Grade 5

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Arab World Mosaic: A Curriculum Supplement for Elementary Teachers
By Lars Rodseth, Sally Howell, Andrew Shryock
A book with a variety of lessons and activities involving literature, science (ecology and zoology), social studies, etc.

Happy Nowruz: Cooking with Children to Celebrate the Persian New Year
By Najmieh Batmanglij
This cookbook/cultural description has beautiful color photographs, ideas for cooking projects with children, even a cookie cutter. It's a great resource for teaching about the Persian New Year holiday (March 21st), which is celebrated in several countries of western and central Asia.

Iran Cultural Kit
A set of artifacts and activities for teaching about Iran.

The Islamic Year
By Noorah Al-Gailani and Chris Smith
A book of activities, crafts, and recipes that a teacher can do with children to help them understand the meaning behind Muslim holidays and traditions.

Morocco Cultural Kit
A set of artifacts and activities for teaching about Morocco.

Rug Activity for Children
Art reproducible activity.

The Tales of Nasreddin Hodja Storycards
By Raymond C. Clark.
A set of 40 storycards (one page or less), which can be used as an icebreaker (pairs activity) or a language arts activity to build skills in storytelling and narration. The set comes with a booklet of suggestions on how to use them.

North Africa: Morocco
Stencil set of Moroccan designs with a map and explanations of Moroccan culture.


Festivals of Egypt
By Jailan Abbas
A description of the different holidays celebrated in Egypt.

The Butter Man
By Elizabeth Alalou and Ali Alalou
While Nora waits impatiently for dinner, her father stirs up a story from his childhood. During a famine Nora's grandfather must travel over the mountain to find work so he can provide food for his family. While young Ali waits for his father's return, he learns a lesson of patience, perseverance, and hope. Fold-art illustrations capture the Moroccan culture and landscape.

The Illustrated Encyclopaedia of Arabia
By Mary Beardwood
This detailed encyclopedia entry focuses on the geography, cultures, and, especially, the flora and fauna of the Arabian Peninsula.  With many photographs, charts, maps, figures, asides, this exhaustive and beautifully illustrated text will answer every question you never knew that you had about Arabia on subjects from pearling to fossils, migratory birds to the many uses of the date palm. The sheer breadth of information will eliminate the narrow geographic and social stereotypes so many students have about the Middle East.

The Little Black Fish
By Samad Behrangi
An Iranian short story, made to be read aloud. It has many different levels of meaning - about breaking out of one’s narrow environment and learning about the wider world Even more interesting is the fact that the author, a school teacher might have been murdered in 1968 at the age of 29 by the shah’s secret police because of the way he encouraged his elementary school students to think freely and look at the social problems of their country. This small book also is written half in Persian, so kids can see what the language looks like and how the cover of a Middle Eastern book is the back of an American one (since they write from right to left).

A Stone in My Hand
By Cathryn Clinton
A story of an 11-year-old Palestinian girl who has to deal with her father’s disappearance in Israel and her 12-year-old brother’s desire for revenge.

Extra Credit
By Andrew Clements
Abby Carson is a sixth grade student in rural Illinois whose head is everywhere but her schoolwork. In order to be spared the embarrassment of being left behind a grade, she agrees to an extra credit assignment involving writing to a pen pal in another country and so she meets Sadeed Bayat and his sister Meriem in rural Afghanistan.  As their friendship flourishes, problems arise on both sides. This is an appealing book with complex Afghan characters, providing a nuanced view even for younger readers.

By Demi
A beautifully illustrated book on the beliefs of the Muslim religion for late elementary and middle school children.

Neve Shalom Wahat Al-Salam: Oasis of Peace
By Laurie Dolphin
Despite its ponderous title, it is a good book with vivid photographs. It describes the lives of two ten-year-old boys living in a community in Israel in which Jews and Palestinians live together.

The Breadwinner
By Deborah Ellis
About an 11-year-old girl in Afghanistan under the Taliban who has to disguise herself as a boy to support her family.

Sister Shako and Kolo the Goat
By Vedat Daloka
A memoir of childhood in eastern Turkey.

Tales from Ancient Egypt
By George Hart
A short, nicely illustrated book of ancient Egyptian folk tales.

Celebrate Ramadan and Eid Al-Fitr with Praying Fasting, and
(National Geographic, “Holidays Around the World” series)
By Deborah Heiligman
Although it is at a low reading level, this book is even interesting to adults due to its great pictures and clear explanations. (It is National Geographic book, so the photography is amazing!)

Celebrating Ramadan
By Diane Hoyt-Goldsmith
Bright color photographs help tell the story of a 4th grade Muslim boy living in New Jersey as he celebrates Ramadan.

Lugalbanda, The Boy Who Got Caught Up in a War
By Kathy Henderson
A retelling of a five thousand-year-old story from ancient Sumer (now Iraq). This book won the top picture book award from the Middle Eastern Outreach Council in 2006.

Folk Tales of Egypt
By Denys Johnson-Davies
A book of folk tales from Egypt.

By Denys Johnson-Davies
A brief, illustrated book of Arab folk tales.

By DK Eyewitness Books
Discover the history, faith, and culture that have shaped the modern Jewish world. With over 50 million copies sold in 88 countries and in 36 languages, Eyewitness Books are truly the ultimate visual information encyclopedias for the 21st Century. Carrying on the tradition of integrating words and pictures, these three new titles in the Eyewitness series are timely editions to any library.

Muslim Child: Understanding Islam through Sotires and Poems
By Rukhsana Khan
A collection of Muslim stories with sidebars explaining important terms and issues.

Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World
By Natalie Maydell and Sep Riahi
This book, introduces readers to 13 Muslim women in history who have lived extraordinary lives and influenced their communities in a positive way, often overcoming extreme hardship and inaccurate stereotypes that have been placed on the role of women in Islam. In addition to showing the impact these women have had throughout the years, Extraordinary Women from the Muslim World seeks to make a difference in the lives of Islamic women today, inspiring them to fervently pursue their goals. All proceeds from the special edition hardback series will be donated to Islamic Relief to benefit the women and children of Sudan.

The Best Eid Ever
By Asma Mobin-Uddin
It's Eid, and Aneesa should be happy. But her parents are thousands of miles away in Saudi Arabia for the Hajj pilgrimage. To cheer her up, her grandmother gives her a gift of beautiful clothes from Pakistan, one outfit for each of the three days of Eid. She even prepares lamb korma, Aneesa's favourite dinner, which they will enjoy when they return from prayers. At the prayer hall, Aneesa meets two sisters who are not dressed in new clothes for the holiday.Aneesa discovers that the girls are refugees. With their father, they have fled from their war-torn country. Aneesa can't stop thinking about the girls and what Eid must be like for them. That's when Aneesa comes up with a plan to help the girls celebrate Eid and make it the best Eid holiday ever.

By Sue Penney
From the “Introducing Religions” series, this gives an overview of the Muslim faith.

By Sue Penney
Discover the rich cultural background behind this major world religion. Find out where Judaism originated, trace its history, and explore the meanings.

The Grand Mosque of Paris: A Story of How Muslims Rescued Jews During the Holocaust
By Karen Gray Ruelle and Deborah Durland DeSaix
When the Nazis occupied Paris, no Jew was safe from arrest and deportation. Few Parisians were willing to risk their own lives to help. Yet during that perilous time, many Jews found refuge in an unlikely place--the sprawling complex of the Grand Mosque of Paris. Not just a place of worship but a community center, this hive of activity was an ideal temporary hiding place for escaped prisoners of war and Jews of all ages, especially children. Beautifully illustrated and thoroughly researched.

Silent Music: A Story of Baghdad
By James Rumford
When bombs begam to fall, Ali drowns out the sould of war with a pen. Like other children living in Baghdad, Ali loves soccer, music and dancing, but most of all, he loves the ancient art of calligraphy. When bombs begin to fall on his city, Ali turns to his pen, writing sweeping and gliding words to the silent music that drowns out the war all around him. Gorgeously illustrated with collage, pencil and charcoal drawings and, of course, exquisite calligraphy, this timely and yet universal story celebrates art and history but also offers young children a way to understand all they see and hear on the news.

Traveling Man: The Journey of Ibn Battuta, 1325-1354
By James Rumford
The true story of the travels of 14th century Arab explorer Ibn Battuta. Beautifully illustrated.

Abuelita's Secret Matzahs
By Sandy Eisenberg Sasso
A boy learns the truth about why his family does things differently from his friends when he discovers that he is of Jewish heritage. He learnes the history of how his family escaped from Spain to the "new world" and keep their identity hidden. This book is about heritage and acceptance of who you are.

Foods of Iran
By Barbara Sheen
Beautiful photographs and clear prose show a lot about Iranian culture through a description of the food. There are recipes, cultural descriptions, and details about how the food is grown and sold.

The Travels of Benjamin of Tudela
By Uri Shulevits
A fictionalized account of a Spanish Jew, who explored the Middle East and North Africa in the twelfth century (a century before Marco Polo). It’s nicely illustrated and in the form of short stories, a book you could read aloud to the class.

Alia’s Mission: Saving the Books of Iraq
By Mark Alan Stamaty
A graphic novel telling the true story of a woman’s struggle to save the books in the Basra library during the 2003 war in Iraq. It’s a simple story, but the graphic novel style would appeal to some upper elementary and middle school readers.

Islamic Design: A Genius for Geometry
By Daud Sutton
Focusing on Islamic geometric patterns, simple and complex, man-made and in nature, this book offers unique insight into Islamic culture.

Watermelons, Walnuts and the Wisdom of Allah and Other Tales of the

By Barbara Walker
A collection of Turkish tales about the legendary Nasreddin Hoca. The book has short, humorous stories with illustrations.

The Camel Family
By John Bonnett Wexo
A book about camels from the Zoo Book series.

Four Feet, Two Sandals
By Karen Lynn Williams and Khadra Mohammed
When relief workers bring used clothing to the refugee camp, everyone scrambles to grab whatever they can. Ten-year-old Lina is thrilled when she finds a sandal that fits her foot perfectly, until she sees that another girl has the matching shoe. But soon Lina and Feroza meet and decide that it is better to share the sandals than for each to wear only one.As the girls go about their routines -- washing clothes in the river, waiting in long lines for water, and watching for their names to appear on the list to go to America -- the sandals remind them that friendship is what is most important. Four Feet, Two Sandals was inspired by a refugee girl who asked the authors why there were no books about children like her. With warm colors and sensitive brush strokes, this book portrays the strength, courage, and hope of refugees around the world, whose daily existence is marked by uncertainty and fear.

Seven Wonders of the Ancient Middle East
By Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods
A nicely illustrated book about the ancient Middle East. It provides history of the societies of the time.

The Tomb of King Tutankhamen: Unearthing Ancient Worlds
By Michael Woods and Mary B. Woods
Nicely illustrated and contains great photographs, this book gives a lot of history about King Tutankhamen as well as ancient Egypt in general.


Fables of Bah ya Bah (2001)
Animated retelling of six different short fables from the Middle East.
VHS format. 60 minutes.

Just say Hic
Turkish folktale with discussion questions.
VHS format. 9 minutes.

Teeny-Tiny and the Witch-Woman (1993)
Animated version of a Turkish folktale. A bit scary (along the lines of Hansel and Gretel.)
VHS format. 14 minutes

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