Friday, November 25, 2011

Word Work with Surah Al-Ikhlas

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

The preschool/kindergarten classrooms are, whenever possible, large inviting spaces. With various learning centres throughout the room, it is a place that invites children to engage in the sheer joy of learning and discovery.

In Islaamic Schools, Quraan and Islamic Studies teachers come into this space to share their knowledge with young students and in support of that, homeroom teachers can try to allocate space to set up a Quraan/Islamic Studies Centre. This centre, given its noble purpose, should be a clean,beautiful space that is superior in cleanliness and beauty than that of its companion centres. What could be found in such a centre?

Believing in and being committed to the power of literacy, I propose that teachers can furnish this centre with literacy based activities. The oft used word work can easily be adapted to be used with the Quraan. Children's familiarity with word work and literacy games can aide them in learning to read the shorter suwar (pl. of surah) from the Quraan independently. Here are some suggested games that can be used in a Quraan centre:

Pictured are 3 games. The first game has game boards for up to four players. There are 3 different boards in the file and the teacher can print enough so that some student's boards will be different and some the same. On the boards are words from surah al-ikhlas. Students shuffle the word cards (in the lower right hand corner of the tray and found on pages 7,8 and 9 in the file) and place them face down on the table, making sure that the name of Allaah is not on the bottom. Each player takes turns picking a card. They must read/say the word on their card and if that card is one they need to complete their board, they keep it and place it on the board. If they do not need the card they replace it at the bottom of the stack. If a student has the board that has the picture of the Quraan in the bottom left corner, when he gets the Quraan picture card, he has the pleasure of being able to recite the entire surah (or he can pass if he wishes). The first player to fill up his board is done. Other players keep playing until all boards are completed and only one player is left with an incomplete board.

The second game pictured is a variation of Go-Fish. Students take the cards and shuffle them/mix them up. One player gives all players cards (i.e. 1 for me, 1 for you, 1 for Ibrahim, 1 for Sa'ad, 1 for Faisal, etc.) until there are no more cards left and all players have cards. The players hold their cards in a fan like fashion in their hands where other players cannot see their cards. The player on the right starts and can pick a card from the hand of any player he/she wishes. If that card is one they need (i.e. they have the matching card in their hand of cards) they take both cards out and place them on the table. Play continues in this way until 1 player is left with the card that says: "Iqra! - read!". This player has the privilege of reciting surah al-ikhlas from memory to the other players. The player with the most sets of matching cards wins.

The game can also be played using other alternate ways of playing Go-Fish.

The third game pictured is to be used with a CD player. The teacher records the words that are on the cards (i.e. Ahad, As-Samad are on one card.) After she says the words that are on a particular card, she asks the student to use the clothes pins that have the words on them to show the word she just said. This game can be played with students saying the words on the cards and their partner must find the clothes pin that has the correct word. It is suggested that all cards and pins not be used/introduced at the same time but start with 2-3 cards and matching clothes pin words and add more as children become more proficient.

Other work/games in the file that are not pictured include:

  • Students cut out the word cards from surah al-ikhlas and paste them onto a worksheet that has some of the words missing. They must glue the correct word into the correct space so that the surah reads correctly insha'Allaah. (Pages 5 and 6 in the file). You will use the cards on pages 7-9 in the file for this activity.
  • Match the words in the right hand column to the words in the left hand column. This is to help students recognize the words in the surah (page 10 in the file) and move toward being able to read them on sight with fluency insha'Allaah.
  • Handwriting practice: Trace some of the words from surah al-ikhlas (page 11 in the file).
  • Cut and paste to match the ayaat in surah al-ikhlas (pages 12 and 13 in the file). This activity is different from the one on pages 5 and 6 in that no words are blank but students use the shadow/traced words to help them match the words correctly insha'Allaah. 
  • The Quraan card game pictured above (the variation of Go-Fish) is on pages 16 thru 22. *You must print these pages twice so you have duplicates of each card so students can match them*
  • On page 23, teacher/parent cuts out all of the sentences and then mixes them up. The student must re-arrange the sentences so that the ayaat read in the correct order.
Using games and activities that children are familiar with and enjoy, this centre supports children as they endeavour to learn to read the Quraan independently. If you are a teacher in an Islaamic school, do you have a Quraan centre in your classroom? What activities and/or games do you have in your centre? How do you and the Quraan/Islaamic Studies teacher work together to incorporate the Quraan and Sunnah across the curriculum?


  1. Bismillaah

    As Salaamu Alaiki

    Baraka'Allaahu'Feekum!!! Very nice Mashaa'Allaah. May Allaah reward you with much good in this life and the next Ameen and thank you :)

  2. Assalamualaikum.
    This is so creative Masha-Allah. Insha-Allah will try it with kids.

  3. As Salaamu Alaykum

    Do you have any suggestions for children who cannot read yet? They are 3 and half - 5 year olds but schooling here is different and so they learn to read at about 6 or 7. All I've thought of so far is having children listen to a surah on cd with reciter such as khalifah Tunaji which allows the child to repeat after him.

  4. Assalam alekum wa rahmatullah!

    I love these ideas mashaAllah. InshaAllah when I am able i will use these with my kids. Just like coming to your blog to educate myself about ideas and how to teach something no one ever taught me, so I have no idea where to start!

    Anyway, this box, did you make it? Or did the wooden box come with something. Its so perfect for these games :D

  5. @ Umm Suhailah: Wa feki barak Allaah *smile*. And ameen to your dua.

    @Alizah: Jazakillaahu Khayr. Insha'Allaah, your children enjoy it.

    @Umm Yusuf: Khayr insha'allaah. For children who are not reading yet, they can as you mentioned listen along with a Qari and in a Quraan centre, these children (and others) are invited to record themselves reciting and are encouraged to listen to their recording. Teachers/parents can play games with them that require and strengthen listening and memorization skills. For instance, the teacher knowing which suwar her students have memorized, can recite an ayah or two from a surah and students strive to be the first to identify which surah that ayah/ those ayaat come from. The teacher can also read an ayah and pause at a word and the students strive to be the first to complete the ayah from the point where the teacher/parent stopped. These type of listening games are fun for many children and at this age, perhaps, waallaahu a'lam, it is not needed that the teacher pick a student to answer about the ayaat. Allow the students to volunteer at their comfort insha'Allaah. Many students are *very* enthusiastic when playing these type of games and strive eagerly to answer the questions. For those students who may be shy, then they still benefit from hearing the Quraan being recited, alhamdulillaah. If you would like any more suggestions I will be pleased to offer whatever little suggestions I have. Jazakillaahu Khayr dear sis!

  6. Sis Umm Yusuf, I forgot to mention. When students record themselves reciting, the teacher/parent can design a record sheet or mini-book where students can be assisted in marking off/checking off which suwar they have recorded in their own voice. Teachers/parents can help students set a goal for how many suwar they wish to record over a certain period of time insha'Allaah. If the students wish to do this, they can be encouraged and assisted in this but if they do not wish to do this then this choice is respected alhamdulillaah.

  7. @Stranded: Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh,

    Jazakillaahu Khayr dear sis Stranded. I hope that the blog is helpful to you and if so then alhamdulillaah, all of the good is from Allaah Alone *smile*.

    The box: sometimes/often you can find used games in excellent condition and while you may not need/want them, the games themselves come packaged in a great box or container that can be used for other games/resources. You can buy these games just for the box and then you may find a way to recycle the games and make new ones from them insha'Allaah.

  8. Jazakallah khayr for your suggestions! Our school year ends at the beginning of december and the new year starts mid January. I hope inshallah to complete my lessons plans for the year during the holidays, and can't wait to try out your suggestions. I'm sure the children will love it! I have actually tried recording them before, but they get so happy just listening to themselves that they don't realise whether they've made any mistakes or not :-)

  9. Assalaamu alaikum ukhti :)

    This is perfect masha Allah I can't wait to use it with my girls.

    Jazzakillahu khair

    Fee Amaanillah
    Umm Imaan

  10. Assalaamu 3alaykum ukhty,

    I absolutely love your blog, which I find very well done, I'm sorry I do not master English well, I'm from France!

    I would like to know if you have more for other surahs?

    Anyway baarakalahou Fiki, for all that you bring to the Muslim community.

    jazaaki allah khayran

  11. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

    Wa iyaki wa jazakillaahu khayr anti for your kind words. Alhamdulillaah.

    Yes ukht Umm Salman, surah al-Fatiha is done but I just haven't had the opportunity to post it yet *smile*. Insha'Allaah, I will do so soon. The word work for each surah most probably will not be the same format. Insha'Allaah, the children will benefit and enjoy this work.

    And wa feki barakallaah *smile*

  12. Baarakalah Feki my sister, I look more forward, *smile*
    Take care of yourself, your children, and Allah help thee.

    Wassalamou 3alaykum wa rahmatullah.

  13. Assalamu alaykum dear sis,

    MashAllah what a nice work!!! May Allah reward you abundantly for all the effort. JazakAllah khayr.

    I have followed your blog since the birth of my eldest daughter in 2007. I have never been able to leave a comment until very recently a sister opened a blog for me and I started running my own blog. I am very untechnical person tho, still need a lot to improve my blogging skills. But I can leave a comment now lol. SubhanAllah, it feels so odd :)

    I have used almost all your materials and have actively participated in your Together We Read early literacy project. Alhamdulillah my daughter will be five this April and has been reading since last May. You have helped us so much, I am forever grateful to Allah for coming across your blog.

    Alhamdulillah both my girls really enjoyed these Qur'an centred activities. We have done surah Al Fatiha and Sura Al Ikhlas and looking forward to do others inshaAllah. My eldest could easily read all the verses and my 3 year old could match and we did letter hunting instead of word hunting.

    InshaAllah with time I will show all your past materials and how we used them in our blog :)

  14. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullaah

    Dear sis Raisingsahabas,

    Jazakillaahu khayr for your comment. Indeed, Alhamdulillaah for your children's wonderful accomplishments. May Allaah reward you for your efforts and work. Insha'Allaah your children have enjoyed their journey of learning so far and continue to do so.

    Truly, all of the good is from Allaah Alone. He is Ar-Rahman, Ar-Raheem...Ar-Raoof.

    It is nice to hear from your dear sis :) and insha'Allaah, you and your family continue to benefit and enjoy from this small effort here.

  15. Assalamualaikum Umm Nu'man

    I LOVE your blog! May Allah bless and reward you and your family. Ameen! I realized that I hd bought your books from Darussalam bookstore in Houston when we went there and I love them esp the Hafsah one! Love the niqabi! I am looking for activities to do with my youngest as I no longer have the time to make up activities for him as I have 3 older kids in middle/high school who I'm homeschooling too (used to make up a lot of our activities with them when they were younger) so your blog has been so much help mashaAllah Alhamdulillah!!!! Jazakillah khair! The templates etc make it SO much easier for moms short on time like me :)


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