Through our class discussions about religions I noticed that most students view Islam as completely different from other religions that they are familiar with. They see no similarities with their own religion. Our students are too young to know whether the head covering called "hijab" in Arabic, which also means "veiling" in English, is only practiced by Islam or by other religions as well. My students also see Muslims as the only people who practice polygamy, but what does history say about that? Is polygamy limited to the religion of Islam only?
The purpose of this unit is to guide the students to identify the similarities and differences between the three monotheistic religions: Judaism, Christianity and Islam. Students will then discuss common features in the three religions, with particular emphasis on head covering as a way to introduce these. The unit I will design will not only help the students find the answers to their questions and clear up their confusion, but will also stress the importance of respecting differences between cultures. This unit will be taught to students in grades nine through twelve who have no prior knowledge of Islam. The class periods are 85 minutes long and meet every other day.
My students will participate in several kinds of activities including research projects, videos, discussions and speakers' presentations. Additionally, students will be introduced to certain articles, as required by the New Haven public school system in order to increase the students' scores on the Reading for Information section of the CAPT Exam. This test section requires students to answer multiple choice and open ended questions from an article that students have to read. As a language teacher, I have to practice this assignment with my students by using articles that cover the culture of a language target country. In my unit I am planning to have my students read two articles entitled "Social Work and the House of Islam" by David Hodge and "Marriage in the Arab World" by Hoda Rashad.