Activity Overview

Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary that students will see in their readings or presentations aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key vocabulary related to the study of Islam. They will create a spider map of 3-5 terms at the teacher's discretion. Each cell will contain a term, the definition, and an illustration that depicts the meaning. When students define and illustrate each term, they master the application of it and retain it as part of their lexicon.

Vocabulary for Islam

Abraham: The prophet who built the first Kaaba in Makkah (Mecca). He is considered an important prophet in the three "Abrahamic Faiths": Judaism, Christianity, and Islam.

Abu Bakr: (573-634 CE) Abu Bakr Abdullah ibn Uthman Abi Quhafa was the closest companion and a father-in-law of the Islamic prophet Muhammad, as well as the first of the Rashidun Caliphs. He accompanied the Prophet Muhammad on the Hijra from Mecca to Medina.

Allah: Arabic for God.

caliphs: Caliphs are rulers that led the Muslim community and empire after Muhammad's death. Caliph means "successor" in Arabic. A state run by a caliph is called a caliphate.

Five Pillars of Islam: The Five Pillars of Islam or key religious duties are: 1. Belief in one god; 2. Belief in the importance of Prayer; 3. Belief in the importance of Charity; 4. Belief in the importance of Fasting during Ramadan; 5. Belief in the importance of making a Pilgrimage to Mecca at least once in their lifetime.

Hadith: The Hadith is a collection of writings that recorded the sayings and actions of Muhammad and his companions. These words and actions are known as the Sunnah and are the guide to live a proper life. The Hadith is a written record of the Sunnah.

Hijrah: The Hijrah refers to the time in 622 when Muhammad and his fellow Muslims fled Mecca in Saudi Arabia and moved to Medina about 275 miles north. Hijrah in Arabic means migration.

Kaaba: The Kaaba, also spelled Ka'bah or Kabah and sometimes referred to as al-Kaʿbah al-Musharrafah, is a building at the center of Islam's most important mosque, the Masjid al-Haram in Mecca, Saudi Arabia. It is the most sacred site in Islam.

Mecca: Mecca is a town in the Hijaz, a mountainous region along the western coast of the Arabian Peninsula. It is the site of the birthplace of Muhammad and an important religious center.

monotheism: Monotheism is the belief that there is only one God. This belief in one God is central to Islam, Christianity, and Judaism.

mosque: A Muslim house of worship. At a mosque, Muslims participate in group prayer and other religious activities. Every mosque contains a prayer hall that faces the direction of Mecca.

prophet: a person believed to be chosen by God as a messenger to bring truth to the people.

Qur'an: Islam's holy book. The main source of Islamic teaching. Muslims believe that the Quran is the record of God's revelations to Muhammad over a period of nearly 23 years.

revelations: revealed truths from God

Sunnah: The Sunnah is a key source of Islamic beliefs and the traditions of Muhammad. It comprises the words and actions of Muhammad and his companions which are condered by Muslims to be the role model for how to live the best life.

Sunnis: Sunnis are one of the two main branches of Islam along with the Shia. Sunnis that believe that Abu Bakr was the correct successor or Caliph to Muhammad. About 90% of Muslims are Sunni.

Shi'a: Shia are one of the two main branches of Islam along with the Sunni. Shia believe that Abu Bakr was not intended to be the first successor, or caliph to Muhammad but that instead, it should have been Muhammad's son-in-law, Ali Ibn Abi Talib.

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a spider map that illustrates and defines key vocabulary relating to Islam.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the key terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition of the term.
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.
  5. Save often.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual

Type of Activity: Visual Vocabulary Boards

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/3] Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/6] Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

Define and illustrate each of the key terms.
7 Points
4 Points
1 Points
The vocabulary words are correctly defined.
The meaning of the vocabulary words can be understood but it is somewhat unclear.
The vocabulary word is not clearly defined
The storyboard illustrations clearly depict the meaning of the vocabulary words.
The illustrations relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words but it they are difficult to understand.
The illustrations do not clearly relate to the meaning of the vocabulary words.
Evidence of Effort
Work is well written and carefully thought out.
Work shows some evidence of effort.
Work shows little evidence of any effort.

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