According to Educational Consultant, Faye Roberts of McGrudys in her review of Sandstruck in the UAE, the text offers a “…dynamic and unique approach to promoting cultural understanding with a focus on encouraging students to think critically.”
Since the release of this text, by educator Lubna Sarwar, it has received positive feedback and has since been adopted by a number of schools.
For expatriates and locals alike, the UAE is a wonderful, exciting, diverse and unique place to live. The UAE is known as one of the fastest developing countries in the world today. Since the United Arab Emirates is still a relatively new country on the world stage (45 years), people often forget that the Arabian Peninsula is rich with a culture and heritage that is as old as time. It is vital for students, especially expatriate students, to develop an understanding of both the past, present and future of the country in which they live.
Lubna has written an engaging supplemental text, Sandstruck in the UAE that can help teachers enhance, celebrate and foster a love for the culture of the UAE and the region. Her text offers guidance in developing and mastering the important 4 Cs; Collaboration, Creativity, Communication and Critical Thinking. Sandstruck in the UAE is packed with cross-curricular resources and activities to help students understand the history of the region, while giving students control of their learning.
The activities found in this book are both engaging and entertaining for students, while most importantly allowing them to actively put the ‘4Cs’ into action. The activities vary in difficulty and can be adapted for most grades 4-8 students. This book is a wonderful addition to classrooms not only in the UAE, but also throughout the world to help others understand the unique culture and heritage of this region.
The content of Sandstruck is very well planned and thought out. As a former English Social Studies teacher in the region, I often struggled to find quality material related to the UAE, to use in my classes. I enjoyed the activities in this book. While Sandstruck is not lengthy enough for an entire year as an English Social Studies text, it has great potential. It has the potential to be developed and adapted (with activities that are grade level appropriate from K-8) into a full English Social Studies text for English Medium schools in the region and beyond. If you are looking for culturally appropriate and engaging activities for your students, I highly recommend that you purchase a copy today.
Reviewed by Chassie Selouane
Additional Information on Sandstruck in the UAE:
Schools such as Latifa Girls, JESS, Jebel Ali Primary, Safa School, Sharjah American International and others have adopted Sandstruck.
About the author:
Lubna Sarwar is a thinker, dramatist, teacher and learning designer. During her 31 years in education, Lubna has worked with organisations as diverse as the Manchester Council for Community Relations, Karachi Grammar School, UNESCO, Emirates International School, and London’s Big Wheel Theatre in Education.
It was as Advisory Teacher for the Highly Able & Talented (HAT) Programme that Lubna researched and developed Sandstruck in the UAE, a multi-levelled resource pack unique in design, concept and content with its underlying aim to revitalise the Primary School Curriculum. It encourages self-directed learning as well as a deeper understanding of the Emirati culture and language.
To connect with Lubna for workshops or a copy of her text, email firstname.lastname@example.org
Radina Galabova is a Dubai based graphic designer, currently working at Socialize Agency as a Head of Creative Design. Originally from Sofia, Bulgaria, she moved at a young age to Dubai and has had the pleasure of seeing the city grow before her eyes into the blossoming metropolis it is today.
Her close experiences with the local culture made her excited about working on a project that would be able to open the doors to a more fun exploration of the UAE’s history and traditions in a way that has never been done before.