This past week I had the pleasure of teaching Arabic art to the Seattle Public School Startalk 7 Camp, held 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 we had 22 kids enrolled in two classrooms. I had the same budget to cover supplies, instead of the five children we had last year. I choose paper crafts to remain inexpensive.
I was also told that due to the overwhelming success of the cross cultural exchange with the Chinese classes, the teachers have asked that I return for another Arabic lesson in their classroom also. I was excited at the prospect of teaching in the Chinese language about Arabic art, however, my joy turned to panic to find a craft for an additional 50+ children, that would last for half an hour divided over three classrooms. Again I turned to paper crafts. Here is how our week went.
On my first day in the Arabic language classrooms, we talked about Eid and made lanterns with vellum inserts.
They were miniature version of the Eid lanterns we made last year.
I was so impressed with what the children created.
The next day, the children 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.
At the start of the lesson I showed them various outfits, including men’s galabeya and children’s dresses.
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.
Inside the cards, which of course open the correct left to right direction, we wrote the word Shukran in Arabic.
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 so they created these beautiful Eid stars to hang from the ceiling of the classroom. We used Popsicle sticks and sequins.