For the first time, sixth grade students took a trip to the London Central Mosque as a part of their humanities curriculum. Half of the grade went on March 22 and the other half went on March 26.
According to sixth grade humanities teacher Mrs. Jessie Twiest, the purpose of this field trip was for students to have a first-hand learning experience with a religion, as the trip comes at a time during their study of the Islamic faith. Mrs. Twiest also explained that the trip “added to the experience of learning about Islam.”
It was helpful for the students to go see the place of worship in person and they could learn more about it from the people who worked there. Ms. Twiest said that anytime students can “get out of the classroom and actually experience what they’re learning about first hand is always really valuable.”
For many of the students it was the first time that they had ever been in a mosque and this could have dispelled any misconceptions about any practices or about the religion.
In sixth grade, the students learn about various ancient civilizations where they do not normally get this type of first-hand learning experience. However when they are learning about Islam, they are learning about a religion that is still practiced and one of the largest in the world. Therefore they can learn through activities such as visiting mosques.
At the mosque, the students took a tour of the entire building and inside the prayer hall. In addition, they listened to their guide speak about the religion and had an opportunity to answer any questions they had.
The students visited The London Central Mosque which is a 15 minute walk from ASL. It opened in 1977 and is one of the biggest mosques in London with a capacity of 5,400 people. The London Central Mosque has an education center where they looked at displays about the history of the religion some of the practices and beliefs, and here they took notes. The students also learned about the 5 pillars of Islam, the design of the mosques, and certain figures of the religion.
According to Ms. Twiest, the trip was very successful and students learned a lot. Ms. Twiest also says that feedback from students on this experience was very positive and the trip to the mosque is something that she hopes is continued in future years.