Teaching with النقطة السوداء

Not really an ideal setting for communicating with young people, but...

The authors who visited the First Annual Children’s Book Festival in Doha this year each gave presentations to groups of Qatari students who were bussed in to the fair.

Unfortunately, I missed Fatima Sharafeddine’s presentation around her “best-book”-winning YA novel, فاتن. But I managed to catch Walid Taher presenting about  النقطة السوداء.

Most of the author and illustrator presentations were a bit chaotic—it was the festival’s first year, after all. But, despite the chaos, النقطة السوداء provided an excellent touchstone for discussions of problem-solving. The discussion worked for a variety of ages, from middle-elementary all the way up through high school. Indeed, maybe some governments could use a few copies….

Anyhow! For me,  النقطة السوداء is Cairo’s black cloud of pollution. But Walid pointed out that  النقطة السوداء can be many different things, from the large to the (seemingly) small.

I don’t think the activity would work for very young students, under 7 or 8, but older children (and adults) can imagine “black dots” in their world, and then can work through what steps they might take to hack away at them. I’m certainly not a qualified teacher, but it seemed to work as an excellent jumping-off point to larger discussions.

Despite the oddity of being behind a red satin podium, Walid seemed to enjoy himself.

And the students did, too.

The most successful presentation was the final one; here, he's being mobbed by young Qatari women.

This entry was posted in Doha International Children's Book Festival, education and tagged . Bookmark the permalink.

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