When I introduced the concept and the worksheet, his face lit up. He is my youngest student, and his work is looked down upon by my other students as it is much simpler and easier to complete. However, upon watching him complete the worksheet, my older students began asking for the same work. They became very passionate about it, encouraging me to create more advanced worksheets of the same type and style, and when I presented them, they requested more. This is every teacher's dream, isn't it? I knew it was a good idea, but I didn't love it as much as when I saw their reaction. And the subject: Arabic reading!
Although I teach my children myself, and I make my own Arabic toys and am unorthodox in my style of teaching Arabic reading, I do sometimes have trouble motivating my children to enjoy their Arabic reading lessons. Part of the reason that many children dislike Arabic reading is because they have experience attending classes using over-photocopied materials and grumpy teachers. I'm able through a few years of experience to enliven a lesson about every subject, Alhamdulilleh, but it was challenging to get my youngest engaged in reading his Arabic letters. Challenging being a nice way to say aggravating, what it was, was a chore.
I love my little Arabic readers from Malaysia, as I find them great for introducing new letters and review, and I prefer them over any other kind of reader. In less than a year, I had my children reading from the mus-haf, where years of other readers and methods did not bring them there. However, for my youngest, and my middle child, reading from the readers was the least favorite part of the week....until I introduced 'Arabicraft'.
My boys, like many of the world's children with access to internet, IPhones, or any other manner of gadgets and technology, are fans of the very popular game, Minecraft . Of my methods of resource-creating materials is the same as when I began making materials for my oldest fifteen years ago: choose a favorite of theirs, and make the schoolwork related to that subject. So then I searched around and found what others had done. On an obscure website, one man offered for free a worksheet of math problems, and a grid for coloring the solutions to reveal a Minecraft picture. So, I applied a second resource-creating protocol: take a good idea, and Arabicize it!
The fact that Minecraft's graphics are pixelized makes it easy to create the worksheets, as a grid is all I need to place the picture in behind and build the worksheet. As my son works his way through the Arabic alphabet, I make more worksheets. It is of the most time-consuming resources to create, but the excitement that it generates and the consistent focus of my active son is well worth the work!
My other students asked for this type of work, too. I created another, more advanced page which I will inshaAllah share as well. I contacted the Mojang people to find out if I could sell these worksheets and use their name, but I didn't find any information pertaining to the images in particular. So, to be on the safe side, I am offering them all for free. Please spread the word, as it will bring traffic to the wonderful arabicplayground.com, which is the exclusive website where I've posted them for download, and bring attention to my other products! I hope also that these worksheets will interest and excite other children around the world with an interest in Minecraft to memorize the shapes of the Arabic letters!