Module 1: Basic Beliefs and Practices of Islam (40-50 minutes) (specify elementary or secondary grades)

Overview: This module provides the most basic information on the standard requirements for learning about a world religion, in terms of Islam’s beliefs and practices, terminology, and meaning in an individual, spiritual, worldly and social context. What it means to be a Muslim, and how Islam relates to other monotheistic faiths.

  • The meaning of the Islamic creed and articles of belief
  • The five pillars have many dimensions
  • Islam as a moral and ethical system
  • Islam as an Abrahamic faith tradition

Module 2: Geographic issues: Maps and the Name Game (40–50 minutes)

Overview: Engaging in study of what is often erroneously called “the Muslim World” begins with defining the region geographically. No other world region is as elastic in scope and as varied in the names given to it. Starting from the essential elements of the National Geography Standards on which nearly all state standards are based, participants explore their application to this world region. Using a variety of maps and data, teachers learn how to avoid simplistic and misleading notions to ensure greater understanding and skill development. This module is not only for geography teachers. The module shows how to incorporate geography as a dynamic component of the world history course.

  • Defining the region in maps and terminology
  • Comparative geography of Muslim regions over time
  • Surprising statistics and surveys on Islam in America, polling data on global attitudes
  • Activities for the geography and history classroom

Module 3: Historical Issues in Teaching about Islam (90–100 minutes)

Overview: This module provides historical content and places it in the context of the world eras in which it took place. The subtopics cover most of the historical content on Islam and Muslim civilization that are required by state standards. The workshop discusses how the content can be problematized and points to approaches that allow students to engage with primary and secondary source material in a manner that helps cultivate historical thinking skills so highly valued in every state standards document. Lesson material is included for every topic.

  • Origins of Islam
  • Rise and Spread of Islam
  • Islam and hemispheric interactions
  • Early modern and contemporary historical issues