USF St. Petersburg campus Faculty Publications


Teaching About Religion with Conversations and Multicultural Literature in K-6 Classrooms

SelectedWorks Author Profiles:

AnnMarie Alberton Gunn

Susan Bennett

Kaya van Beynen

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After reading Lailah's Lunchbox, a book about a young girl celebrating Ramadan, a circle of teachers discussed Ramadan through the perspective of the main character, Lailah. 1 Not only did the teachers in this graduate-level course learn about Muslim beliefs and practices during Ramadan (the ninth month of the Muslim year), they also gained a new perspective on what young Muslim students might be thinking and feeling as they attend school in the United States. One of the teachers shared dismay, recalling that she had sent a Muslim fourth grade student to the cafeteria during lunch period. "I had no idea it was Ramadan. The student asked to stay in the classroom and help me, and I just didn't put two and two together." The teacher realized that her student was fasting, not eating or drinking from dawn to sunset, for one month. Fasting during Ramadan is in the Islamic holy scriptures, the Koran. It is one of the Five Pillars of Islam, which are central practices of faithful Muslims.


National Council for the Social Studies