We started the morning with an ice-breaker. Whilst many of the children already know each other, there were a few unfamiliar faces. It was especially nice to welcome some children from Derby to Burton upon Trent.
The children were divided into groups: Sirius, Polaris, Vega, Hamal and Betelgeuse. They are yet to discover what their group names represent. They correctly identified that the words are proper nouns. Each group has a Captain. The children chose their own captains. We then discussed why we need rules and each group contributed a rule to form our Golden Rules. They were as follows:
The Real Superheroes Golden Rules
- Respect your elders and peer
- No shouting
- Be smart
- Be patient; sabr
- Have a Superhero attitude
We then began our first workshop on the story of Adam (as). The children were very impressed with the power point presentation. They paid attention and sat well. When we discussed how Adam (as) was made from clay the children were handed some clay for a sensory experience. They used their senses to describe what they could see, hear, smell and touch. One of them hazarded at a guess at what it could taste like, but nobody tasted it of course!
After the first workshop, the children were ready for a break. After cookies, fruit and drinks the children returned to their groups and began working on their clay pots. We discussed how the pot is a vessel for carrying something more important. This reminded them of how Allah (swt) created Adam (as) from clay to carry his soul. Some of the younger children didn’t understand what a soul was but they understood there is something special inside us that we can’t see.
The children really struggled with fashioning the pots with their hands. Some of the older ones were surprised by how difficult pottery is. It was nice to see that those who were unhappy with their work simply added water and remoulded, no being afraid to start again.
The pottery activity was rather messy and everyone helped clean up washing the benches and hoovering so we could enjoy lunch in a clean environment.
After lunch and duhr salah, we started the story of Isa (as). For this story, the focus was on the miracles. The children talked about what a miracle was. The younger ones found it difficult to understand the difference between magic and miracles but by the end of the workshop they had learnt some of the basic miracles of Isa (as) which is sufficient for children of their age. The older children were able to grasp the more subtle differences and knew more of the miracles.
After a break for Asr salah, we continued with the theme of miracles and made miracle sand bottles. I read out a statement and the children decided whether it was a Prophetic miracle or a magic trick. Again the younger children found this a little challenging but were reminded to draw on their knowledge of the miracles of Isa (as). The older children enjoyed this activity and demonstrates independent learning initiative and required no help from an adult in making their sand bottles.
So, as the day drew to a close and the group got ready to leave, I glanced at the sand bottles perched on the table, I smiled as my eyes fell on the clay pots the children struggled over which were left to dry ready to be painted and cherished by their rightful owners and my heart was warmed to see the children playing having bonded throughout the day. With each activity, the learning of the children has been enhanced and cemented. The children are not walking away with an encyclopaedia of information. Rather, they have left this evening with some new information, some old information and some clarified information but all taught to them in what can be described as a fun-filled day in the awesome company of their elders and peers.
Thank you to my volunteers: Shafina, Saima, Farzana, Rasheeda and Sehmina. As the children remarked, you all have a Superhero attitude.