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.