Wednesday, October 17, 2012

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - 4

Today the book club started out with an exciting competition - the big bookworms presented their character sketches of their own created child-characters, who have 'supposedly' won the fifth golden ticket for visiting Mr. Wonka's chocolate factory. Umm Uzair distributed among kids folded pieces of small papers with numbers in them - this way, kids got to know the order, in which they would be presenting. As each child came up in front, Umm Uzair wrote their number and name on the whiteboard, along with the name of their created character. Masha'Allah, we had nine presenters and this is how the list looked like:

We really enjoyed hearing the presentations, seeing the illustrations and even live demonstrations of the children's stories, Alhamduillah. All the children had put good effort into creating their characters and all of them really could have been the fifth finders of the lucky tickets.

However, we had to find the one winner of our competition. So after hearing the character sketches, Umm Uzair once again distributed small pieces of paper to all mothers and children in the room, on which they wrote the number of the presentation they liked the best. She later counted the votes and got an obvious winner - Hibatullah (the youngest of all our participants!!!) with her character of  Ted Khan, who never liked to take shower and was tricked into washing his hands and mouth by his parents, who promised him in return a Mr. Wonka's chocolate bar, which turned out to be the lucky holder of a golden ticket. Here is part of Hibatullah's story, which she wrote out all by herself:
Hibatullah's Ted Khan

And here are some of the other stories we heard today:

Muadh's Jesse Meany

Hajrah's Chexy Flexy

Ayesha's and Maaria's story - part 1

Ayesha's and Maaria's story - part 2

Sohaib's Thackery

Uzair's Peter Shy
Hafsa's Elizabeth Boutique

Hafsa's illustration for Elizabeth Boutique
 After the competition presentations, the big bookworms continued reading "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl to find out who the real winner of the fifth ticket was.

As the story continued, Charile's life took a turn for the worse: his father lost his job and meals at home became scarcer than ever. Charlie showed certain wisdom that only children can; by moving more slowly, not going out to play and setting off for his walk to school much earlier than usual, he would conserve some of his body's energy. His family was fretting with worry, they could see he was starving, and no matter how they tried to give him their share food, the good little fellow refused to take it. It was now, when things seemed like they could get no worse that a wondrous thing happened... what could that be? I bet you can guess, and surely you are right! Follow along with the us, bookworms, if you can, tonight...

The small bookworms heard a wonderful story about a Giant - presented by Fatima and her mother. It was "The Smartest Giant in Town" by Julia Donaldson. The main character of the book George the giant wished he wasn't the scruffiest giant in town. So, one day, when he saw a new shop selling giant-size clothes, he decided it was time for a new look. With smart trousers, a smart shirt, stripy tie and shiny shoes, George became a totally new giant. But, on his way home, he met various animals, who desperately needed his help... and his clothes!

As Fatima and her mother read this wonderful picture book, the other bookworms had to guess, which animals needed which of George's clothes. At the very end of the book, the animals thanked George for his kindness with a very special gift. What the gift was? Read the book to find it out! :)

Wednesday, October 10, 2012

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - 3

This week, the big bookworms continued reading about the adventures of Charlie in Roald Dahl's book "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory". We read about the first two finders of Mr. Wonka's golden tickets: the nine-year-old, enormously fat boy Augustus Gloop, who muched on sweets all day long, and the spoiled little brat girl Veruca Salt, who always got from her rich parents whatever she wished for.

We also read about Charlie's birthday and his only b-day present - his very own Wonka's chocolate bar. We listened with very hopeful hearts that he would find the ticket... but his chocolate bar was not among the lucky ones. Although Charlie's parents and both sets of grandparents tried to keep up his spirits and encouraged him for enjoying his chocolate, the truth was that somewhere deep inside all of them were sad that Charlie didn't get the golden ticket.

Afterwards, we learned about two more finders of the golden tickets: Miss Violet Beauregarde, who was famous for continuous chewing of gum, and armed with eighteen toy pistols Mike Teavee, who all day sat at TV watching gangster movies.

As we got to know the lucky finders, Umm Uzair announced a competition for us. She said that for the next book club, we have to come up with a fifth child character, who would fit in nicely with the four ones we had read about. We had to give the character a name, describe some of his/her weird qualities and tell, how he/she found the golden ticket. Umm Uzair promised that the winner will be determined by voting and a prize would be awarded for the best character! Good luck to all the bookworms!!!

Our younger bookworms listened to a story about a big hippo, who bullied any animal that crossed his path... until he kicked a buzzing ball! It "bee" -came a life changing event in the hippo's life.

Following the story, Umm Abdullah demonstrated different mannerisms of a guest visiting a friend and asked the children to decide, which was the correct way to behave and which wasn't. The children were then asked to demonstrate good manners for the rest of the group to watch as well. It was a fun laughter filled activity to round off the day.

Wednesday, October 3, 2012

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" - 2

Our senior Book Worms continued reading Charlie and the Chocolate Factory, beginning with a story about a queer Indian prince, continuing with the strange observation that the amazing factory never had any workers entering it or leaving it and yet it churned out delicious chocolate, and ending with the exciting announcement that Mr. Willie Wonka would be hosting five lucky children on a tour of his scrumptious factory.

After listening intently, the children were prompted to ponder over the story of the strange prince, who had Mr. Wonka build him a chocolate palace to live in. The magnificent palace eventually melted in the summer heat. What would have happened if someone in Karachi had commissioned a similar home? The following is the outcome of our Book Worm members imagination:

The group of smaller bookworms started their reading by following the mischief of Peter the rabbit. One day, Peter’s mother sent him and his sisters off to woods to look for some berries. Sisters, as good little rabbits, listened to their mommy, while Peter right away decided to go for some forbidden enjoyment – farmer McGregor’s garden. Peter stuffed himself with fresh and crunchy vegetables so badly that his tummy started aching. And, if that was not bad enough, the farmer McGregor noticed him and started chasing him all over the garden. Only barely did Peter make it out of the garden unharmed, although he had to part from his shoes and jacket, which he lost in fleeing from Mr. McGregor. As we read the book, bookworms took turns lifting the flaps of the book and searching for the hiding places of Peter the rabbit on every page – that was fun!

In the second book, we got to meet Poldy, the scarecrow, and his friends birds, along with whom we learned about colours. Poldy and his friends landed in a dark jungle, where they suddenly saw splashes of colours all around them. They discovered that these bright colours belonged to parrots, so that they can recognize each other in the dark jungle. Later, they met two children, who taught Poldy more about colours and even coloured his body and clothes with all sorts of beautiful colours. However, accidently, Poldy fell into water and all his colours got washed away.

As we read about the beautiful parrots, we had some discussion about these birds. It turned out that at home Aasiya had four nice parrots of her own! Noor had just the day before visited a family, which also had a parrot, which was flying all over their home! She even told us of the strange noise the parrot was making. We also discussed about how parrots learn to speak. Umm Uzair suggested that they do it very similarly to how babies learn to talk – if they hear some words being repeated over and over again, then they start mimicking these words and eventually learn to speak them. She also told the bookworms a joke about a parrot.
After reading, bookworms had activity of making their own parrots. They coloured the bodies of the parrots Umm Uzair had prepared for them and then folded from coloured paper wings for them.

Wednesday, September 26, 2012

"Charlie and the Chocolate Factory"

We were happy to come together again after a two-weeks break due to heavy rains in the city and the security issues due to the protests against the video made about our Prophet (sa). 

Today's reading for the group of elder kids: "Charlie and the Chocolate Factory" by Roald Dahl (chapters 1 & 2). 

As we got in mood for starting our first chapter book in book club, all of us had to admit that we do love chocolate (except Uzair, who is not fond of chocolate at all). When asked, if we had heard before of this Roald Dahl's book, some of us replied that we were familiar with it, some had seen the movie version of it, while for others it was the first time they heard of it. We made ourselves comfortable for the reading and the story began... As Umm Uzair was reading the first two chapters, we  met Charlie's family - his parents and two sets of grandparents - and, of course, Charlie himself. We learned that Charlie's family was very poor, they barely had enough food to eat and that Charlie absolutely adored chocolate, which he got to taste only once a year - on his birthday. We tried to visualize, what it was like for Charlie to live in such poor conditions and what he must have felt like, when he saw other kids eating candies daily, while he knew his parents could not afford to buy any for him. We also learned that the town Charlie lived in had the biggest chocolate factory in the world, owned by Mr Willy Wonka - a great inventor of all sorts of sweets.

After reading, we worked on book-based word search, competing with each other, as to who will get all the words first. The grid was huge and the task was not easy, but many of us successfully managed to find all the words.

As the elder children began their journey through a mouth watering novel, the younger kids accompanied a little bird through his quest in search for his mother. This baby bird could not fly but he could walked and eventually he ran to seek out his beloved mum though he did not know what she looked like. Our little Book Worms enjoyed this story by the ever popular Dr. Seuss.

Next the little Books Worms put together a short story about a little boy who manages to get out of a tangle (of hair) with the help of his father. After viewing the book and discussing the images their though were put together and narrated as a story by Umm Abdullah.

The session was wrapped up with the children making paper tulips using their hands as a stencil for the flower. You too can make this simple and elegant bouquet by following the instructions here:

Wednesday, September 5, 2012

"Come Over to my House"

With today's book club, we started a new setup for reading - kids were divided into two groups: (1) up to 5 yrs children and (2) those over 5 yrs old. Insha'Allah, beginning from the next week, the reading groups will expand to three, adding a separate group for the elder (10+ yrs) boys, who will start reading a chapter book and discuss the plot and characters of it in more detail. 

The elder group's reading for the day was Dr. Seuss' book "Come Over to my House". Before starting on the book, kids had a discussion about the differences they have noticed in the lifestyles of people, as they travel to other countries. Food, of course, topped the list, which then expanded to the types of houses people live in etc., etc. We talked also about what is particular about Pakistan - the country that we live in.

The book took us on a journey all over the world, showing us the houses kids live in, the food that they eat, the ways they wash themselves, sleep and have fun. As we turned the pages, we tried to guess by the pictures and the setups, which continent/country is shown. Sometimes it was easy, as the clues were very clear, but at other times it was difficult. After all the different settings we saw, the book ended with the following conclusion:

There are so many houses
you'll meet on your way.
And wherever you go,
you will hear someone say...
"Come over to my house!
Come over and play!"

Thus, even though there are so many different cultures in the world, kids are everywhere the same - all of them have friends whom they love to invite to their house over to play. :)

The younger Book Worm Club members journeyed through a few short stories. The first book was a delight for all cat lovers, as they pondered over the dilemma of an old man and his wife who had to chose a single cat from amongst not one or two cats but  "hundreds of cats, thousands of cat, millions and billions and trillions of cats!"

Our next book took took us deep into a dark wood to visit some baby owls and their mother. Then when the  baby owls found their mother gone, they sat and they thought (all owls think a lot)....where could she have gone and what should they do? The Book Worm Club members wondered too.

Little Book Worm Zakariyya was thrilled to hear his favourite books being shared with his friends and after the two stories were read rushed to bring another of his favourite books, closely followed by his elder brother Sulaiman who also returned with a similar book. Thus the Book Club enjoyed another two short books:  Red Hat, Blue Hat about an absent minded turkey who has trouble with clothing, and Moo, Baa, Laa which explores the language of the animal world.

After the books were read and laughed over, the little Book Worms shared colour pencils and crayons to construct paper fans under Lubna Aunty's guidance. Soon everyone fluttered their home made fans to cool themselves on that hot summer story filled day.

Wednesday, August 29, 2012

We're back!

Our summer + Ramadan break is over and the bookworms book club is back again, Alhamdulillah! We are happy to announce the starting of the new session for which many of you so eagerly have been waiting. To say the truth, even moms were eager to meet again, as nothing can refresh better the soul of a homeschooling mom than extensive talks with other homeschooling moms. :) 

Our today's reading: "How to be a Happy Hippo"by Jonathan Shipton

Before venturing into the book, the kids brainstormed ideas about the things (except sweets) that make them happy. It somehow turned out to be a general trend that most of kids loved to go or travel somewhere - and best if even to another country! Traveling by plane was also mentioned a few times. Thus, we can conclude that our bookworms do love to be on the go. :)

About the book: Horace Hippo has everything a hippo could want or need - well almost everything... Horace's dad is a very busy hippo, and Horace never gets to see him. So when Horace's dad promises to play with him one day, Horace waits all day and night. Finally, having become fed up waiting, Horace digs a hole, covers it with grass, and traps his father as he walks out in the morning. Horace's dad takes it all with good humor and the two then spend the entire day together! In fact, as we read the book, some mothers suggested that we should read this book for all the busy dads as well. :)

After the reading, the kids enjoyed their "social time" playing with their long-not-seen friends. Snacks was a welcome ending of the session, as usual.

From today on, we will be holding our book club sessions regularly again, Insha'Allah. 

Thursday, May 3, 2012

Bookworms on Summer Break!

After our grand Bookworms Presentations on May 2, book club is taking a summer break. There are plenty of workshops for kids around the city this summer, Alhamdulillah, so we hope you will keep yourself busy. Plus, if you miss your book club friends, this is a good chance for visiting each other! Check back on our blog for further notices about re-starting of book club in the fall.

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Bookworms Presentations

Finally the long awaited the has come - bookworms presentations! This week, aunty Hafsa generously hosted all the big crowd (11 families!) in her spacious home. All the kids, not to mention the moms, were very excited, as each family had prepared their very own presentation to present to the group. The presentations were as varied as the families themselves - and that's the fun of homeschooling! We learned about growing a sunflower, we enjoyed a Nasheed on Arabic numerals,  we got to know some new facts on outer space matters, we saw a skit on the common mistakes made in Salah, we watched a Medieval knights tournament, we learned tons of facts on Islamic history and the Khalifa state, we were introduced to the smallest doctor we've ever known, we heard a Nasheed on Hijab and we saw a skit from Islamic history, in which a just ruler killed his own son, in order to implement the justice of Shariah. All of us got also certificates of participation for our efforts!

After the wonderful presentations, we enjoyed a huge pot-luck lunch. All in all, the party was great! Although we feel a bit sad that this meeting was last one of the season (bookworms will be on summer break), we know that we'll be very glad to see all our friends in the fall again, Insha'Allah. Do check back on our blog in a while - we'll have a selection of our presentations day pictures available.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Planet Earth - part 3

Today we had another viewing session of National Geographic series "Planet Eearth". This time, we visited aunty Hafsa (Haneen's and Safia's mother), who kindly invited us to her home. Masha'Allah, the huge TV in their recreation room was perfect for the viewing!

After the video, all of us enjoyed snacks and had some good running rounds in aunty Hafsa's home. Thank you, aunty Hafsa, for having us over!

Wednesday, February 29, 2012

More on airplanes

Today’s book: “The Glorious Flight across the Channel with Louis Bleriot” by Alice and Martin Provensen

Reflecting on our PAF museum trip, today we continued the topic of flying and airplanes - we read a book about a Frenchman Louis Bleriot, who was the first one to fly across the English Channel.

The book says: “Louis Bleriot (1872-1936) was one of the truly great pioneers of aviation. He devoted the fortune acquired by his invention of an automobile searchlight to the development and construction of his high-performance aircraft, the “BLERIOT XI”. His flight across the English Channel (we got to know that this is not a TV channel but a water body running between to parts of land) demonstrated to the world that barriers of land and sea no longer existed for
the airplane.”

The story of the book goes as follows: On a nice outing with his family, Mr. Bleriot notices in the sky above his native town of Cambrai an airship! This inspires him to build his own airplane. Over years, he makes several attempts – 11 to be exact – to build his own plane and finally succeeds. Mr. Bleriot and his “BLERIOT XI” participate in a challenge to fly across the English Channel with a prize of £ 1,000 offered for it. He sets out on early morning of July 25, 1909, almost gets lost at the sea but 37 minutes after taking off, he finally lands on English soil! Mr. Bleriot wins the prize!

After the story, we made airplanes of our own: a darting one and a gliding one. Darting one has a sharp front and streamlined, smooth body – it flies far and fast. Gliding one has a flat front and wider wings – it flies slowly and gracefully. We talked about the differences in the design of these
planes and why they fly the way they do. In the picture below, you can see some of our darts and gliders.

Wednesday, February 15, 2012

PAF museum field trip

Instead of our regular book club session, today we had a really awesome field trip to Pakistan Air Force museum. Although nearly all of us had been there already, visiting PAF is always fun: lots of huge planes and other machinery on display, plenty of space to run and, of course, rides to enjoy. First, we followed the track around the models displayed outside. Then we entered the Archives building, where more planes were displayed, along with guns, shields, uniforms and historical accounts with photos - the place was huge! Afterwards, we all sat down for some snacks our moms had brought along and finally went for the rides! The all popular choice was the dodgeing cars, which many of us tried even multiple times. Smaller kids went in a miniature train and the flying airplane. To enjoy some of what we did in the museum, click here to check out the photos.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

Planet Earth - part 2

Since today was the first Wednesday of February and we previously had agreed to have National Georaphic "Planet Earth" video's viewing sessions on every first Wednesday of the month, we did just that. The hour long viewing session and sitting in one spot was not easy, but the video was worth it, Alhamduillah. Afterwards, we had our snacks and good running around aunty's Atefa's home. :) Aunty Najia had prepard for us a game - pin the tale on the horse - which we really enojoyed.

In today's "show-and-tell" session, Sulaiman shared the very first letters he had learned in Arabic, Masha'Allah. As his ummi was holding up flash-cards, he was saying the sounds of the letters for all of us.

Wednesday, January 25, 2012

The Balloons Day

This week, Zainab and her mother had invited us to have the bookclub meeting in their home. We read a story about Percy, the park keeper, and his animal friends - "The Hedgehogs' Balloon" (by Nick Butterworth). In the story, Percy saw some balloons floating by. As he picked them, he heard some crying, which turned out to be a hedgehog sitting and crying. The hedgehog said that he also loved balloons but never got the chance to have one, because it would burst on his spines. Percy had an idea how to help the hedgehog. To see what the idea was and whether it was helpful for the hedgehog, find your copy of the book and read it! :)

After reading, we took out our balloons we had brought along, blew up one and decorated them. Then, aunty Laila showed us a small experiment with the balloons: we blew up another one and held it in our fingers at the opening, without tying it. Aunty Laila directed us to pull our hands apart and let some air out of the balloons - this made all kinds of funny noises! The more we pulled the openings of balloons, the deeper the sound got. And if we pulled it open just a little - a very high pitch sound was coming. Auty Laila told us that this is exactly how our own voice works - the same thing is happening in our throats, when we make higher or lower pitch sounds.

There was more excitement to come - aunty Laila asked us to tie two blown up balloons to our ankles and come in the car porch of the house. She arranged us in a circle for a game. We had to burst the balloons of other kids by stepping on them, at the same time trying to save our own ones! That was a lot of noise and fun. And the winner of our game was Fatimah!

In today's show-and-tell, the Pirani family had brought along the clay tablets they had worked on as part of their history studies. They had studied the ancient forms of writing, one of which was writing on clay tablets - so they had tried it out and brought for all of us to see, masha'Allah!

Tuesday, January 24, 2012

Planet Earth

our paper birds
Our home the Earth is an awe-some place and in order to introduce a few of its wonders to the Book Worm Club members, we had a viewing of the first segment of BBC's Planet Earth series called From Pole To Pole.Alhumdulillah It was a beautiful overview of the various biomes around us and we home to continue viewing the rest of the program in the future months Insha'Allah. Laila Aunty organized a quick activity where the children cut out bird decoration out of paper. She found these hanging in a community center in Latvia, and asked them to teach her the design Masha'Allah.

Alhumdulillah we had four little presenters sharing their work for show and tell:

Hassan's flash cards
Haneen & Saffiyah's diorama of a zoo, MAsha'Allah, this fit in well with today's theme.

Haneen and Suffiyah put together a large diorama of a zoo, which we all agreed was much nicer that the one we visited; the animals were not behind bars and seemed a lot happier.

Fatima's poster
Fatima made a chart about different seasons, on the other side of the chart was an outline of a map of Pakistan which she left for the Book Club members to complete.

Even little Hassan brought some flashcards to share, made by his mother and mounted on popsicle sticks we enjoyed identifying the letters and pictures as he displayed them to us.