Tuesday, February 15, 2011

Together We Read: February Book Activities

السلام عليكم ورحمة الله وبركاته

This month we read Castles, Caves and Honeycombs

Using the following ayaat and ahadith, we discussed the different types of homes that Allaah has Created for different creatures.

We discussed that when entering a home, a Muslim must greet those (Muslims) inside with 'Assalamu alaikum' and other manners of entering the home. From the Qur'aan and Sunnah:

{...when you enter the houses, greet one another with a greeting from Allâh (i.e. say: As-Salâmu 'Alaikum - peace be on you) blessed and good. Thus Allâh makes clear the Ayât (these Verses or your religious symbols and signs, etc.) to you that you may understand. Surah An-Nur:61}

Our Prophet (sallallaahu alayhi wa salam) taught us that this fosters love between the Muslims:

{The Messenger of Allah, said: You shall not enter paradise so long as you do not affirm belief (in all those things which are the articles of faith) and you will not believe as long as you do not love one another. Should I not direct you to a thing which, if you do, will foster love amongst you: (i.e.) give currency to (the practice of paying salutation to one another by saying) as-salamu alaykum. Sahih Muslim:96}

And the manners of entering the home:

{O you who believe! Enter not houses other than your own, until you have asked permission and greeted those in them; that is better for you, in order that you may remember. And if you find no one therein, still, enter not until permission has been given. And if you are asked to go back, go back, for it is purer for you. And Allah is All-Knower of what you do. There is no sin on you that you enter (without taking permission) houses uninhabited (i.e. not possessed by anybody), (when) you have any interest in them. And Allah has knowledge of what you reveal and what you conceal. An-Noor:27-29}

We then talked about the houses of humans and different animals that Allaah Created that are mentioned in the Quran:

{And Allah has made for you in your homes an abode, and made for you out of the hides of the cattle (tents for) dwelling, which you find so light (and handy) when you travel and when you stay (in your travels); and of their wool, fur, and hair (sheep wool, camel fur, and goat hair), furnishings and articles of convenience (e.g. carpets, blankets), comfort for a while. And Allah has made for you out of that which He has created shades, and has made for you places of refuge in the mountains, and has made for you garments to protect you from the heat (and cold), and coats of mail to protect you from your (mutual) violence. Thus does He perfect His Favour unto you, that you may submit yourselves to His Will (in Islam). An-Nahl:80-81}

{The likeness of those who take (false deities as) Auliya' (protectors, helpers) other than Allah is the likeness of a spider who builds (for itself) a house; but verily, the frailest (weakest) of houses is the spider's house - if they but knew. Al-Ankaboot:41}

{And your Lord inspired the bees, saying: "Take you habitations in the mountains and in the trees and in what they erect. An-Nahl:68}

For the ants, we read and talked about ayaat 18 and 19 from surah An-Naml:

{Till, when they came to the valley of the ants, one of the ants said: "O ants! Enter your dwellings, lest Sulaimân (Solomon) and his hosts crush you, while they perceive not." So he [Sulaimân (Solomon)] smiled, amused at her speech[] and said: "My Lord! Inspire and bestow upon me the power and ability that I may be grateful for Your Favours which You have bestowed on me and on my parents, and that I may do righteous good deeds that will please You, and admit me by Your Mercy among Your righteous slaves." }

We did an activity for the following ayat:

{And Allah has made for you in your homes an abode, and made for you out of the hides of the cattle (tents for) dwelling, which you find so light (and handy) when you travel and when you stay (in your travels); and of their wool, fur, and hair (sheep wool, camel fur, and goat hair), furnishings and articles of convenience (e.g. carpets, blankets), comfort for a while. An-Nahl:80}  *Note: the word tent is not in the verse, we made the tent based on the meaning of the verse in English by Muhsin Khan.*

A little tent with sleeping bag, backpack and fire. Of course, looking back, the tent colour should have been closer to the colour of cattle because I've never seen cattle with green skin *smile*.

We did several other activities to compliment this book alhamdulillaah:

We did a math activity using turtles:

Using painted walnut shells to make the turtles, we worked on counting skills.

Numbers 1-6 are pictured here

Next we did more math work but used starfish along with a bean bag and starfish cards:

From behind a line on the floor, children throw the bean bag and whichever number it lands on, they are given the same number of cards. They then line the cards up on the floor counting them out as they go.

We also did an activity that is a very basic introduction to subtraction:

The tree is made from a paper towel roll, a brown paper bag and rocks. The birds that "live" in the tree are made from toy blocks.

Children are invited to place one of the birds into the hole of the tree. They are asked how many birds are left outside of the tree. They count and see that there are two birds left outside of the tree.

This continues until no birds are left outside of the tree. This also helps children understand the concept of zero as they see that there are no (zero) birds left outside of the tree.

There is a hole in the bottom of the tree so children can easily get the birds out of the tree by simply picking the tree up.

Next, I made a lift the flap book. Some of the animals from the story, and the type of homes they live in, are presented. You can say what type of home is on the flap and the child(ren) guess or tell you and then lift the flap to verify their answer.

The front of the book

Sample page

Sample page

Next, I made some worksheets to go along with the book. They also help assess reading comprehension, present math skills and allow practice with fine motor skills. 

This worksheet gives children practice with fine motor skills (tracing a line)

This worksheets presents some of the homes that were in the story and helps children identify shapes in the environment insha'Allaah.

These worksheets (there are two different worksheets in the file) assess reading comprehension skills. Children cut and paste the animal to match its home.

 Download files here insha'Allaah:

- Homes Have Shapes Worksheet

If you would like to participate in Together We Read, we'd love to see what activity you did with your child (please leave a comment with the link to your Together We Read post insha'Allaah). You do not have to use the same book used in this post. The only requirement is that the book's contents not contradict any aspect of Islaam.
Enjoy insha'Allaah!


  1. Asalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu,
    Alhamdulilah I always enjoy popping over to your wonderful blog sis, but subhanAllah I absolutely love this lesson plan idea... it incorporates so many different subjects. I think I'll have to see if I can buy the book "Castles, Caves and Honeycombs" in the UK...beautifully illustrated too.
    Jazahkhallah kahyr
    Fehmida Shah

  2. Asalamualaikum warahmatullahi wabarakatuhu sister,
    I absolutely love this lesson plan which covers so many subjects as well as incorporating Islam. I think I will also try and get this beautifully illustrated book "Castles, Caves And Honeycombs" for my youngest too! Jazahkhallah khayrun,
    Fehmida Shah

  3. assalamu alaikum,

    at last we finished Together We Read activities for the month of February alhamdulillah.
    It was fun alhamdulillah.


    Jazakhillahu khayran for all the wonderful activities sis,

    assalamu alaikum,

  4. waalaikuma salam wa rahmatullahi wa barakatuh

    @ Sis Fehmida: Jazakillaahu khayr dear sis! ((hug)). I hope you all enjoy the book insha'Allaah.

    @ UmmSara: Jazakillaahu khayr dear sis for being a constant participant! ((Hug)). May Allaah reward you for all of the hard work you put in to educate your children (and of course that includes the reading aloud you do with them *smile*). May Allaah reward you generously dear sis.

  5. Assalaamu Alaikum sis

    Here is the link for our together we read this time Insha Allaah


    Barakallaah Feekum

  6. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullah,

    Wa feeki barak Allaah wa Jazakillaahu khayr dear sis for your post!

  7. Assalamualaikum Sister Umm An-Nu'man.
    Alhamdulillah I found time to post about our activity for February.http://muslimlearninggarden.wordpress.com/2011/03/04/together-we-read-story-of-yunus-as/

  8. Assalamu alaikum,
    jazakumullahu khairan sister a wonderful blog. I am going to carry on many ideas into my classrooms..sadaqa jariya indeed for you subhanallah.

    1. Waalaikum assalam wa rahmatullaahi wa barakatuh,

      Wa iyaki wa jazakillaahu khayr dear sis Tanveen for your comment and kind words. Truly, all of the praises and thanks are due to Allaah Alone.


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