Saturday, June 4, 2011

Curriculum Resource: The Islam Project

We are beginning our study of the religion of Islam, and I ran across what looks like a wonderful educational resource for middle school and high school students.  There are lesson plans and discussion guides for educating tweens and teens about Islam developed by The Islam Project.  

The goal of The Islam Project is to produce multimedia materials and associated lessons to help American youth explore the great diversity among the vast numbers of Muslims around the world (currently estimated to comprise almost a quarter of the Earth's population).  In the wake of the attacks on 9/11, they produced two PBS series:  Muhammad:  Legacy of a Prophet and Muslims, which displays the variety in the way that Muslims around the world practice their faith.

Their latest project is a video program called American Muslim Teens Talk.  In this half hour video, nine American Muslim teenagers discuss the issues common to all teenagers--fitting in, dating, having fun, dealing with parents--and the impact that practicing Islam has for them in these areas.  They also discuss negative stereotypes around being Muslim, as well as demonstrating the difference between teenagers raised under Islam.  

I haven't seen it yet, but it looks like a terrific resource to help this age group understand more about their Muslim peers and to consider the impact of religious stereotypes in general.

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