Hamad Bin Khalifa University Press (HBKU Press) held a literary workshop on 18 March 2018 that invited educators from schools all over Qatar to facilitate discussions about how to help children develop a love of literacy and books at a young age.
Over 20 educators attended the workshop which was organized as a part of HBKU Press’s community outreach campaign to help promote local literature, literacy, discovery, scholarship and learning. Basma Al-Khatib, a children’s author and the Children’s and Young Adults Editor, led the workshop held at the HBKU Student Center in Education City.
The workshop taught participants how to introduce students into the world of reading and instilling the habit of daily reading as routine; how to integrate stories in the education and development of students' abilities; how to strengthen the relationship between the classroom teacher and the librarian in order to better provide resources for the students in that particular classroom; and how to read a book to students.
Al-Khatib began the workshop by detailing the history of storytelling as the oral method of passing along information and history. With the invention of the printing press, and the widespread availability of books, stories and story-telling to young children became a way of teaching lessons through entertainment. The classics, Little Red Riding Hood, Hansel and Gretel and other famous tales became teaching tools for growing, young children.
Fast-forward to this day and age, Al-Khatib discussed how a teacher can resolve behavioural issues by reading books that deal with topics of concern. She gave the example of reading HBKU Press bestseller, Angry Majid to teach children how to accept what you cannot change and see the positive in negative situations.
The second half of the workshop was more hand’s on in that participants were encouraged to write their own story in order to deal with a particular emotional or behavioural issue that they had identified in their own class. Each group of educators was then invited to present their collaborative story and explain, using what they had learned in the workshop, what they applied to their story and why.
Attendees praised the workshop for the benefits it gave them. Learning Resource Officer at Othman Bin Afan School, Noora Al-Romaihi highlights she learned a lot of valuable information from Ms. Al-Khatib’s workshop especially regarding “the role stories play in a child’s life and the help they provide in solving problems the children may face”. And Um Maytha Al-Nuaimi, Arabic Resource Specialist at Qatar Academy – Doha, learnt from the workshop “how to pick the best books for the school library”.
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