Hello Community,

This is Ellie and I have resurfaced after a semester long teaching program with a different set of students at Northeast High School in Philadelphia.  What an experience where a number of students eloquently displayed their poetic talents.

Now, I have the fortunate pleasure of sitting in with the teen group on the Arabic class here at Al-Bustan’s Summer Camp.  We are learning how to greet each other, a few different dialects, and the language that is spoken in the community.  Talk about the need for repetition!

I even participated for a for minutes until my heartbeat raised in frequency and I let the kids shine at the pronunciations…

That’s the thing about a raise in heartbeat frequency, all campers experience it in the first few days and it is good to know this even as a camp teacher.  The nerves of meeting new people, the fear of mis-pronouncing words or even drumming off beat, are something that actually brings everyone closer.  And now that I have experienced this on Day 1, it is off to the races tomorrow!

In the poetry class for the K-5 groups, we are going to experiment with varying forms of creative writing about an object that we take on our travels (local or beyond our community).  The Jr. High group are going to create travel journals from our own experiences modeled off of Ibn Batutta’s travels. And finally, the teen groups will experiment with their own forms of contemporary poetry based off of the experiences Ibn Batutta had experienced during his travels.

Through all groups, I am excited to experiment with the creativity and colors that are represented by Ibn Batutta and Morocco.  It’s going to be a magical time with the students!  And don’t forget about out performance at the end of camp, it is an experience that will change the lives of everyone involved!

Peace,

Ellie

P.S. Check back often for students’ sample writings and pictures!

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