Wednesday, March 31, 2010

10th meeting

Our today's stories - "Wash your hands!" by Tony Ross and "You're a big bear now, Winston Brown" by Paul May.

"Do you like to wash your hands?" asked Umm Uzair, as we sat down on the carpet for our story time. All of us agreed that we do. She reminded us that last week, when she sent us to wash our hands before snack-time, nearly all of us were back from the washroom in a blink of an eye... Could we have washed our hands well at such a top speed? :) Umm Uzair then asked us, why do we need to wash our hands? Hafsa had the answer ready - because otherwise germs would go down in our stomack and we would get sick.
The first book we read today was "Wash your hands!" It was a bit funny picture book about a little princess, who was made wash her hands over and over again. She kept on asking, why she needs to do it so often, till she got confused and asked: "Do I need to wash my hands also after washing my hands?" All in all, through this book we saw all the different occassions, when we definitely need to wash our hands.
Next, Umm Uzair asked us, if we were brave kids. All of us were ready to prove that, of course, we were very brave. Umm Uzair asked us, if we have ever been very scared of something. Isa said that he is scared to go upstairs in his home, when it is dark there, because he feels that some ghost or something like that could be hiding in the dark. Vajih said that he was scared in the airplane, when it was chaging direction and seemed to be turned upside down. Uzair said that he gets scared when he plays hide-and-seek, because people come on him unexpectedly and try to scare him. Hafsa said that she once got vey scared, when she was washing her hands, because a cocroach ran over her foot.
Then Umm Uzair asked us, what we do when we are very scared - how do we deel with our fears? Isa said that he just tries to run very fast, so that he can reach quickly in the dark the room he needs to go to. Muadh also said that he runs very fast. Uzair said that when he is afraid of something, he hides. But Hafsa said that she simply screams very loud, whenever she gets scared.
From this, we proceeded to read the book about Winston Brown. The story was very similar to that of the Goldilocks - Winston bear found out that a 'burglar' had been in his home, had eaten his porridge, broken his chair and had gone to sleep in his bed. He was so very afraid of this burglar that even his furr stood up on his head. But he tried to be brave and, without looking at the burglar, gave out a big roar, which scared the burglar (little girl), who then jumped out of the window and run off. Winston's parents were very proud that Winston had been so brave.
After the stories, we made our very own bookmarks. Now, whenever we read some book at home, we can use them to mark the place in the book.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

9th meeting

Our today's story - "Papa Pride" by Kathy Mallat

Today, we had a quite special club meeting, because instead of Umm Uzair, the story today was told to us by Umm Zainab! As we sat down on the carpet, ready to listen to the story, Umm Zainab asked us some prompting questions about somebody, who loves us and cares for us, who is a male, who works all day long to earn money for us... and at that point, Uzair jumped up with the answer that it was our father.

"Papa Pride" was a book about a father-wolf and his little cubs. The story was told by the cubs and they were telling, how their papa cared for them, taught them all sorts of things, protected them from danger and played with them. The culbs were telling that their papa was loving them very dearly. The pictures in the book were very huge and beautiful!

After finishing the book, Umm Zainab invited us to make something special for our fathers, who loved us, so that we can show to them that we love them too. Thus, we set out to make beautiful cards for our fathers with our very own special messages in them. You can see below all the cards we made. Can you guess, which father will receive which? :)

Muadh's big and bright sun is shining over a huge green montain. His message to abbi is very clear: "I love you, father."

With bright yellow, blue and red colours, Hibatullah is sending love for her abbi. Together with Umm Zainab, she has gifted to her dearest abbi a beautiful poem - "Twinkle, twinkle, little star..."

Hafsa's card is overwhelmed by hearts and love that it is supposed to bring to her abba. In the midst of all the hearts, is Hafsa's whole family, standing outside of their home. If you look careful enough, you won't miss her message for her abba: "abba, ai, law, yu".

Isa has shown in his card his whole family - lots of people there with love (hearts) floating over them! His card has a very special message for his abbi - that he loves him more than his toys. Now, what can beat that?! :)

Zainab's card tells us of where her abbu works - she has a big blue university building in the background of happy herself. Her card is full of colourful hearts, which send lots of love to her father. With the help of her mother, she wrote that both her ammi and her abbu are very good.

Uzair made a happy scenery with him and abba enjoying lush green grass, beautifully bright sun and deep blue sky. As you can see it writtne in the card, he truly appreciates that abba always loves him.

Friday, March 19, 2010

8th meeting

Our today's story - "The Bloody Battle Between Birds and Elephants" from "Illustrated Animal Stories from the Quran" by Dr. Abdur Rauf

Today we came together for a very special story - a story from the Holy Quran about the battle between birds and elephants. When Umm Uzair inquired, it turned out that nearly all of us had already heard this story before, but we didn't mind hearing it once again. Umm Uzair told us, how there is a whole Surah in the Quran dedicated to this great battle.

First, we looked at the Surat-ul-Feel (the Elephant). Umm Zainab was kind enough to recite for us this Surah in Arabic, after which Umm Uzair read to us the English translation of the Surah. Then, we were ready for the story.

The story was about an evil king Abrahah, who wanted to go and destroy Kabah, because he was so jealous of all the pilgrims going there and trade happening there. He wanted all these things for his own country. He collected a large army, which had even elephants in it and headed for Makkah to Kabah.
When Makkans saw the army approaching, they got very scared and run and hid in the mountains, being sure that Allah (swt) will protect His House from the army. And indeed it happened so. First, Abrahah's clever elephant refused to move towards Kabah. Then, Allah (swt) sent thousands and thousands of small birds, each carrying three pebbles, for hitting with these stones the attacking army. As the birds trew the stones, they turned into bullets and killed the entire army! This was how Allah (swt) saved His Kabah from the wrongdoers!

After reading, Umm Uzair showed us, how to make a simple illustration of the story - she was making her own picture and we, by looking at hers, tried to make our own. Look, how great our illustrations came out to be! Aren't all of us splendid illustrators? :)

Wednesday, March 10, 2010

7th meeting

Our today's story - "Six Blind Men and the Elephant"

As we sat down today on the carpet, dividing ourselves into "ladies' side" and "men's side" of the circle, Umm Uzair asked, how we felt, when we were sick. All of us agreed that we felt very sad, when we were sick. Then, Umm Uzair asked us the next question - how would our life change, if we would not have the index finger of our right hand? We started thinking about it and realized that we would not be able to write properly, eat properly and even hold things properly in our right hand. And how would our life change, if we would not have our right hand up to our elbow? At this, we had to admit that we would not be able to do even more things... And what if our legs would not be working? It was even scary to think about it - we would not be able to run and walk. We would also not be able to drive cars, becase our legs are needed for working the pedals.

Now, what if we would not be able to see? What then? How we would go about doing things? Vajih said that we could smell things. Somebody else suggested that we could feel things with our hands. And it truly is so that the people, who cannot see, rely much more than us on their other senses. Umm Uzair asked us all to close our eyes for a few moments and try to imagine, what it would be like not to be able to see anything.

When we opened our eyes, Umm Uzair surprised us by saying that blind people also can read books. We asked, how could that be? She said to us that they use special type of books and special type of alphabet. Their alphabet is called Braille and every letter consists from a combination of elevated dots you can feel with your fingertips. Books written in Braille have thicker paper than the books we read - the paper has to be thick enough, so that the dots can be felt by the reader. Blind people slide their fingertips over the book's page and read this way.

Umm Uzair encouraged us to be thankful to Allah (swt) for being healthy, because good health is also one of the blessings of Allah (swt). It is not easy to remember to be thankful for this blessing. Only when we fall sick or some other trouble happens to us, do we realize, what a blessing it is to be healthy and fine.

Now, from this we proceeded to our today's story "Six Blind Men and the Elephant". It was an Indian tale about six blind men, who had never in their life seen a real elephant. One day, they went down to the river to get to know, what an elephant was like. Each one of them touched a different body part of the elephant and based on this, they decided for themselves, what an elephant was like. For example, the man, who touched the trunk of the elephant, said that the elephant was long and rubbery like a snake, while the man, who touched the side of the elephant said that the elephant was high and wide like a wall. Thus, all six of them got different ideas about what elephant was like and started to argue among themselves. Then, the elephant spoke and said that all of them were right and that there was no need to argue - his every body part was indeed different.

After reading the book, we played a couple games. Umm Uzair had prepared for us a pillowcase full of interesting objects. We took turns putting our hands inside the pillowcase and taking hold of one of the objects. We had to describe to the rest of the kids, what shape that object was, what material it was from, and for what it could be used. Everybody had to guess, what object that was. Since Umm Uzair had picked quite unusual objects, the guessing was really challenging! :)

Afther this game, we played another game. We could now imagine first hand, what it would be like to be blind. Umm Uzair selected one of us and covered that persons eyes with a thick dupatta. Then that person was turned around several times and had to catch other kids in the room, who were giving clues about their location by clapping hands. This was looots of fun!!!

Wednesday, March 3, 2010

6th meeting

Our today's story - "Spud the Dragon" from "Bob the Builder" series

Umm Uzair started out today by asking us, if we liked to build things. We answered that we surely did! Some of us liked to build with Lego blocks, some with simple wodden blocks, while others liked to build things from sand. Then, Umm Uzair asked us, if we have ever seen, how houses are being built. As most of us had seen it, we shared briefly our ideas about how houses are being built.

Next, Umm Uzair asked us, if we knew, what the person, who designs the houses, was called. Some of us said that it was the builder, but we got to know from Umm Uzair that that person was called architect. Architect is the person, who gets in his head ideas about different types of houses. Once he has the idea, he puts it down on the paper - he draws the picture of the house. Then, he makes the model of a house and does all the necessary calculations that the builders would need for constructing the real house.

After talking about the houses in general, Umm Uzair showed us several apartment plans. All of us together looked through these plans and tried to guess, which room would be the dining room, which would be the bedrooms, which would be bathrooms and so on. We tried to guess also what the different pieces of furniture we could see in these plans. We identified sofas, tables, beds and many other things. Then we looked for doors and windows - to see, how they were marked in the apartment plans.
After this discussion, we proceeded to our today's story about Bob the builder. Bob is a cartoon caracter, who loves to help people fix and build their houses. He has a team of machinery as well - they help him to build. The story in this book centered around Spud, the scarecrow, who wondered into a pile of costumes in a school, as he was delivering ladder to Mrs. Percival. The story tells, how Spud, after putting on a dragon costume, tried to scare all his friends and make fun of them. However, as we all know it very well, such mischief cannot go unpunished for - his friends found him out and scared him with the very same dragon costume he had been scaring them!
When we finished the story, Umm Uzair took out huge pages of newspaper and we made our very own hats, which we could use if we ourselves would be doing any painging or fixing work around the home. We folded the newspaper into hats that were just right size for our heads and coloured them with crayons for making them more attractive and for hiding the text of the newspaper.
As we were folding our hats, Vajih noticed that the folding is very similar to that of a boat. He decided to change his plans and made a huge boat instead.