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!!!

Wednesday, June 2, 2010

16th meeting

Our today's story - "The Treasure Hunt" by Nick Butterworth

Treasures was the topic for our today's book club. As we sat down and divided ourselves into 'ladies side' and 'men's side' on the carpet, Umm Uzair asked us if we knew, what treasure was. Many hands went up and many voices were ready to clarify that treasure business is about gold, jewels and other precious things hidden somewhere far away. As we started to think about treasures more, we realized that not only mysterious treasures (the kinds you read about in adventure books) can be treasures. For us, treasure can be anything we feel special about: may be a toy or some special person we like, or even memories of places we have visited or events we have attended. Then, Umm Uzair asked us to think of what treasures we, as Muslims, have. Answers started pouring - prayers, fasting, Prophet Muhammad (saw), Hajj... and so on. Umm Uzair pointed out that one of the greatest treasures that we, as Muslims, have is the Quran - the wonderful book, in which Allah (swt) has told us, how to live a life, which would be pleasing to Him.

Today's story was about Percy, the park keeper, who had made a treasure hunt for the park animals. He had placed at different places of the park picture clues, which animals had to find and follow, in order to find a treasure at the end. Percy had kept a bag of chocolate money wrapped in goldden papers as the treasure but... unfortunately, as he was palcing the clues in the park, he had eaten all the chocolates one by one. Although animals did not find the actual treasure they were supposed to find, they did find a friend along the way - the cow Lucy. They all agreed at the end that real treasure and a good friend are about the same - very precious.

After the story, Umm Uzair gave to each of us a piece of paper and asked us to draw our special treasure. When the drawing was ready, we had to write, what we have made, and why this thing was our treasure. The pictures came out to be really beautiful and colourful, Masha'Allah!

Adam had made a picture of his best friend Talha, who was his special treasure, because he liked to play with him.

Muhammad made a picture of a fox. It was difficult for Umm Uzair to guess, if this is the fox from the story they had just read or may be some toy Muhammad had at home?

Uzair made a very colourful picture of his good friend Umer, with whom he liked to play cricket.

Rumaisa made pictures of really many things she felt were special for her. Her treasures were books, time, dolls, flower, dress, shoes and dollhouse. On the other side of her picture, she made herself.

Hafsa also worked on both sides of her paper. She told us that she has made her favourite friend Ureeda (her cousin), with whom she likes to play very much. Letters "H" and "U" over the heads of her girls show who is who. On the other side, she made lots of beautiful hearts for their friendship.

Affan made a very colourful picture of the seaside hut where he and his family sometimes go. He said that it was special because he could bring his friends there and he had a dog there.

Affan's sister made also a really colourful picture but she wouldn't tell us what was there. :) Alright, sometimes it is perfectly OK to be shy. :)

And last but not least, our smallest book club visitor Zakariya also made lots of special pictures of his treasures. As you can see, his treasures are his cars! Many of them! :) And on the other side of his picture, he made his hand print.