Fatima’s Great Outdoors Lesson Activity

Promotional image for the picture book Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq and Stevie Lewis. The book is in the center of the image with wood and leaves in the background.


Fatima Khazi is having a hard time at her new school. Classmates wrinkle their noses at the food she brings for lunch. They make of the way she pronounces words, and her grades are below average.

But when she’s camping with her family, Fatima can relax. She enjoys eating familiar food like shami kabab. She’s also excited to try bacon for breakfast “like the other American families” (23).

Spending time in nature with her family transforms Fatima. She learns how to assemble a tent, build a fire, and face her fear of spiders. Camping helps Fatima feel confident, and she takes her new energy back to school.

Throughout the story, readers will encounter words associated with Indian culture. The storyline and illustrations help readers infer the meaning of these words. Readers will love the digital illustrations by Stevie Lewis.

Author Ambreen Tariq wrote this book to inspire all readers to connect with the outdoors. Her #BrownPeopleCamping social media campaign inspires all families to spend time outside.

Listen to Camping is an Adventure for All Americans in ‘Fatima’s Great Outdoors’ from NPR. This riveting interview explains why the @BrownPeopleCamping campaign is important for America.

Two pages in the picture book Fatima's Great Outdoors by Ambreen Tariq and Stevie Lewis.

Discussion Questions for Fatima’s Great Outdoors

AASL Standards Framework for Learners: Inquire/Think I.B.3: Learners engage with new knowledge by following a process that includes generating products that illustrate learning.

Begin this lesson activity by showing learners the cover of Fatima’s Great Outdoors. Ask learners what they expect to learn from the story. Discuss the following questions as you read the story:

  • “What can we tell about Fatima’s school by looking at this illustration? How do you think Fatima feels about school? ” (pp.1-2)
  • “After reading these pages, how has your thinking changed about Fatima and school?” (pp. 3-4)
  • “What did you learn about Fatima’s family on this page?” (pg. 6)
  • “How did Fatima’s feelings change about assembling the tent?” (pp. 13-15)
  • “What questions do you have about the food they brought on their camping trip?” (pg. 16)
  • “What did you learn about Fatima’s family after reading these pages?” (pp. 17-18)
  • “Why do you think Fatima wanted to have bacon ‘like the other American families?’” (p. 23)
  • “How did Fatima’s feelings change about building a campfire?” (pp.25-30)
  • “What new information did we learn about Fatima’s family after reading these pages?” (pp. 29-30)
  • “What did Fatima appreciate about the camping trip?” (pp.31-33)

Fatima’s Great Outdoors Lesson Activity

Ask learners to compare how Fatima felt about school before and after she went camping. Invite learners to explain how the camping trip empowered Fatima. Learners can illustrate Fatima as a superhero using her superpowers in nature or at school.

Thank you, Kim Kaelin, for bringing this book and the NPR interview to my attention! I’m grateful for your contribution to our Facebook Group.

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2 Comments on “Fatima’s Great Outdoors Lesson Activity

  1. Pingback: Fatima’s Great Outdoors – A Classy School Librarian

  2. Pingback: Fatima’s Great Outdoors – Knowing Nature

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