Elements in the lessons:
Inquiry: throughout this curriculum, students learn how to ask questions and extract information from images and maps. They will generate questions before doing any reading. This is called Inquiry Based Learning. Learning how to ask the right question is half of the success of research.
In book 1 through 3, parents have been modeling this skill with increasing participation of the student. In book 4, students will organize their independent inquiry questions a bit more in detail. They will categorize their questions into What, Who, When,
Where, Why and How, using Inquiry Sheets to organize their thoughts. During the reading process, more questions may come up and should be added to their sheets. Initially, students are merely required to come up with one of each type of question, and find the answer to this question in the paragraphs read.
As they progress, they may transition from the inquiry sheets to a notebook should they desire to do so.
Discussion: Discussion questions help students recap the major events in a story and practices comprehension.
This is not an exam or a drill. These questions are intended to consolidate what the child learned from the text. The child can look at images in the book when answering the questions.
Reading: Learning how to read a historical text is a skill that will benefit a student throughout his/her life. The goal is not to read as many paragraphs as possible, but to read each paragraph with attention, looking to extract information.
Since reading levels widely vary between students, we give suggestions where needed for those with lower and higher reading levels. However much a student manages to read, please praise and encourage the student for their efforts, with a focus on the effort to understand the information embedded in the text.
Reading a text phonetically, without understanding is not the goal of this program. Initially, extracting information from a written text may require a substantial effort from the student, depending on the familiarity and reading level of the student. Therefore, going slow is not a problem, as the goal is to master the skill of extracting information.
Activities: Every week the child will complete an activity that relates to the topic of the week. This will help students internalize the information covered. Activities are varied and alternated, in order to keep students engaged. Doing activities teaches young children different skills and abilities, such as fine motor skills, strategic thinking, hand-eye coordination, and deduction.
Tracing a Map: The program asks the child to trace the Location Maps (provided). The action of physically tracing a map assures the information is integrated into memory. Please assure you have tracing paper available. The mapping activity allows students to get familiar with geography and teaches them to pay attention to certain geographical landmarks, such as rivers and seas, mountain ranges and oceans.
One Ummah: In order to make it clear that events on one continent may affect Muslims on another continent, we use the One Ummah Poster. Truthfully, in the global society we live in, everything is connected to everything else, but we chose to highlight certain events that affected Muslims around the world directly.
It is essential for students to be able to visualize information, so they will stick 1 or 2 images on selected topics that affect Muslims on a large poster.