Age 8-9: Cultural Contributions - the Arts

Unit 1: Intro to Islamic Buildings

Buildings are the most important form of Islamic art. There are 4 main types of buildings:
  1. The mosque
  2. The tomb
  3. The palace
  4. The fort
The Blue Mosque in Istanbul, TurkeyMosques: Mosques are the most well known and well-kept. They are the spiritual centre of the Islamic community. Muslims use the mosque for prayer, discussion and organizing help for people in need. The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain is an example of a Muslim palace or fort.

Floating Mosque in Melaka, Malaysia STU/Shutterstock Image LLCOxford Centre for Islamic Studies mosque in Oxford, UK Paul Cowan/Shutterstock Images LLC

Activity: Label the Mosque
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Label the Mosque

The interior of many mosques share similar characteristics.

Can you locate the following using the picture provided? a) minbar: a raised pulpit from which the imam (leader) gives his sermons.
b) minaret: the highest point of a mosque. Traditionally, it is used to call people to prayers.
c) finial: the top of the minaret.
d) mihrab: niche showing the direction of Mecca.



Activity: Difficult Journey
Answer questions about your most difficult journey.
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Difficult Journey

i) What is the most difficult journey you have been on?





ii) Where did you go? Who went with you?





iii) What made the journey difficult?





iv) Would you do the journey again? Why?
Mosque floors are usually covered in carpets, and the mosque will have directions pointing to Mecca, the religious home of Muslim people. People remove their shoes, and often cover their heads before entering the mosque.

Ayazad/Shutterstock Images LLCNatalia Bratslavsky/Shutterstock Images LLCPeople who make the Hajj pilgrimage to Mecca wear plain white clothes called ihram. They visit the Sacred Mosque. Inside the mosque is a stone cube covered in black cloth called the Ka’ba.

Activity: Colour the Tile
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Colour the Tile

Create a pattern of colour on the tile using only red, blue, purple, and gold.


Activity: Cut and Glue Building
Create a building using geometric shapes.
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Cut and Glue Building

Many geometrical shapes were used in the building of mosques.

The shapes below could have been used in Islamic buildings.

On a separate piece of paper, trace and cut out as many of the shapes as you need to create a building. Once you are happy with the design, glue the pieces in place.



My design

Dainis Derics/Shutterstock Images LLCForts and Palaces: The Alhambra in Grenada, Spain is an example of a Muslim palace or fort. It was built in the 13th century. The main colors and tiles are red, blue, gold and purple.




Philip Lange/Shutterstock Images LLCElias H. Debbis II/Shutterstock Images LLC

Many were used in the building of mosques. These shapes could have been used.