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Small Wonders

Large Strides in Reading Arabic
1st Edition
by Mahmoud Gaafar, Jane Wightwick

Small Wonders is a beautifully illustrated series of graded Arabic readers that is ideal for learners in grades 3–9 and heritage environments. Each book includes interesting cultural information about the Arab world, with stunning images to provide context and visual stimulation. Older learners will also find these readers useful and attractive.

Vocabulary and grammar are carefully controlled to suit the level of the learner, starting with short, simple sentences and the most common words in Level 1, and introducing more sophisticated language and content in Levels 2 and 3. Key words from earlier levels are frequently recycled in the upper levels, improving students' retention of Arabic vocabulary. 

Aligned to U.S. National Science Education Standards, Small Wonders helps learners increase their knowledge of science and culture, while simultaneously reinforcing their reading comprehension skills.

Free audio recordings of the complete text of each book in the series are available for download on the Small Wonders Companion Website. Teachers and parents will also find additional resources on the companion website, including:

  • full scope and sequence of topics, grammar, and language introduced at each level
  • word bank for each level, showing complete vocabulary sets used in the series
  • additional activities and extension ideas for each book in the series, suitable for classroom and home use

Series Features:

  • Encourages literacy at an early stage
  • Suitable for in-class and independent learners of all ages
  • Stimulating text and beautiful images motivate readers
  • Simplified language and controlled voculary to suit level of learner

Level 1: For Beginning Readers

  • 150 core vocabulary words
  • Simple sentences
  • Use of verbs and plurals carefully controlled
  • Fascinating cultural and historical facts

Level 2: For Advanced Beginning Readers

  • 400 vocabulary words
  • Simple present/past verbs introduced
  • Common plural patterns introduced
  • Cultural and environmental information

Level 3: For Intermediate Readers

  • 800 vocabulary words
  • More sophisticated concepts and language included
  • More commonly-used structures introduced
  • Increased emphasis on information

The books are full of very interesting facts about different subjects…Students were able to read the books on their own by looking up the words from the back of the book.

— Sahar Mirshed Stehle, Albert Einstein Academy, Santa Clarita, CA
About the Author(s)

Mahmoud Gaafar is an Egyptian writer, editor and translator. He holds a degree from the American University in Cairo, and has worked with languages most of his life. He has spent many years  working for Radio Cairo, the United Nations and various multinational corporations operating in the Middle East, and he also writes materials for learners of Arabic of all ages and backgrounds.

Jane Wightwick is an experienced teacher of Arabic and author of Arabic learning materials.