It’s Faizah’s first day of school, and her older sister Asiya’s first day of wearing hijab – made of a beautiful blue fabric. But not everyone sees hijab as beautiful. In the face of hurtful, confusing words, will Faizah find new ways to be strong?
Teaching Ideas and Resources:
- Retell the story from Asiya’s point of view.
- Think of some speech / thought bubbles to accompany the illustrations.
- The author used the names of her sisters as characters in the story. Could you write a story based on your own family or friends?
- Write a biography of the author and Olympic medallist, Ibtihaj Muhammad.
- Watch the following TED Talk by the author. Can you think of questions you would like to ask her about her experiences?
- Make a timetable that shows the events of Faizah’s day at school.
- Make a multimedia presentation to teach people about the hijab.
- Use drawing / graphics software to design a patterned hijab.
- Record your own ‘read-aloud’ version of the story. Here is one example:
- Asiya’s hijab is the brightest blue, the colour of the ocean. Can you think of other words and phrases to describe the colour blue? How many different shades of blue can you think of? Can you draw / paint some of them?
- Some of the people in the story are drawn using silhouettes. Why is this? Could you try to make some silhouette pictures?
- Use different materials to create some designs for a patterned hijab.
- Look at the facial expressions of the characters in the illustrations. How are you feeling? Can you draw some faces that show different expressions and emotions?
- Make a Proudest Blue Paper Boat by following the instructions in this video by the book’s illustrator, S. K. Ali.
- What is a hijab and why are they worn?
- Plan a timetable of activities for World Hijab Day. What could you do to learn more about the hijab and the women who choose to wear one?
- Write a report about the religion of Islam and how Muslims show their faith.
- The hijab is a special item of clothing. What clothes (or other items) are important / special to you?
- Some of the children in the story don’t understand why Asiya is wearing a hijab. How should they try to learn more? How can Asiya’s friends help her?
- At the back of the book, the author explains that she was bullied because of the way she showed her faith. Think of things that you and others can do to help deal with bullying.
- Can you think of other ways that people are similar / different? Why should we celebrate our differences?
- Asiya’s mama shares lots of quotes to support and inspire her daughters. What helpful words and phrases have your family and friends ever said to you?
- “Don’t carry around the hurtful words that others say. Drop them. They are not yours to keep. They belong only to those who said them.” What does this mean?