Wednesday, November 3, 2010

27th meeting

Our Today's Story: "How Many Jawbreakers?" from "Kids-Life Devotions"

After a week off due to the spell of sickness that Umm Uzair's family went through, we were happy to come together for another book club meeting.

As we were waiting for all the kids to arrive, Umm Uzair decided to switch around the usual order of our book club. This time, we started with the crafts activity. As Umm Uzair handed out to each of us a square piece of paper, she told us about the ancient Chinese art of origami - folding of paper into different shapes. She told us that already in one of the earlier book club meetings, kids had dome some origami. This time, she had in mind for us a project of origami steamer-ship. Folding was simple but not easy, as we always had to match the corners and edges of paper folds most carefully and make sure that all the folding lines were tightly pressed. Here below you can see the pictures of the ships we made.

After we finished the ships, Umm Uzair handed to us a long piece of paper, which was left over from the A4 size pages after cutting out squares. In order not to waste the paper, we cut out from these edges lovely strings of little men and women, who could sail our ships!

Then we sat down for the story. Umm Uzair asked us, if we liked to win in competitions and how we felt, when we were the winners. All of us agreed that it felt very good to win and to receive certificates or gifts for our achievements. The story that we read this time was about a boy, who also really liked winning and wanted to win in a competition arrange by his class teacher. It was called "How Many Jawbrakers?" and the main character of the story was Andy Jackson.

One day, Andy's class teacher had on her table a big jar full of jawbreakers. (Umm Uzair explained to us that jawbrakers were very large balls of chewing-gum, which, when eaten, filled the entire mouth and thus were difficult to chew. Since chewing them took a lot of effort, they were called 'the jawbrakers'.) The teacher announced a competition - she asked children to guess, just how many jawbrakers were in the jar. The one with the closest estimate (that's a fancy word for 'guess' that we learned) would get the whole jar. Andy really wanted the jar.

When the break came, all the kids run outside. Teacher sent Andy back to class to bring a whistle she had forgotten on her table. As Andy was taking the whistle, he noticed a note on the table saying "732 jawbreakers". He couldn't believe his luck - he saw the answer!

Later, when teacher asked the kids to write down their guesses, Andy was puzzled what to do. He prayed to Allah to help him to make the right choice. Finally, he decided not to cheat and instead of 732, he wrote down as his guess 237 - just the opposite number of what he had seen. He was said he wouldn't win, but he felt good because he had done the right thing.

When the teacher announced the results, it turned out that Andy had the closest guess and won the whole jar of jawbreakers!!! How so? The note he had seen on the teachers table was not the answer - it was a guess made by a girl, who had to leave early! Thus, by being honest and doing the right thing, Andy won.

Umm Uzair encouraged also us to pray to Allah, whenever we faced any difficult situation and didn't know what to do. Allah can always help us to make the right choice!

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

26th meeting

Our Today's Story: "Dick Whittington and His Cat" from "Folk Tales from Around the World"

We started out today our book club by trying to define, what a folk tale was. Umm Uzair tried to ask us prompting questions till we one by one pieced together a quite good definition. We decided that folk tales have to do with certain peoples, and that these are the tales that they tell to each other. From here on, Umm Uzair explained to us that people all over the world have some special tales that are being narrated down from generation to generation. For example, your mom's mother might have told her a tale, which was told to her by her mother, and then your mother told that the same tale to you - that's how folk tales are being passed down and preserved in memories of different nations. Usually, nobody knows, who is the author of the tale.
We also learned that different nations of the world have very different folk tales, which are specific to the regions they live in. The book, which Umm Uzair had, contained folk tales from West Africa, Germany, the USA, Britan and Japan. We listened to the tale from Britain about a poor boy called Dick and about his cat Tom, who made him rich by serving on a ship and catching the mice.

After the story, Umm Uzair had prepared for us a painting activity! All of us together made beautiful pictues of the under-water world. Umm Uzair was making her picture and we followed her step-by-step in making our own. First, we put all the colours and then, when the paint had dried, made the outlines with bright pastels. See below the pictures we made!

Wednesday, October 6, 2010

25th meeting

Today's Story: "The Gingerbread Man"

This week, the location of our book club meeting was moved to the home of Atefa aunty, who kindly invited all the kids and their moms over.

Inspired by the previous week's book club, in which Imaan was sharing with kids a story, this time, Uzair decided to read for children one of his favourite stories - "The Gingerbread Man". Now, nearly all of us were familiar with this story already, but it didn't stop us from enjoying listening to it again. We liked how Uzair tried to read the parts of different characters in different voices. Plus, this book had more in it than just the story of the Gingerbread Man. At the story of Gingerbread Man, we had the chance to see a comic story of what the same moning (that he book talks about) would have looked like for the fox - what the fox did in the morning, before he saw the gingerbread man at the river. Moreover, there was also a diary entry of the two children, who were also chasing the gingerbread man - they were also telling their own version of the story up to the point, when the gingerbread man escaped with the fox. By reading these additional stories, we realized that we could do the same with nearly every story we read - we could imagine, what the story would be like for the other characters involved in it! :)

Before we sat down for the story, we had the chance to cut out our very own shapes of gingerbread cookies! Umm Uzair had prepared the dough for us, and the gingerbread cookies were cooking in Atefa auntie's oven, as we listened to the story, spreading a mouth-watering smell all over the house! What a delight it was to eat the warm cookies later on!

After the story, Umm Uzair gave to each of us a paper gingerbread man, which we could decorate with pencils and crayon whichever way we wished. When we finished the work, she attached our gingerbread men to sheets of paper with recipe of gingerbread cookies, so that our moms could make some for us at home as well. :) See below our work!

Wednesday, September 29, 2010

24th meeting

Our today's story: "Stellaluna" by by Janell Cannon

Today was a special day for our Bookworks Book Club because for the first time one of the book club members had taken the responsibility of sharing a book with us! Imaan had brought along one of her favourite books "Stellaluna", which she read to the rest of us.

The story was about a little baby bat by name of Stellaluna, who got lost and ended up being raised by a bird in her nest along with her other little birdies. Stellaluna had to do all things the way birds do - eat insects, which she didn't like at all, and instead of sleeping by hanging upside down, as bats do, sleep like birds do in their nest.

Later, Stellaluna met some other bats, who said to her that it was OK to sleep by hanging upside down, because she was a bat. Stellaluna also discovered that she was a fruit-bat, which explained why she hadn't liked the insects the birds were eating. She learned that she could see very well at night and that her hearing was extremely sensitive - she could move aroun with the help of echolocation (bats make sounds and listen to them coming back in echo for judgeing the distance to objects around them). At the end of the story, Stellaluna was lucky enough to find her mother again!

After the story, Imaan's mother helped us to discover some more interesting facts about bats. We got to know, for example, that bats are mammals (their babies are born alive and drink milk) and that fruit-bats find their food by following the smell of it. What was even more fun, we ourselves could try becoming bats by using our senses of smell and hearing! We did two interesting activities. First, Imaan's mother divided us into pairs. One of us had to close our eyes, while the other gave to the first one some fruit to smell. We had to guess blindfolded, what kind of fruit it was - just like bats recognize and find fruits with the sense of their smell! The second activity was for our ears. With the help of a wall, a big lound-ticking clock and some empty kitchen towel rolls, Imaan's mother set up a small experiment, in which we could hear the echo of the clock's ticking, as it bounced off from the wall!

The pictures below show some of the facts we learned about bats: 1) bats are active during the dark hours (at night); 2) bats have good eyesight at night; 3) bats sleep by hanging upside down and wrapping their wings around them; 4) bats have sensitive sense of hearing and use echolocation.

Wednesday, September 22, 2010

23rd meeeting

Our today's story: "Wake Up, Scooterville" by Judith Bauer Stamper

All of us were happy to see each other again, after the longer break Bookworms Book Club took for the Ramadan and the Eid. As we sat down on the carpet for the story time, we agreed that all us had had really great Eid this year and all of us wished that the holidays would have beeen loger - not just four days but a week, a month, or, as somebody suggested, even thousand years! ;) Now from this you can easily guess that all of us really like to have long holidays.

Today's story was about a family living in a town called Scooterville. The characters in the book were: Mrs. Johnson (the mother), Ky and Alice (her kids). Every morning as they were having their breakfast, the Johnson family liked to listen to a radio show hosted by Howie Brown.

So it happened that one day Howie Brown decided to hold on his radio show a mystery contest that would last for three days. Each day, he was giving a clue to this mystery. The whole Scooterville was excited about this contest and everybody wanted to win. However, it was Alice, who was the lucky one to guess the right answer for the mystery contest. It turned out that Howie Brown had been giving clues about the Scooter Creek that was flowing through the town. He wanted the people of the town to 'wake up' and pay attention to the sad situation the creek was in - it was very polluted and dirty. Once the contest was over and Alice had won, the whole village went out to the Scooter Creek and cleaned it up from all the garbage.

After the story, Umm Uzair handed to us small pieces of paper with some mysterious letters on them, which we were supposed to colour. We coloured them, wrote our names on them and handed them back to Umm Uzair. As we were having our snack later on, Umm Uzair showed us the solution to our mystery - each of us had been colouring a part of a big poster, which said "BOOKWORMS BOOK CLUB" on it! What a colourful poster it came out to be! Now this poster will be greeting us every time, as we come back for book club meetings.

Today, we welcomed to our book club three new members: Emaan, Huda and Yusra!

Wednesday, July 7, 2010

20th meeting

Our today's stories: "A Visit to Grandma's" by Nansy Carlson and "Magenta's Tartan Socks" by Nikki Johnston

Today's summary of the book club activities is contributed by Zukhruf and Musab! (Encouragement for the rest of you to follow their example.)

Today at book club, Laila aunty asked us about our grandmothers: when do we visi our grandmother and where do our grand mother live. Wlso talked about the special gifts that the grandmothers gave us.

"A Visit to Grandma's"

Today's story was also about a grandmother that lived in Florida. She had a farm in her old house and everyone liked it very much. But this time, when they went to meet their grandma, she was changed. When they reached grandma’s condo, it was not at all like the old farm. After they reached home, dad said that you will start baking the pies now but grandma said that she would pick some from the shop after aerobics. After aerobics, she called her friends Bill, Vernice and Dorothy over. They played charades until midnight.

The next morning, grandma went for tap-dance and told mum about the healthy shake in the fridge. Every one was waiting for grandma to cook turkey dinner, but she said they will go out to have dinner. After the dinner, they had pies from the bakery and dad liked them more than grandma’s pies. After dinner they used to have sleigh ride in the farm, but this time they had a ride in the car. And they enjoyed it.

"Magenta's Tartan Socks"

Magenta and tartened socks, frilly knickers, and spangly bangles. She also had a little brother.

One proud day she wore her tartan socks down the street. One lady liked her socks and asked her where did she get them from she answered: “My nana brought them from far away across the sea she slugged through swamps and climbed a tree to bring these socks for me.“ The lady was surprised to hear but her little brother said she bought them from the shop.

Another day Magenta wore her frilly knickers a girl liked them and asked where did she get them from and Magenta said: "My nana bought them across the sea she tangled with tigers and bit a flea." The girl said: "Oh really?" But her brother said she bought them from the shop.

Another day she wore her bangles a man asked: "Where did you get these." And she replied: "My nana bought them from far away across the sea she flipped through flowers and stung a bee to bring them to me." The man said: "Oh really?" But her brother said she bought them from the shop.

One day she went down the street with out her beautiful things and her brother and all the people asked: "Where is you brother?" And she said: "He is far away across the sea climbing through tress tangling with tigers to bring a treasure back home to me." Every one answered: "Oh really?" But Magenta’s little brother said: "No, Magenta, I am in the shop."

After the stories, we made special cards for our gradmothers. Those of us, who knew how to write, wrote in their cards, why we felt our gradmothers were special.

Wednesday, June 30, 2010

19th meeting

Our today's stories - "Mrs. Woolly's Funny Sweaters" by Asha Nehemia and "Winter Woolies" by Tracey Elliot-Reep
As we sat down for the book club today, Umm Uzair asked us, how many of us had seen real snow. It turned out that quite a few of us had! We admitted that in snow it feels very cold and that we had to wear many layers of clothes to keep us warm. Umm Uzair made us think, if the clothes were the ones that actually made us warm. Would a sweater make the wall warm, if we hang it on the wall? Would it or not? As we talked, we came to conclusion that clothes simply kept the warmth of our body with us - that's how they protected us from cold!

The first book we read today was about Mrs. Woolly and her daughter Anita. Mrs. Woolly earned money by knitting sweaters, however, since they lived in a warm place, not many people bought her sweaters. So they moved up into mountains, where it was cold and where people needed sweaters. Their new house was so high up in the mountains that whenever they opened windows, clouds would float in and they would not be able to see anything in their home at all. Due to this problem, Mrs. Woolly kept on knitting, even without seeing what she was doing. The results were quite strange: one sweater with two necks, one with four sleeves and one with no sleeves at all - just a veeeeeery long neck. Mrs. Woolly was sad for this wastage. However, later they found use for these sweaters - one was bought by a man, who put it on his dog (the four sleeves one), one was bought by a woman, who gave it to her monkey with her baby - both the baby and the mother could fit into the sweater (the two necks one) and one was bought by a man, who had a sitar - to keep the strings of sitar warm (the long neck one). Anita bought for her mother also a very strong light, which would help her in knitting. Now Mrs. Woolly was able to make fine sweaters, however, whenever anybody needed a funny one, she switched off the light and knitted without seeing...

The other book was about sheep and wool. Through pictures, we learned from it about the life-cycle of sheep and about how their fleece gets cut and made into yarn, which then is used for making warm clothes.

After the books, Umm Uzair taught us to make nice bookmarks from three-coloured yarn. When we finished the bookmarks, Umm Uzair brougth some crocheting needles and showed us, how to make a simple chain with them.

Wednesday, June 16, 2010

18th meeting

Our today's stories - "The Zax" from "The Sneetches and other Stories" by Dr. Seuss and "The Smily Crocodile" from "My Animal Treasury" collection of stories

Today, we had new kids join our book club - we welcome Zukhruf and her brother Musab (with two their two yournger siblings, who had come along with them)!

Before reading the stories, we talked about having arguments and solving them. Umm Uzair asked us, if we liked to fight with others, how we felt, when we were fighting and what we could do for avoiding arguments. We also talked about what we should do, if an argument has already started and we want to cool down and end it.

All of us agreed that we didn't like having arguments. We felt bad fighting with others. As we talked, what to do, if argument has already started, we came up with the following suggestions: go and make wudhu, sit down, pray, drink some water. We talked, how anger and arguments come from Shaitan and the best way to stop them is by water and trying to cool down. Umm Uzair suggested that for avoiding arguments, we should simply try to talk to the person, who is making us angry, and solve the situation this way, without getting into fight.

The first story today was about two stubborn Zax - one, which was always going south, and the other, who was always going north. When these two Zaxs met, they were so stubborn that none of them would let the other go, by stepping to the side from his route. They started arguing, since none of them was willing to give up. So the story ended with these two angry Zaxs standing in front of other for years and years - just to their stubborness and anger.

The other story was about a smily crocodile, who found it difficult not to smile and impossible to get angry at anyone. Other crocodiles in the river were mean and angry ones - they couldn't understand the smily one at all. One day, a herd of hippos came to their river. Crocodiles were not happy about it at all, except the smily, who enjoyed the new company. They wanted to get rid of the hippos and tried to do so in a number of mean ways, but didn't succeed. Then the smily crocodile suggested that it would be better just to talk to the hippos nicely and ask them to leave for a different place. And that's what he did. And it worked! To the great astonishment of the angry crocodiles, the hippos were ready to listen to the smily one and moved.

After the stories, Umm Uzair distributed to us big lips she had cut out from paper. We had to make smiles and colour them. Then, Umm Uzair stapled our smiles onto straws. She said that we can use these smiles any time we felt angry for hiding our anger. She also said that our every smile is a Sadaqah for which we get rewarded! Isn't that nice?

17th meeting

Our today's story: "The Beautiful Pattern" by Enid Blyton

Our book club meeting today turned out to be a quite small one, as only four of us met for it. The good thing is, however, that two new girls joined the club! We welcome Imaan and Yumnaa to Karachi Bookworms Club!

As we sat down on the carpet for getting started, Umm Uzair asked us, if we liked to draw. All of us were eager to confirm it, because all of us enjoyed drawing very much. Umm Uzair asked Imaan and Yumnaa, what kinds of things they were doing at school in their art classes. The girls explained that they did water-colours, drawing, pasting and many other interesting things. Uzair and Hafsa said that they also liked drawing very much, which we could very well see from all their pictures pasted on the whiteboard right behind our backs.

This time, the story was about a boy Morris, who was not good at drawing at all and had much trouble with it at school. Whenever his art teacher asked him to make some pattern, he could never come up with anything good.

One day, Morris' teacher gave him some homework for the weekend - to make a pattern, which would be good for a wallpaper. Morris came home very sad, because he didn't know what to draw. His mother sent him to play outside in the snow. As he went out, he noticed among the trees in the wood a house made of snow! He went closer and looked through the doorway, which didn't have any doors. Inside the house he saw a brownie, who was busy making desings on a wallpaper, which he wanted to paste on the walls of his snow-house. He was making so very beautiful patterns that Morris had to ask him, how he got idea to draw them. Brownie replied that he just looked around him for the patterns in nature. In summer, he had made a pattern of dasies, but this one that he was doing now was of snowflakes. They both went outside to catch some snowflakes and look at the patterns of these small ice crystals. Morris was surprised how beautiful each little snowflake was! Now he had got an idea for his own wall-paper pattern - he rushed home and made a pattern of snowflakes.

When Morris took his patter to school on Monday, his teacher liked his patern very much. She even pinned it to the wall for everybody to see!

After finishing the story, Umm Uzair showed us how to make our own snowflakes. Check out the pictures to see how many beautiful patterns we made!!!