do a play about sayings from the Prophet Muhammad (saw). With only one practise, Alhamd the Key Stage 2 kids did brilliantly! Here is the script.
There were two performances, one to the whole of KS1, and then to KS2. After they had watched the play, there were follow up activities that the classes went on to do in their classrooms with their teachers, and a parent helper.
Reception, Year 1:
This class had an activity based on the hadith: “Greeting people and having a cheerful face is a form of charity.” They had a quick discussion on this, and then moved on to the activity of making a smiley paper plate. They put googly eyes on and decorated it, and stuck on a piece of paper with the hadith written on it. They stuck it on a lollipop stick so that they could wear it as their own face when greeting someone!
They then could colour this colouring sheet or take it home:
The activity organised for this class was centered around concept the of forgiveness, taken from a hadith of the Prophet pbuh: “Forgiving is the best of all actions.” The children all got busy making a chatterbox, in which they all had to write something about forgiveness or what they understand forgiveness to be.
After that was completed, we used dissolvable (Vitamin C) tablets in which the children picked one and put into a jug of water with the thought of forgiving somebody. As the tablet fizzled away into nothing, this was related to any hurt or anger fizzling away inside them as well. This giving them an opportunity to practice forgiveness.
After this activity, this short story was read to them. The children were really engaging and enjoyed their afternoon.
After the play the year 4 classes had activities based on the Saying of Prophet Muhammad – “The strongest among you is the one who controls his anger.”The activities for the classes were as follows:The following clip was to be shown which was based on what happens in our brains when we get angry and how to control our anger.
The students were then asked to make these anger chatterboxes. Students were given the pre printed chatterboxes and they cut them to size and thereafter folded them and coloured them in as appropriate and played the chatterbox game with their peers. The purpose of this activity was that the chatterboxes had techniques on how to control one’s anger so it was an indirect method to educate the students on anger management.Once all the students had finished making their chatterboxes, the following clip had been arranged to be shown which was based on relaxation and mindfulness techniques.
A recommended book to read with them was Angeryella!
After the play, the children from Years 5 and 6 stayed in the hall to discuss another saying of the Prophet: “The cure for ignorance is to ask questions.” (PPT available for download here). We began by looking at what ignorance means, and then what type of things we are ignorant about. As the kids brainstormed, they began to realise that there is a lot we don’t know, and actually “we are ignorant about what we are ignorant about”! Some things included other cultures, religions, foods, and even what other people have been through and are feeling.
We then moved on to talk about what ignorance leads to – one main thing being fear – we are often scared by what we don’t know, especially if we look through the world with our BLM glasses – ‘Be Like Me’ glasses mean we expect everyone to be like us and we don’t like it when things are different. This fear then leads to things like prejudice and racism, and acting on these feelings hurt others.
Then we discussed how we could prevent this from happening – and it led us back to the saying, to cure ignorance, we need to ask questions to learn, and take off our BLM glasses. The students then had a ponder on different questions they wanted to ask, and wrote a question down on a post-it note and stuck it up. Their questions were thought-provoking and honest, and ranged from: “Why do people feel the need to be rude about people’s religions” to Why has your hand got 5 fingers?”, “Why do people eat meat”, “Why do Muslims wear headscarves” and – my favourite – “What is chicken masala?”
Unfortunately we did not have the chance to answer all these questions! We wrapped the session up by watching Episode 2 of Season 2 of The Kindness Diaries – a series where a guy called Leon travels from Alaska to Argentina in a bright yellow VW beetle, with NO money and relying only on the kindness of others. He comes across 2 people in this episode that reflect the impact of ignorance and fear – such as the removal of Native Indians from their home in the Bush in Canada to forcibly being schooled in English schools to remove their culture, and another guy in Canada who hosts a BBQ every Wednesday in his home for refugees and people from all over the world, to give them a sense of community, saying that the answer to this fear is simply to get to know the other.
A fitting end to the session on the beautiful saying of our Prophet!
This gift definitely made us smile!
The emoji pillow is fun in itself but extra meaning was added by stitching on a tag which says ‘Smiling is Charity at the back.
The word cloud card was personalised with each child’s name as well as words like Akhlaq, Thankful, Charity, Eid Mubarak, Smile and the like… And at the back were two ahadith on smiling!
He faced a massive tragedy, but turned it into light…
Jummah Mubarak all!
This really touched my heart.
A great video to get our children’s thoughts flowing and the mood set to truly make the most out of the current blessed months we are in leading towards Ramadhan – and help as many as we can, Inshallah!
Jummah Mubarak all 🙂
Here is the actual day! Mashallah – looks like the kids had a blast, and what better day to associate with happiness and love, as even the angels came to congratulate the Prophet on this day 🙂
So I look forward to receiving a gift from this person EVERY YEAR because it is always so thoughtful and we learn from it as well…
Check it out – it’s just a small smile magnet, but it accompanies a story and a powerful lesson behind it – the power of a smile and the fact that happiness is a consequence of giving.
The stories and mementos have varied every year but the concept is the same – a little something to hang up on the bulletin board or stick up on the fridge, along with a big something to learn through a poem/story/fable to stay with you forever!
“Smiling in the face of your brother is charity…” – the Holy Prophet (saw)
To smile is to be cheerful in a wonderful, contagious, and effortless way. Here is a lovely story to share with your children:
One day, Miss Ellis gave her pupils a new assignment: an assignment on happiness. Her pupils would be “happiness collectors”, and were to see what would happen when they tried to bring happiness to those around them. As part of their assignment, all the students did really delightful, wonderful things, but what Carla Chalmers did left everyone gobsmacked. Several days after the assignment had been handed out, Carla turned up carrying a big sack.
“Here in this bag I have all the happiness I’ve collected so far,” she said, smiling.
On seeing this, everyone was filled with expectation, but Carla didn’t want to show anyone what was in the sack. Instead, she pulled out a small box and gave it to her teacher. When Miss Ellis had taken the box, Carla took an instant camera out of her own pocket and stood with it at the ready.
“Open it, Miss Ellis.”
The teacher slowly opened the box and looked inside. A big smile shone on her face, and at that moment Carla snapped a photo. Carla’s photo popped out the camera, and she offered it to Miss Ellis along with a sheet of paper. The teacher read the paper in silence, and when she had finished she gestured over at the sack.
“Oh, so it’s….”
“Yes!” interrupted Carla, undoing the knot which sealed the sack, “It’s a great big pile of smiles!”
She opened the sack and hundreds of photos fell out, all of different smiles, each one of them beautiful.
The rest of the class tried to work out how Carla had managed to create such a great big chain of happiness. All there was in the box was a photo of a big smile. But everyone who had seen it had felt happiness being transmitted to them, and in return, without even thinking about it, every person had responded with a smile of their own.
With all her classmates now smiling, Carla took a photo of each one of them. She gave them their own photo along with a slip of paper, which asked them to do the same with other people, and to send a copy of the photos to her home address. And for months afterwards, Carla’s post box was always full to the brim with photos of happy, smiling people.
And so it was that she managed to spread understanding of the simple truth that every time you smile you are sending a gift to the world.
IDEAS to help inculcate this fully and with understanding:
* Brainstorm how we can remember to smile throughout the day – maybe leave a note in your child’s lunchbox?
* Have a discussion on charity and what the wider meaning is.
* Maybe even decide to give monetary charity as well on this day, or why not make a Sadqa box?
I know many of you have already done some really cool things for this topic of smiling… Inshallah please do post to inspire others! Happy smiling 🙂