Ramadan Picture Books
These picture books about Ramadan are a great way to introduce children to the Muslim celebrations of Ramadan and Eid.
Children who are of the Muslim faith may already be familiar with some of these books and will probably enjoy helping you read and discuss them with your class. Children of other faiths – or of no particular faith – will benefit from learning about Ramadan and about the celebrations and traditions which surround it. Sharing these books will help build their background knowledge, promote cognitive development and encourage the development of empathy.
The month of Ramadan is the ninth and holiest month in the Islamic lunar calendar. It’s the month in which Muslims believe that God revealed the Quran to their profit, Muhammed, through the angel Gabriel.
The time when Ramadan will be observed each year is calculated using the lunar calendar which is different from the Gregorian calendar we use today. Each month begins when the first crescent of a new moon is sighted and Ramadan occurs on a different date every year. In 2022, Ramadan begins on Saturday 2 April and ends in the evening of Sunday 1 May.
Muslims observe Ramadan through prayer, fasting, performing acts of charity and reading the Quran. Fasting begins before sunrise when a special breakfast is shared and ends after sunset with a wonderful dinner called iftar which, again, is shared with friends and family.
At the end of Ramadan, there is a special period called Eid or Eid al-Fitr, a three-day long celebration which marks the end of the holy month.
Using picture books about Ramadan in the classroom
By the end of Year 3, we want children to be able to identify the importance of different celebrations and commemorations for different groups and to explain how and why people participate in – and contribute to – their communities.
In Australia we have a diverse range of cultures and histories so there are many interesting celebrations to learn about. Ramadan is one of these.
To introduce one of these books about Ramadan, I suggest asking the children:
What events do different people and groups in Australia celebrate?
After a brief discussion, if no-one has mentioned Ramadan, write the word on the classroom whiteboard and ask the children if they have ever heard of Ramadan. Then introduce the book.
Click on the picture book to see the following free resources:
- a step-by-step lesson plan, including discussion questions, writing activities and suggestions for other activities related to the text;
- 1-3 differentiated free, printable word-search puzzles, using vocabulary from the book;
- a printable writing/drawing template which can be used for a variety of writing activities related to the text;