Under My Hijab
by Hena Khan Illustrated by Aaliya Jaleel
Hena Khan has delivered another wonderful book that validates and affirms the realities and experiences of Muslims. In Under My Hijab, Khan illuminates the beauty and diversity of Muslim women. A young Muslim American girl introduces readers to the many amazing women in her life who each wears her hijab in public in a way that expresses her individuality. At home they uncover their heads and we see more expressions of who each woman is as a person, and a woman of faith. This book is important and timely as a means to help educate a generation of people who can challenge the bias, stereotypes and misinformation that are running rampant in the world.
Genre - realistic fiction
Text Structure - picture book
Themes - celebrating and honoring Muslim American women, having role models, understanding the hijab, exploring the lives of contemporary Muslim-American women, family and friend relationships
Why It’s Culturally Authentic
It validates and affirms the lives and diversity of Muslim American women by showing that they are not a monolith.
The text and illustrations challenge stereotypes and mis-information about Muslim Americans
The clear, matter of fact, text and illustrations validate and affirm Muslim-American women as well as and builds and bridges to understanding for those not of the Muslim faith.
It shows contemporary Muslim American women doing everyday things that all children (and adults) can connect to/relate to.
The illustrations show that every shade/race of people is represented in Islam, challenging misinformation and stereotypes.
The author’s note “About the Hijab” clearly explains the purpose of and beliefs about wearing Hijab.
Ideas for CLR
Set it Off (Into the Text)
Responsive Vocabulary - Context Clue Slides + Back to Back + Personal Dictionary
Context Clue Slides -
Prepare 1 slide for each word that has an image and a sentence clear enough to provide context for students. (If you have students in your room who wear hijab, it might be a great idea to use them in the picture for).
Read the sentence aloud twice, once with a Teacher Read and once with a Choral Read.
While showing the slide use the Back to Back protocol to have students share 1) a connection with the word 2) their own definition/explanation of the word.
Next, have students use a Moment of Silence to complete their Personal Dictionary entry.
Students work independently to complete a Personal Dictionary entry for each word.
Picture Walk - Do a picture walk with students of the Cover, Title Page and Copyright page.
Walk and Talk + Somebody Who- Walk and Talk is just like Turn and Talk except students stand up, find a partner and walk the perimeter of the room discussing their responses to questions.
Walk and Talk Prompts -
What are things that people do to show their faith in God/a higher power?
What are things that people do to show what is important to them/what they believe in?
The Get Down (Through the Text)
Teacher Read Aloud + 3 Things + Musical Shares
Read the story aloud to the students. Before reading, tell them to listen for and think about 3 things , while you read.
You can ask students to think of a variety of things for the “3 things” literacy activity. Character info, theme, conflict, main idea, or more generic things “something surprising”, “a question”, “a connection”.
3 Things Prompts -
- One thing you learned about Muslim American women
- The hijab you like best
- A question you would ask the author
After reading, repeat the prompts and give students a few moments to think about their answers and/or write them down.