Nurturing a love for reading within children is one of the most important things you can do. Often times children come to see reading as more of a task that needs to be completed vs an enjoyable experience. To encourage more children to read stories in Arabic, all public and private schools are invited to take part in the competition being hosted by the Ministry of Education in Dubai. ‘The flame of reading’ as the competition is being called, will award first prize winners with Dh20,000, the second prize will be Dh15,000 and the third Dh10,000.
Al Hammadi said the schools rewarded the first prize will also receive a flaming torch that represents its win for one year, before it passes on to the next winning school. This campaign is a great opportunity for students to gain exposure to a variety of Arabic texts while developing their reading fluency, analyzing different writing styles and discover their own potential as authors. Furthermore, this is a great opportunity for schools and homes to partner together to enhance and develop students passion and understanding of the Arabic language, religion and culture.
While the competition may have a deadline coming up in just two short weeks the flaming torch, symbolic of a school's efforts to encourage the reading of the Arabic language, will be passed on from year to year. Here are some great ideas that you can implement within your school on an ongoing basis to keep the flame of reading alive:
Peer Reviewed School Library
Mobile devices allow educators to amplify student voice and student choice. A library can be a great place for students to share what they know, love and have created. The library can be a great place on campus to have students share their book reviews on their favorite books that they highly recommend. This is also a great space to encourage student writing and provide them with a platform to share their published works. For ideas on how students can create interactive book reviews that they can share see part one of this series.
Why only have students read books that others have written? This campaign can prove to be a rewarding opportunity as you encourage and support the aspiring and developing writers in your classroom. Authoring your own digital story is more exciting now than ever before as students can make reading a unique experience with voice, images, audio, video and text. Olders students who are more well versed with the writing of Arabic can even create digital storybooks for younger children to read that are then published in the school library. Younger students who have read them can then do book reviews - what an inspirational experience to provide to students within your school!
Reading Circles with Google Plus
Reading circles allow reading to become a social experience and when facilitated correctly can be a great opportunity for student-centered and collaborative learning. Once again this is another great opportunity to open the doors to student choice and student voice. Google Plus communities can be a great platform for creating online spaces that extend the reading circles within your classroom. Creating a Google Plus community for your reading circle is easy to do and allows students from campuses anywhere to join in and participate if you so choose to make it public. What can really allow for this experience to be even more unique is being able to get a hold of the author if possible and having them join in the conversation!
Augmented Reality Book Reviews Across Campus
If you read part one of our series you saw the many different ways in which we encouraged students to create interactive posters and movie trailers of their favorite books they had read. Using an augmented reality app like Aurasma or creating QR codes you can post these in your library or across campus for others to take a look at.
Weekly Bookcasts with TouchCast
Interviewing student authors can be a powerful extension of many of the above mentioned activities. When encouraging reading and writing providing students with a space to share their writing and reasons why they wrote the piece they did can be quite an empowering experience. Consider having students create a weekly BookCast with TouchCast where they highlight student authors, cover book reviews and share a few tips on where students can find some great books to read. Because TouchCasts are interactive viewers can be linked right to the book from the video!
Be sure to share your efforts out with the Ministry of Education for your chance to win. You can find them on Twitter @MOEducationUAE and @MOE_Students
In Part Three we'll speak with Arabic born linguist, Nour Kweider from Orange County, California who shares her research on heritage language learners and the Arabic language.