End of Week One: Summer Language Camps

HennaBy the WLP Interns–Today the Arabic class learned the names of the body parts. We have a small group of extremely artistic students in the class, so Mustafa divided up the class and those who were artistically inclined drew two life-size bodies on large sheets of paper while the others participated in an outdoor activity. When all the students were back in the classroom, Mustafa began to teach them the names of the body parts and how to write them in Arabic. Students wrote the various body parts on colorful sheets of paper. Later, the class divided into two groups and each team had to identify the body parts and match them up with the pieces of paper with the name of the body part. As a final result, the students created two labeled posters for them to consult in the future.

Krysteen Lomonaco from Mehndi Madness visited all three classes throughout the day. Krysteen began with a brief explanation of henna, describing the various uses and its cultural importance. She explained that henna is a type of dye popular in Indian, African, and Arab countries. Typically, Indian women will have henna done on their bodies for weddings. Krysteen told the class how a henna artist will hide the groom’s initials in a design. If the husband finds his initials, he will be the dominant partner in the relationship and vice versa if he does not find it. Students were shown examples of various designs and Krysteen drew designs in henna on all of the students who wished to participate.

Falafel King, located in Pike Place Market and the U-District, catered our lunch today and it was a huge success. We were provided with ample portions of chicken schawarma, falafel, rice, and pita bread. The food served is common across the Middle East. The kids really seemed to enjoy the food.

In Urdu class, Tahaira shared a story with the class about a lion in the jungle. This fits in with the class’ theme of “Trekking Through South Asia.” Through this story, students learned the names of several animals. In addition to this, students are learning about the geography of the region where Urdu is spoken. Following the theme of the class, students are learning how to ask and follow directions in Urdu.

Arabic ClassOn Thursday the Arabic class covered the vocabulary for kitchen utensils. Students were divided into groups of 3-4. Each group was given a plastic toy model of something one would find in the kitchen, such as spoons, cups, and plates. Students drew an illustration of their item and wrote the name of the item in Arabic. Once each student knew the name of their item they had to go around the classroom and ask their classmates in Arabic for the Arabic name of the item they were holding. The activity was quite productive and by the end of the lesson all the students were able to identify the items for Mustafa.

In Urdu, the class built upon the vocabulary they have been learning this week. Today they learned how to ask and respond to the question “What animal do you like?” The students interviewed each other with this question in addition to other questions they have learned throughout the week regarding name, age, and the city they live in. After a few activities to help learn these new sentences, the students worked on an art project to make a self-portrait using watercolors and other art materials. They wrote their name, age, city, and favorite animal in Urdu for their portraits.

In the afternoon, the Urdu class continued to work on the next set of alphabets. They focused on the sound, shape, and various forms of the letter. Teachers introduced eight new characters and formed memory circles saying all of the alphabet that they have learned thus far. Students also learned numbers 16 through 20 and reviewed the numbers that had already been covered.

The Persian class again broke into two groups for the majority of the morning. In the advanced group, the class T.A., Ashkan, created a story and family tree for his life and had the group read it. Following the reading portion, Ashkan had a boys versus girls game in which he asked questions about his story and the students got points for correctly writing down the answer before the other team. If someone didn’t write it correctly, the opposite team would have ten seconds to correct the spelling. This served as an excellent way for the advanced kids to work on their writing skills. Many of the students grew up in Persian speaking families so their verbal abilities are quite good, but they haven’t had as much practice in writing.

Meanwhile, the beginner group played Simon Says with Yassaman. The students learned directions such as “left,” “right,” “sit up,” and “stand up.” Yassaman used had motions to direct the students as well, so the entire portion was conducted in Persian. After the students had mastered these commands, the students took turns giving commands to the class.

Fun outsideIn the afternoon, the students got to spend some time outside in the sunshine. Everyone wrote down as many Persian words as they possibly could on a piece of paper. Once that was exhausted, they had to write sentences. Finally, if Yassaman approved their work, they went down to the cement and wrote their sentences with sidewalk chalk. Afterward, everyone read their sentences out loud to the class. At the end of the day, Yassaman was proud to announce that she could speak a lot of Persian in class and all of her students would understand or at least get the gist of what she was saying.

Furthermore, all classes were visited by Meri Arjumand, who gave a lesson on calligraphy. She demonstrated the different ways that European calligraphers held their pens versus calligraphers from Arabic, Persian, and Urdu-speaking cultures. She brought colorful pens with her so the kids could learn to write in a more traditional way. It was a great way for kids to further improve their writing.

Be sure to check back on Monday, when we’ll have some video footage from the camps!

One Comment on “End of Week One: Summer Language Camps

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