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BEFORE YOU WATCH: Islam, the Quran, and the Five Pillars

Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below.
Use the “Three Close Reads” approach as you watch the video below (next in the lineup!). If you want to learn more about this strategy, click here.

First read: preview and skimming for gist

Before you watch, you should skim the transcript first. The skim should be very quick and give you the gist (general idea) of what the video is about. You should be looking at the title, thumbnails, pictures, and first few seconds of the video for the gist.

Second read: key ideas and understanding content

Now that you’ve skimmed the video transcript and taken a quick peek at the video, you should preview the questions you will be answering. These questions will help you get a better understanding of the concepts and arguments that are presented in the video. Keep in mind that when you watch the video, it is a good idea to write down any vocab you read or hear that is unfamiliar to you.
By the end of the second close read, you should be able to answer the following questions:
  1. What was Arab society like when Muhammad began to write the ideas that would become the core of Islam?
  2. How is the Quran different from other religious books in the Abrahamic faiths?
  3. What are the Five Pillars of Islam?
  4. Why was the Ummah an important change to how people living in the Arabian Peninsula thought about communities during this era?
  5. How did Muhammad connect politics and religion? How did Islam become so widespread, according to John Green?

Third read: evaluating and corroborating

Finally, here are some questions that will help you focus on why this video matters and how it connects to other content you’ve studied.
At the end of the third read, you should be able to respond to this question:
  1. John Green argues that we don’t learn much about Islam, usually because we don’t see it as our history, even though our history is “the history of the people on the planet.” What does he mean? How does our sense of who we are today as a country or society influence what we learn about the past?
Now that you know what to look for, it’s time to watch! Remember to return to these questions once you’ve finished watching.

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