Use this Ramadan Maths activity to bring purpose and context to Key Stage 2 investigations for primary school mathematics; number five in the summer series of blogs linking classroom KS2 Maths lessons and resources to topical, calendar-based events.

The end of May (and the majority of June) means we can use Ramadan to set up some great topical maths investigations. Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic calendar when Muslims fast from early dawn to sunset in order to be closer to God.

The month-long fast is ideally placed to link Key Stage 2 Maths to the real world, discuss religion and Maths and celebrate diversity in your primary classroom.

Diversity in primary education

Diversity can be defined as the ways in which people are both alike and different; from race, ethnicity, culture, religion, class, and gender. As we know, diversity is hugely important in life and, in school, is crucial to forming an effective team (or classroom). If you have a diverse range of people tackling (for example) a Maths investigation, then you have a more diverse range of techniques and ideas to help you succeed!

In short, being in a room with a group of people with different ideas is much more productive than being in a room with people who all have the same ideas.

Maths and religion - symmetry in Islamic art

The stunning patterns that adorn mosques, madrasas and palaces around the world are both beautiful and mathematically inspired. Islamic art is created using symmetry and repeated geometric shapes. The image below? Made with Maths:

No matter how beautiful, pieces like this always start out simply; with a ruler and a pair of compasses. The framework for the art itself is based on Greek geometry, i.e the principles of building complex patterns and shapes using simple lines, repetition, and symmetry.

Why not try starting your Maths lessons by asking how pupils think Maths helped to create the image above? Then you could follow on with our topical Maths investigation linked to Ramadan (below). Or, for more summer-term 2017 activities linked to topical Maths in the classroom, download your free topical problem solving resource.

Ramadan is the ninth month of the Islamic lunar calendar. Every day during this month, Muslims around the world spend the daylight hours in a complete fast. Ramadan is much more than just not eating and drinking; it is a time to purify the soul, refocus attention on God, and practise self-discipline and sacrifice.

Here are some Ramadan Maths questions for you to try:

1a. How many days does Ramadan last?
1a. How many hours is this?
2a. If daylight hours are from 04:45 to 21:15, how many hours are spent fasting each day?
2b. Each week?
2c. For the whole of Ramadan?
3. Give the answers to question 2 in days (rounded to the nearest whole day).

Don't forget to tweet us @thirdspacetweet and tell us how you get on with our Ramadan Maths activity or send in any pictures of the great Islamic art your class produces!

This post is number five of our new topical Maths investigation series for summer-term 2017 which links classroom KS2 Maths lessons and resources to calendar-based events. Follow the links below to each post: