Summer Writing Project for Kids: اسمك هنا… يرسم الدنيا

Inspired by the book نمنم يرسم الدنيا, my elder son (age: six and three quarters) will be creating his own book: [Your Name Here] Yersim El-Dinia.

No, as you’ll see at left, I didn’t really name my child “Your Name Here.”

The book is quite simple—it’s his younger brother’s book, in fact—but thus easy to re-version. Nimnim loves trees, flowers, the sun, clouds, birds, and animals, and he paints these into his world. What would your child’s world contain? (What will my child’s world contain? I guess I don’t know. Legos, I assume. Lots of legos.)

I’m not quite sure how it will turn out. The last time I had my son do an Arabic writing project was a “book report” on a Goha comic. The result was a somewhat confusing mishmash of fos’ha and 3ameya. But it did get him writing in Arabic in his own words. (In Arabic class, they almost exclusively copy down the teacher’s words.)

We just worked on the cover to begin with—I guess the real test will come when we start writing the text. My son did a book about the desert last year, in English, and so he knows how glossy and delightful the end-project can be, when you print it all out. That’s a plus.

If this actually works, I’ll let you know the secret to success. And if it fails, I’ll let you know the secret to that, too.

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5 Responses to Summer Writing Project for Kids: اسمك هنا… يرسم الدنيا

  1. Thanks so much for visiting Playing by the book. I’ve put out a couple of feelers re arabic audiobooks for kids – if I get any response I’ll let you know! Ditto if I can find any books with English-Arabic as the language combo. I have to say I’ve not found any yet, but I like a challenge 🙂

  2. hadouta says:

    I LUUUUV the idea!! 🙂

  3. mlynxqualey says:

    Thanks, Hadouta!

    My other thought was to do an abgadeya book like Walid Taher’s. But instead of the أسد يمشي مع بطة he’d come up with the alef, bey words.

    But I guess that would take quite a while….one page for each letter! Maybe next summer.

    I think there are a number of multi-week summer programs around Cairo where teachers help kids to write books. My friend Mariam taught one in…Helio? But the ones I know about are in English. Boo….

  4. Bernadette says:

    Isaac, You have inspired me to use this book as a mentor text for my own Arabic writing!! Thanks to you and your mom for sharing your project idea.

    Nadim hopes to use the story with his young students here so I’m writing in Arabic first, then I’ll translate to English. I have learned so much already! Much more than I would have if I had simply tried to “study” my Arabic this summer. I am writing
    حبينة بترسم دهب

    For my illustrations, I am inspired to use Walid Taher’s drawings in The Two Abdullahs as my mentor pictures. 🙂

    You know, I train all my teachers to use mentor texts when teaching writing in English. But I had never thought of using Arabic books as mentor texts for my own learning. What fun!

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