This week, for example, we talked a little first about what they knew themselves already (I'm really big on doing this, since I think it "evens it up" between student and teacher"). Then, we discussed how we prepare our bodies, minds, and space for prayer.
Then we got into the prayer itself, some of the words we use in every prayer and what they mean, and the postures we use. After this, the kids made their own illustrations for the different parts of the prayer--standing, bowing, sitting, prostrating, etc. They really seemed to enjoy this. We rounded out the unit by watching a kids' video on prayer.
I also try to bring a little Arabic writing into each class. I know a lot of adult Muslims are intimidated by it, but I want the kids to see that they can write a couple of words at a time, and this helps them to learn the alphabet and sounding out words--and we hope this will lead them to be able to read Qur'an someday!
Next week, we'll talk about the mosque itself, fasting and charity.
There are some really good kids CDs out there...but I don't have any yet, and our mosque community is rather old school (read: old country). In fact, the former Cat Stevens himself now makes Islamic music for kids. There's another fellow from Canada, too, whose songs are wonderful.
I guess I like to focus on being/doing good in an Islamic context, rather than teaching in a comparative context. When I taught religious ed back in the Catholic Church, I remember omitting entire units from the curriculum because I found them offensive and inappropriate for young children--very intolerant.