One of the big deficits in our children’s Arabic-language educations—at the very least here in Egypt—is their inability to produce their own creative writing. They can read, sure. They can copy what they’ve read. But many of them, perhaps most, can’t write their own stories. As Bloomsbury-Qatar consultant publisher Andy Smart has put it:
The main aim for enhancements to the Arabic school curriculum should be, I think, to encourage the children to produce.
Then—over at the website “Everybody Writes”—I came across what seems like an excellent idea for helping children create their own story lines. Through play!
They’re called “StoryWorld Cards,” and the cards can be used both for verbal storytelling and for writing down tales. From Everybody Writes:
…children can gain great inspiration from choosing three or five cards at random from the pack and combining them to write a new fantastical tale.
These packs come with queens and kings, faeries, and a Christmas theme. Certainly, an Arabic-language version of the cards would have different characters, story lines, and imagery, that would reflect local motifs and stories. Or there could be an عالم سمسم pack for spurring stories with Khokha, Nimnim, and Felfel…or….