This week, I re-worked my original lesson on Prophet Nuh (as) to make it more relevant to the middle school children I work with every week. There are major differences in my approach. In the original lessons, I focused more on reading and writing. I think primary school educators and parents would all agree that there are numerous benefits to reading aloud. For example, it builds connections between the spoken and written word. When children hear words read aloud, they begin seeing how printed words are closely connected to spoken words. This helps them recognize the difference between the arrangement of spoken language and printed text. You’ll find that original lessons were more akin to story telling.
The lessons that I write now are geared towards developing an Islamic personality in middle school children. They already know the story of Nuh (as) and how Allah SWT saved the believers on the ark. I didn’t want them to walk away just reiterating facts about this story; Rather, I tried to focus on a concept that is more relevant to their lives, and that is da’wah. I talked about the ways in which Nuh (as) used every means to teach his people to worship Allah SWT. What means can we use to influence our neighbors and our peers?
One point that really struck a chord with the kids was when I discussed behavior. So much of our kids’ social interaction is done online, without supervision from parents. The only way to guide their behavior is to constantly, constantly, constantly, remind them that they are answerable to Allah (swt) for their behavior. The question now is: Can our behavior change people’s perceptions and pique their interest in Islam? Definitely.
We talked about the language we use, in person and on social media. We talked about how we give respect to one another. We also talked about how people are drawn to us when they see us as a source of safety. Can your friends trust you to not turn their picture into a meme? Can they trust that you will not humiliate them in front of others in a group chat? The point that (hopefully) I drove home was that the caution we use online can also be a means to draw people to Islam.
Here is everything you need to conduct this lesson