Amira’s Picture Day Lesson Activity

Cover of Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim

Summary

It’s the night before Eid, and Amira is busy preparing for the holiday celebration. She fills goody bags with candy and decorates her hands with henna. Her Eid shalwar kameez is hanging on the closet door, ready to wear to the masjid. Amira loves celebrating with family and friends. 

Tomorrow is also picture day at school. This upsets Amira. She’s afraid that if she’s not in the class photo, nobody will remember her.  

When Amira arrives at the masjid the next day, she’s happy to see her friends. The decorations are beautiful and the food smells delicious. Amira has a great time. 

Amira packs up the extra goodie bags when the festivities end. She realizes that school is still in session, and asks if she can bring the treats to her class. 

Amira feels a little funny and nervous about walking into her classroom. She’s still wearing her shalwar kameez, and no one will know why she missed school that morning. Amira’s mother explains the absence to the teacher, and the class is happy to see Amira. They  love her clothes and her decorated hands. 

The story ends with the class getting their picture taken. Amira is in the photo. She made it back to class in time for the class picture. 

The illustrations in this story capture the joyful celebration of Eid. The pages are full of candy, streamers, and clothes in brilliant colors. The story will compel readers to learn more about unfamiliar words and practices. 

Two pages of the book Amira's Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim. The pages show hands decorated with mehndi designs.

Lesson

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Grow: I.D.1 Learners participate in an ongoing inquiry-based process by continually seeking knowledge.

Engage learners by asking them to name a favorite holiday. Explain that you are going to read a story about a holiday called Eid. Show the cover of Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim. Explain that Eid is a religious holiday celebrated by Muslims. Ask learners to share what they already know about Eid. 

Explain that Eid could fall on a school day. When that happens, Muslims go to a place of worship instead of school. Sometimes, this means that they miss out on special school activities. 

Discussion Questions

Ask the following questions as you read Amira’s Picture Day by Reem Faruqi and Fahmida Azim:

  • “Take a look at the cover of the book. What do you notice? What questions do you have? Now, what do you notice about the endpapers? What questions do you have?” (cover and front endpapers)
  • “What is happening on the title page?” (title page)
  • “How do Amira and Ziyad feel about seeing the Moon?” (pp. 1-2)
  •  “What questions do you have about Eid after reading these pages?” (pp. 3-4)
  • “What are we learning about the celebration so far?” (pp. 5-6)
  • “How is Amira feeling about picture day? How do you know this?” (pp. 7-8)
  • “How does Amira feel about her mother’s response about picture day? How do you know this?” (p. 9)
  • “Why was Amira upset about missing the class picture?” (p. 10)
  • “How is Amira feeling on these pages? What makes you say so?” (pp. 11-12)
  • “What new information did you learn about Eid on this page?” (p. 14)
  • “What else can we infer about Eid after looking at this double-page spread?” (pp. 15-16) 
  • “Why do you suppose Amira feels a little funny?” (p. 26)
  • “What did the teacher learn about Eid?” (p. 27)
  • “How do the classmates respond to Amira’s traditional clothing and decorated hands?” (p. 28)

Amira’s Picture Day Lesson Activity

Ask readers to consider the author’s purpose for writing the story. Invite learners to learn more about Eid or another holiday they are unfamiliar with. 

Introduce a favorite database or nonfiction book series to help answer questions. Tell learners to record lingering questions as they research their topic. 

After they gather information, ask learners to consider how they can share what they learned. 

Skillshare Course

After reading this story, I wanted to learn about mehndi. Skillshare offers classes on this craft. I watched Puja Modi’s course and learned how to make a mehndi cone, mix a batch of henna, and paint designs.

Decorating with henna and a mehndi cone is a lot like decorating a cake. It takes practice to get the mixture at the right consistency. My first batch was probably too thick. Sometimes, the mixture got stuck and I had to apply more pressure to the cone. This left clumpy lines.

I look forward to trying it again. I’ll stick with practicing on paper for a while. I want to get a good handle on it before trying to design on skin.

If you’d like to check out Skillshare free for 14 days, you can use my teacher referral link. I will get a small fee if you decide to subscribe. Click here for the referral link.

Cover of Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades by Maureen Schlosser and Rebecca Granatini

If you like these lesson ideas, please take a look at our book, Lessons Inspired by Picture Books for Primary Grades. This resource includes ready-to-go lesson plans that meet the standards. Worksheets, assessments and rubrics are included.

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