Saints and Heroes Block

Hi everyone! So this is my first unit studies that I’m sharing here on the blog. It feels momentous šŸ˜€ And it’s not a whole unit because we technically haven’t completed it yet. It’s been a big year (I can’t believe we’re already at halfway) what with baby and renovating the house and living at my mum’s for the duration. It has meant that homeschooling has not been smooth at all (when is it ever!). It’s been very impromptu and opportunistic. Right now it has slowed right down of course as baby is not even 2 months old yet. We are doing reading, writing, math and LOTS of free play and colouring and drawing and gardening and bike rides and audio books, audio books and audio books every day

And it kind of feels perfect.

This post was not supposed to be a life update lol, but a specific one about the Waldorf Grade 2 Saints and Heroes block, which we didn’t have time to do last year. My eldest is technically in Grade 3 this year but I really didn’t want to skip this block. At the same time, the traditional Waldorf Saints and Heroes block is mostly centred on Christian Saints. I really wanted it to be relevant to us as a Muslim family, so after doing a bit of research (but not really finding much diverse Saints and Heroes units out there) I came up with my own Saints. We haven’t even done the Heroes component of this unit, I actually haven’t even planned it yet but do want to focus on the Companions of the Prophet Muhammad (pbuh). We’ll get there, eventually…

Without further ado, here is what we have done so far.

When planning the unit I brainstormed key Muslim figures considered “saints” by the majority of scholars. In the Islamic tradition saints are termed “awliya” or “evliyah” (in Turkish). I decided on six: Hajar (ra), Asiya (ra), Rabiah al-Adawiyyah, Imam Al-Ghazzali, Mevlana Rumi and Yunus Emre. Typically the unit will be centred on stories, a drawing depicting the story, writing activities and some hand work. I got my resources together and planned the stories, drawings and I also expanded to include some history/geography and science.

Some of the resources we used in this unit

Here’s a gallery of images of what we have done so far for the three female saints…

Hajar (ra)

The wife of Ibrahim (as), Hajar’s story is one that I feel so connected to. I wanted to focus on her first because of this strong connection but I also wanted to do the series chronologically. We used the story “An Ocean in One Drop- The Tale of Hajar in Hajj” and also Dear Muslim Child’s unit on the Zamzam well. My daughter made a well with a pulley system as shown in her unit, but I forgot to photograph it. I created a fill in the blank version of Hajar’s story to sum up the unit, then my daughter copied the entire story in her main lesson book. I followed this structure for all the evliyas.

Crayon and watercolour moving picture. The moving element of these pictures was so much fun.

Asiya (ra)

Chalk drawing for Asiya (ra)
At the start of each new evliya we did our watercolour/crayon picture. The process with these is to draw the details with crayon first then paint over it with watercolour. We used watercolour paper then stuck it in the main lesson book.

We set up a little scene of Asiya’s story using play silks and our small world dolls (Ostheimer girl, Papoose palm tree and Raduga Grez gnome). Notice the woven basket… we learnt how to make traditional woven baskets using this tutorial.
The girls also made a “Nile River” and had fun overflowing the river. They grew some cress and grass alongside it.

Rabia Al-Adawiyya

There were not a lot of resources on Rabia Al-Adawiyya, surprising given that she is considered to be one of the first female Sufi saints and is responsible for some profound reflections on our relationship with our Creator.

We struggled with this one somewhat but we love the finished image.

And that’s the first three evliyas. When I eventually get through the next three, I’ll be sure to share them here as well. In the meantime, comment below if you have any questions, contributions or comments…

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