This past week I had the pleasure of once again teaching Arabic art to the Seattle Public School Startalk 7 Camp that was held from June 20, 2013 – July 3, 2013. This year we were in a new school, Thurgood Marshall Elementary School, that was really beautiful. It was in the Atlantic neighborhood of Seattle and had breathtaking views of valleys and green.
I was pleasantly surprised to find out that we had 22 enrolled this year and that we had two classrooms of kids who wanted to learn the Arabic language. I had the same budget to cover supplies for all 22 children, instead of the five children we had last year. So I keep choose paper crafts to remain inexpensive.
Then I was told that due to the overwhelming success of the cross cultural exchange with the Chinese classes last year, the teachers have asked that I return for another Arabic lesson in their classroom also. I was excited at the prospect of teaching the children in the Chinese language about Arabic art, however, my joy turned to panic to find a craft I can teach an additional 50+ children, that would last for half an hour divided over three classrooms. Again I turned to paper crafts.
On my first day in the Arabic lanague classrooms, we talked about Eid and made lanterns with vellum inserts. They were basically miniature version of the Eid lanterns we made last year here. I was so impressed with what the children created and have included photos of these lanterns.
The next day, the children in the Arabic language camp made paper dolls from the Arab world. I brought in ribbons, fabrics, sequins, colored pens, hole punches, cardstock, and all kinds of other fun things and let them at it. At the start of the lesson I showed them various outfits from the Arab world, including men’s galabia and children’s dresses. These are the photos from the various students at the end of the day.
The final day, I went in to teach the Chinese kids about Arabic art and culture. We also talked about Arabic clothes, but their lesson also included other information about the Arab world, such as the number of Arab countries (22), what is Ramadan (a month of fasting for Muslims) and how we say hello (Marhaba) and thank you (Shukran) in Arabic. With that final lesson, we created Shukran cards for the kids to make. These cards had a little Egyptian man, wearing a galabia and a fez hat. Inside the cards, which of course open the correct left to right direction, we wrote the word Shukran in Arabic. These are some of the photos of the kids and their little Shukran cards.
This camp is turning into one of my favorite events for teaching Arabic art for kids in the Seattle area. I really hope they ask me to teach it again in 2014.
Oops, I almost forgot the craft the little ones made on the first day. Some of them had a hard time with the lanterns, and they created these beautiful Eid stars to hang from the ceiling of the classroom.