Fourth Grade - World History - Overview - March
 

This month the spread of Islam and the Crusades will be studied in World History. The Art lessons this month also cover Islamic Art and Architecture.

The third quarter assessment tests information on Islam and the Crusades and can be found at the end of this month's History lessons.
 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 31 - Muhammad
 

Objectives

Identify the prophet Muhammad as the founder of the Muslim religion.

Become familiar with important aspects of the Muslim religion.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map

1 per student

Five Pillars of Islam reading and worksheet (attached)
 

Suggested Books

Student Titles

MacDonald, Fiona. A 16th Century Mosque. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994.

This nicely illustrated book gives information not only regarding mosques, but also historical background information about the Muslim religion.

Tames, Richard. Muslim: Beliefs and Culture. Danbury, CT: Children's Press, 1996.

This informative activity book contains color photographs showing important aspects of the Muslim religion.
 

Teacher Resource

"Islam," Calliope Magazine, (January/February 1997). Volume 7, no. 3.
 

Procedure

Remind the students that when they last left off in their study of history, they were studying the Hundred Years War. Ask: Who were the two sides that were fighting in the Hundred Years War? (the English and the French) Review with the students that the English and the French were fighting over the ownership of lands in France.

Tell the students that while the English and French were fighting in Europe, there were other battles being fought to the east. Explain that these battles were not between two countries, but instead were being fought between religions--Christianity and Islam (write the two words on the board). Tell the students that to understand why people who practiced these two religions were fighting we have to look back to the end of the Roman Empire around 310 A.D. when an emperor named Constantine ruled the Eastern Roman Empire from the city of Constantinople. Direct the students' attention to the country of Turkey and the city of Istanbul on the world map. Tell the students that Istanbul used to be called Constantinople. Ask: Who do you think the city Constantinople was named after? (Emperor Constantine)

Relate the following information from What Your Third Grader Needs to Know by E. D. Hirsch to the students:

For more than a thousand years, the eastern part of the Roman Empire continued to be ruled from Constantinople. It became the greatest city of Europe. Around A. D. 900 it contained over a million inhabitants of many races--as large as Rome itself was in earlier times. But Constantinople could not hold on to all the eastern lands of the old empire. Many of these lands were taken over by a new wave of people from the deserts of Arabia.

These people were different from most others in the ancient world. One of the main reasons they wanted to conquer new lands was to spread their religion. They were Arabs who believed in the religion of Islam. (We call people who believe in Islam, Muslims.)
 

Direct the students' attention back to the world map and locate Saudi Arabia. Tell the students that this was the area from which the Arabs who were Muslims came. Explain that the man who became the holy leader of the Muslims was named Muhammad (write the name on the board). Tell the students that Muhammad was a prophet which means he was a person who felt that God spoke through him so that he could tell God's message to other people.

Explain that Muhammad said that an angel came to him and told him God's wishes. Tell the students that Muhammad's teachings are recorded in the holy book of Islam called the Koran. Tell the students that there are two ways to spell the word Koran (write both Koran and Qur'an on the board). Explain that the Koran is to the Muslims what the Bible is to Christians and the Torah is to Jews. Tell the students that Muhammad preached that there was only one god, whom the Muslims call Allah (write the word on the board). Remind the students that the worship of one god was a new idea for many people at this time. Have the students recall that the Romans and Greeks worshiped many gods and goddesses.

Tell the students that in addition to teaching that there is only one god, Muhammad also taught people about the way they should live their lives in order to be good Muslims. Explain that there are five key elements to Muslim life which are called the Five Pillars of Islam. Tell the students that pillars are sometimes the sturdy supports of a building. Ask the students why they think the five principles of the Muslim religion would be called the Five Pillars of Islam? (The five elements are the strong base of the religion.)

Give each student a copy of the Five Pillars of Islam reading and worksheet. Tell the students to read the selection and then follow the directions to complete the worksheet.
 
 

The Five Pillars of Islam


 
 

All religions involve belief and a way to worship. The Muslims incorporate their religion with their everyday life. There are a set of five key elements of worship in the Muslim religion which are called the Five Pillars of Islam. Muslims are expected to have faith, pray regularly, give to charity, go without food and drink for a month a year, and make a pilgrimage to the holy city of Mecca.

The Five Pillars are as follows:


 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 31 - Muhammad
 

Name ________________________________________________

Five Pillars of Islam
 

Directions: Under each pillar write one of each of the five key elements of Muslim life. Choose two elements and on the lines below describe their importance within the Muslim religion.
 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 32 - Mecca and Ramadan
 

Objectives

Recognize Mecca as a holy city in the Muslim religion.

Become familiar with the religious holiday of Ramadan.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map
 

Suggested Books

Student Titles

Ghazi, Suhaib Hamid. Ramadan. New York: Holiday House, 1996.

This beautifully illustrated book informatively describes one boy's celebration of the Muslim holiday Ramadan.

Husain, Shahrukh. Mecca: Holy Cities. New York: Dillon Press, 1993.

This book gives detailed information regarding ancient, as well as, present-day Mecca.

MacDonald, Fiona. A 16th Century Mosque. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994.

This nicely illustrated book gives information not only regarding mosques, but also historical background information about the Muslim religion.

Winchester, Faith. Muslim Holidays. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 1996.

This book briefly describes the beliefs of Muslims and eight of the special celebrations that are a part of the Islamic faith.
 

Procedure

Ask: Why is Muhammad important to the Muslim religion? (He is a prophet and the founder of the Muslim religion.) What city in Saudi Arabia is considered the holiest city in the Muslim religion? (Mecca) Remind the students that in the last lesson they learned about the five pillars of Islam. Ask students to recall the five pillars of Islam and explain each one. Write their responses on the board.

Ask: Which of the pillars do you think would be the hardest to accomplish? How would praying five times daily affect your daily activities in school? at home? A requirement to share is made. How do you feel about sharing?

Tell the students that they are now going to look at two elements of the Muslim religion: the holy city of Mecca and the holy month of Ramadan. Remind the students that the city of Mecca is the holiest city in the Muslim religion because it is the city where Muhammad was born and it is where Allah began to reveal the Koran to Muhammad.

Direct the students' attention to the world map. Locate the city of Mecca in Saudi Arabia for the students to see. Ask the students to recall that one of the Five Pillars of Islam is that a Muslim should make a pilgrimage or journey to Mecca once in his/her lifetime. Explain that the pilgrimage to Mecca is called a hajj (haj). Write the word on the board. Explain that in modern times improved methods of transportation have made it easier for Muslims to make the pilgrimage, but long ago people would travel on foot or on animals to get to Mecca. Tell the students that the improved methods of transportation are especially important since today Muslims live around the world.

Ask the students to recall what the Koran is and why it is an important document. (The Koran is the Muslim holy book. In it the words of Allah are recorded through the prophet Muhammad.) Tell the students that the holy month of Ramadan is the ninth month of the Muslim year and the month in which Allah began revealing the Koran to Muhammad. Explain to the students that Muslims celebrate the religious holiday of Ramadan the whole month.

Tell the students that Muslims celebrate Ramadan to clean and purify their bodies and

their minds. They spend much time praying and are required hear or read the entire Koran during this month. Tell the students that many Muslims pray at home, but others go to a mosque. Write the word on the board. Explain that a mosque is a building in which Muslims pray and worship--the same way Christians go to a church and Jews go to a synagogue. (If possible show the students a picture of a typical mosque.)

Explain that during Ramadan, Muslims also fast every day from dawn until dusk for the entire month. Tell the students that this means that Muslims may eat breakfast up until the sky begins to lighten and they may eat again after the sun goes down at the end of the day, but during daylight they do not eat or drink anything. (You may wish to read Ramadan by Suhaib Hamid Ghazi aloud to the class. The book contains beautiful illustrations and informatively explains the practices associated with the holiday.) Ask: Since the Muslim calendar rotates the months are never in the same season, how would fasting be different in the winter than in the summer?

Tell the students that both Ramadan and making the pilgrimage to Mecca are ways that Muslims show their devotion to their religion. Give each student a sheet of white-lined paper. On the sheet have the students identify people or things that they are devoted to in their lives--their family, their education, their religion--and have them describe the ways in which they show their devotion.
 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 33 - The Spread of Islam
 

Objective

Locate on a map the areas of Islamic expansion.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map

Map of Islamic expansion (attached) - either make into transparency or copy 1 per student
 

Suggested Books

Student Titles

Hoad, Abdul Latif Al. Islam: Religions of the World. New York: Bookwright, 1987.

This book provides background information on the beginning of Islam and its expansion to other territories.

Husain, Shahrukh. Mecca: Holy Cities. New York: Dillon Press, 1993.

This book gives detailed information regarding ancient, as well as, present-day Mecca.
 

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, E. D. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
 

Procedure

Tell the students that although the Muslim religion started in Saudi Arabia, Islam spread rapidly into other areas. Explain that Muhammad had gained a large following of people throughout the Arabian peninsula and his followers formed a united front against those who did not believe in the religion of Islam.

Tell the students that Muhammad led these armies of Muslims in holy wars called jihads (ji HAADS) [write the word on the board] to spread the Muslim religion to other places. Explain that strong belief in Islam united many Arab people and they were able to take over much of the Eastern Roman Empire.

Give each student a copy of the map of the Islamic expansion or display the map as a transparency. Explain that after the death of Muhammad in 632 A. D., a man named Abu Bakr became the new Muslim leader. Because the Muslims believed that Muhammad was the last prophet, Abu Bakr was called a caliph (KAY lif), [write the word on the board] which means successor. Under Abu Bakr's leadership, the Muslim religion continued to spread to what were then Syria, Persia, and Egypt. Have the students locate these areas on the map. Tell the students that next the Muslim religion spread west across the northern part of Africa and into the country of Spain. Have the students locate these areas on the map.

Ask: How do you think the people who lived in these areas felt about having a new religion spread to their homelands? Tell the students that these areas had been previously occupied and ruled by Roman, Byzantine, and other empires. Many of the rulers from these empires were not kind to the people in these occupied areas and were therefore unpopular with the people who lived there. Explain that the citizens therefore did not always resist being taken over by the Muslims and sometimes they even welcomed the Muslims because the early Muslim leaders treated them kindly. The Muslims allowed the citizens to continue to practice their own religions, but as non-Muslims they were required to pay protection taxes. Explain that these protection taxes paid for the Muslim army to protect the non-Muslim people.

Explain that this practice went on for a while, but a problem arose when a Muslim leader

vandalized the Church of the Holy Sepulcher in Jerusalem, which is said to be built upon the

tomb of Jesus, and refused to let Christians worship there. Jerusalem was considered a holy land to the Christians and the Church of the Holy Sepulcher was the holiest site of their religion. Read the following excerpt from What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know by E. D. Hirsch aloud to the students:

This angered Christians all over Europe. The pope called for knights and soldiers everywhere to march to the east to free Jerusalem from the Muslims. The Christians called this march a crusade, after the Latin word for "cross." The soldiers on the march carried the symbol of the cross with them to show that they were on a religious mission to free the Holy Land.

In the Islamic religion, Muslims are promised that if they die fighting in a jihad [holy war], they will go to heaven. Interestingly enough, at the time of the Crusades the pope promised that any Christian who died on a crusade would go straight to heaven. In some ways, the Crusades and jihads were much alike.

Ask: In what way did the Muslims anger the Christians enough to make them attack Muslim territory? (vandalized a Christian holy site and would not let them worship there) How were the Christian crusaders like the Muslims fighting a jihad? (They were both for fighting because they believed in fighting for the cause of their religion.) Tell the students that in the next lesson they will learn more about the Crusades and learn the outcome of the war.
 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 34 - The Crusades
 

Objective

Identify the parties involved, the cause, and the outcome of the Crusades.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map
 

Suggested Books

Student Titles

Jessop, Joanne. Crusaders: Beginning History. New York: Bookwright Press, 1990.

This book discusses the purpose and effect of the Crusades from Pope Urban II's first call for crusaders in 1095 to the last crusade 200 years later.

________. Richard the Lionhearted. New York: Bookwright, 1989.

This biography of King Richard I presents an interesting look at the third Crusade against Saladin.
 

Teacher Reference

Hirsch, E. D. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992.
 

Procedure

Review with the students the expansion of Muslim territory. Ask: What is a jihad? (It is the Muslim word for a holy war.) Remind the students that the Muslims were willing to fight to spread the Muslim religion. Ask: What religious group did the Muslims enter into conflict with? (Christians) Why was there a conflict between the Christians and the Muslims? (A Muslim leader vandalized the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, the holiest Christian site, and would not let Christians worship there.)

Tell the students that in addition to closing off the Church of the Holy Sepulcher from Christian worship, a group of Muslims called Saracens (write the word on the board) began to attack and kill Christian pilgrims. Explain that as a result the pope called for a holy war to drive the Saracens from Jerusalem. Point to the city of Jerusalem on the world map. Remind the students that the war between the Muslims and the Christians is known as the Crusades (write the word on the board). Explain that the Christians called this march to free Jerusalem a crusade after the Latin word for "cross" and the soldiers who fought in this holy war wore a red cross on their clothes to show they were fighting for Christianity. Ask: Why was a cross the symbol chosen for the crusaders? (The cross is the symbol for Christianity.)

Tell the students that knights from many different countries came together to fight against the Muslims and gain control of the holy land of Jerusalem. Tell the students that crusaders could travel by water, setting sail across the Mediterranean Sea, or overland across what is today Turkey. Point out the two routes on the world map. Explain that either route was long and difficult because by sea there was the danger of shipwreck and drowning and by land there were deserts and mountains that had to be crossed where food and water were hard to come by.

Explain that after the first crusade which began in 1096, the Christians captured Jerusalem from the Saracens. Tell the students that after the Christians captured Jerusalem, they killed their Muslim prisoners, including women and children. Although the Christians felt justified because of the incident at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, this cruelty made relations between Christians and Muslims bad and there is tension between the two groups even today. Since Jerusalem is a holy city for Muslims also, they continued to fight to regain control of the holy land. Tell the students that in 1187 the Saracen leader, Saladin regained control of Jerusalem. Explain that when news of this reached King Richard I of England, also known as Richard the Lionhearted, he organized a crusade.

Explain that he was able to conquer several important cities in Muslim territory, but was not able to recapture Jerusalem. Tell the students that finally, the two men agreed to a truce: Richard stopped fighting the Saracens and Saladin let Christians come to worship in Jerusalem at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher.
 

Optional Activity

Have the students look at what is happening in the Middle East in current events. Bring in newspaper articles or a taped segment of the national news giving information regarding Jerusalem or the Middle East. Ask: Is there a conflict in the area? Who is involved in the conflict? What is the conflict over? If religion is part of the discussion ask the students which religions are involved. Have them think about how differing religious beliefs can cause disagreements.

Next, have them compare and contrast the events during the Crusades to the current events.
 

Fourth Grade - World History - Lesson 35 - Islamic Civilization
 

Objective

Identify Muslim contributions to civilization.
 

Materials

Classroom-size world map
 

Suggested Books

Teacher Reference

Moktefi, Mokhtar. The Rise of Islam. New York: Silver Burdett, 1986.
 

Teacher Note

Art lessons 24-27 cover Islamic art and architecture. In addition to the accomplishments in math and science, the Muslims made significant developments in architecture during this time period.
 

Procedure

Review with the students that many Europeans came to Jerusalem to fight in the Crusades. Tell the students that when the Crusaders returned to their European countries they took goods from the Middle East with them--goods, such as cotton, sugar and spices that were previously unknown in Europe. Explain that the Europeans also took ideas with them and began to copy Middle Eastern comforts, such as carpets, cushions and tapestries, which were part of wealthy Arabian households.

Explain that Europeans also took with them Muslim discoveries in mathematics and science. Tell the students that the numbers we use today were first developed in the Middle East. Write on the board 1, 2, 3, 4, 5 . . . Explain that these numbers are called Arabic numerals even today. Tell the students that these numbers are easier to use to solve math problems. Have the students think about how hard it would be to do mathematics if we used Roman numerals such as I, II, III, IV, V to solve math problems instead of Arabic numbers.

Tell the students that the Muslims also helped to preserve the writings of the Greeks and Romans. Remind the students that during the Middle Ages much classical learning was preserved by monks who made copies of books by hand, but much classical learning was also lost. Explain that in later years when writings from the Greek and Roman civilizations were nearly forgotten in Europe, Muslim philosophers kept those ideas alive. Tell the students that one great Muslim philosopher, Ibn Sina (Avicenna) translated the works of Greek philosophers and added his own important contributions. Explain that many Europeans developed their views of Greek philosophers through the translation of Ibn Sina.

Explain that the Muslim scientists were among the greatest in the world, and their doctors were more skilled than any in Europe. Tell the students that the Muslims were also great teachers. Throughout the Empire, people were taught Arabic so that they could read the Koran. Tell the students that by the 10th century the three main centers of Arab civilization and learning were Baghdad, Iraq; Cairo, Egypt; and Cordoba, Spain. Locate these cities on the world map.

Tell the students that in addition to Europeans taking goods and ideas back with them from the Crusades, Muslim merchants who traveled great distances to trade in other areas also spread Muslim ideas, goods, and religion. Explain that Muslim traders carried goods from one end of the empire to the other. They traveled on camels and donkeys, roped together in processions called caravans (write the word on the board). The Muslim religion was so far-reaching that it spread to places such as Nigeria, China, and southeast Asia. Even Constantinople, the Christian center of the Byzantine Empire, resisted the spread of Islam but in 1453 it fell to the Muslims and was renamed Istanbul. Locate the city of Istanbul on the world map.

Have the students recall the Muslim contributions (Arabic numerals, recording the writings and ideas from the Greeks and Romans, etc.) Ask the students to name which Muslim contribution they think is most important and why.
 
 

Bibliography


 
 

Student Titles

Ghazi, Suhaib Hamid. Ramadan. New York: Holiday House, 1996. (0-87234-12547)

Hoad, Abdul Latif Al. Islam: Religions of the World. New York: Bookwright, 1987. (0-531-18063-8)

Husain, Shahrukh. Mecca: Holy Cities. New York: Dillon Press, 1993. (0-87518-572-X)

Jessop, Joanne. Crusaders: Beginning History. New York: Bookwright Press, 1990.(0-531-18324-6)

________. Richard the Lionhearted. New York: Bookwright, 1989. (0-531-18287-8)

Knight, Khadijah. Islam: World Religions. New York: Thomson Learning, 1996. (1-56847-378-8)

MacDonald, Fiona. A 16th Century Mosque. New York: Peter Bedrick Books, 1994. (0-87226-310-X)

Moktefi, Mokhtar. The Rise of Islam. New York: Silver Burdett, 1986. (0-382-09275-9)

Tames, Richard. Muslim: Beliefs and Culture. Danbury, CT: Children's Press, 1996. (0-516-08078-4)

Winchester, Faith. Muslim Holidays. Mankato, MN: Capstone Press, 1996. (1-56065-459-7)
 

Teacher Reference

Edmonds, I. G. Islam. New York: Franklin Watts, 1977. (0-531-01288-3)

Hirsch, E. D. What Your Third Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31257-1)

________. What Your Fourth Grader Needs to Know. New York: Dell, 1992. (0-385-31260-1)