Aga Khan Museum Partnership Resources Available

As Islamic Heritage Month begins, CODE is pleased to announce that our partnership with the Aga Khan Museum and the Ministry of Education has produced four wonderful resources now available on the CODE web site. Simply search  key word Aga Khan Museum and two elementary and two secondary drama and dance resources will appear. These Ontario Ministry of Education resources were prepared by teachers, for teachers in partnership with the Aga Khan Museum. Curriculum resources were inspired by the Museum’s Permanent Collection. Object information and images courtesy of the Aga Khan Museum.




 Intermediate Drama  - explore Every Object Tells a Story - Exploring Islamic Art and Artifacts Through Drama

This unit has been created for a Grade 9 or 10 Drama class. The unit could be situated in the middle to latter part of the course so that students can apply the knowledge, skills and techniques they have learned throughout the course and connect them with their own stories and experiences in a meaningful way. The purpose of this unit is threefold: for students to: 1) engage in self-inquiry and object-based work to tell stories about objects of personal cultural significance from multiple perspectives and lens, 2) to do guided inquiry which explores intersections and interrelationships found in the shapes, patterns and designs of Islamic art and architecture and to create individual and collaborative movement and dance pieces to represent these connections, and 3) to do independent and collaborative inquiry work using objects and materials found in the main galleries and online digital collections of the Aga Khan museum in order to use both drama and movement strategies to tell the stories behind the creators and the creation of the objects themselves and about their social and cultural significance.

Junior Intermediate Drama - Exploring the Teaching of His Highness the Aga Khan

This unit is intended to provide Grade 7 and 8 students with a physical, cognitive and emotional connection to the Aga Khan Museum and a specific historical piece called the Planispheric Astrolabe which was created during a phase in history where many individuals from multiple faiths/religions worked harmoniously together. Furthermore, this unit will connect faiths with the teachings of the Indigenous Community through the interconnectedness and layering of Characteristic Traits and Values. Students will also have the opportunity to build community and appreciation for diversity within the classroom through exploration of dance and drama.

Secondary Dance  (Grade 11 and 12) - Exploring Islamic Art and Artifacts Through Dance

Islamic art is comprised of art and architecture built in countries where Islam was the dominant religion but is not limited to art created by the followers of Islam. Islamic art encompasses art created by artists of other faiths residing in countries within the Islamic world. Therefore, the term Islamic art includes works created by Jews, Christians, Hindus etc. living in the Islamic world. Thus, one must understand the plurality of Islamic art and at the same time the congruency of art in neighbouring countries and empires at similar time periods in history.

Source:  Kana'an, Ruba, and Patricia Bentley. Learning at the Aga Khan Museum: A Curriculum Resource Guide for Teachers, Grades One to Eight. Toronto, Ontario: Aga Khan Museum, 2015. Print.

Islamic art and architecture varies across time and culture in addition to the regional availability of materials and what was stylistically in fashion. The play of light is also a key element incorporated into architectural designs. Geometric forms and patterns such as stars and polygon mosaics are also recognizable traits in Islamic architecture. The objects selected reflect the diversity of the Muslim empires as well as the interaction between various peoples around the world.


Elementary Drama and Dance - Your Way Begins on the Other Side: Exploring Notions of Community and Culture Through Drama and Dance in the Elementary Classroom

In this unit, students and teacher will use artifacts from the permanent collection at the Aga Khan Museum as a jumping off point to explore the themes of personal narratives, journies, community, transmission of culture and creating community. Choral Speaking, Tableau, Role Playing and Dance exercises will be used to explore the Muslim diaspora. The culminating task in this unit will have students work in role to create a gathering space for their community.

This unit can be used as a means of introducing the elements of dance, choral speaking, tableau or role play. This unit can be adapted for use in any elementary classroom, but is intended to complement the grade 2 and 4 social studies curriculum.