Tag Archive: building

Nov 02

Fifth Graders’ Joyous Play

Children’s capacity and desire to play – it blew me away this week. We redesigned our room on Monday, and I put a new centerpiece on the table. Immediately children began to stack, rearrange, sort, play. Then children wanted to use these materials to build the Torah text. Such joy! It was like the Torah was …

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Oct 10

Shorashim Builds a Sukkah!

Over the past two weeks, Shorashim has been learning about the holiday of Sukkot.  Sukkot is a fall harvest holiday that is traditionally celebrated in a hut outside called a סוכה (sukkah – a hut/tent).  In order to better understand how a sukkah is made (and how much fun it can be inside one), we …

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Oct 10

Recipe for an Anafim sukkah

One quick review of what the Early Rabbis thought a סוכה (sukkah) needed to include, drawing on several years of research and experience, Lots of long, straight sticks for the structure (expertly scavenged and stripped), and leafy branches to go on top,      A ball of twine, good lashing skills, and a few extra pairs of hands …

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Oct 09

Determined

I believe that our children can do anything. They are creative and capable, and they amaze me everyday. But sometimes I ask them to do something that’s a little tricky, and it feels hard or frustrating. Last week, after children figured out the ancient early rabbis’ “rules” for building a סכה (sukkah—booth), they got to …

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Sep 28

In the beginning…

Well, we’re not going all the way back to the very beginning. But in ענפים (Anafim- branches, for 3rd-4th grade), our first text of the year takes us back to Genesis 18, to the story of אברהם (Avraham) and שרה (Sarah), being visited by three mysterious strangers. Later in the chapter, God tells Avraham, “The cry of …

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Apr 27

Back in the Midbar (Wilderness)

ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade) are just beginning their last theme for this school year: שבועות (Shavuot, “weeks”). One of the sources that ענפים (Anafim) are exploring is a short text from ספר דברים (Sefer Devarim, the book of Deuteronomy) 16, which gives instructions about celebrating the summer harvest festival. But as Anafim know, ספר דברים (Sefer …

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Dec 14

Three Possible Conclusions

Did you know that there are three different sources that explain what happened after the Temple was recaptured and rededicated (made clean again)? Children had a chance to become experts on one ending and then explain their ending to their peers. Here’s what they had to say: Book of Maccabees I: Chapter 4 Child 1 …

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Dec 07

A Way to Revisit

We divided into four groups and read our texts out loud to each other. Then we got to work building scenes from three of the texts we’ve explored during our Bamidbar theme. Each group built a different scene. These children are scattering quails around the Israelite camp. The “flaky stuff” is in the middle of …

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Nov 17

Three Groups, Three Questions About the Text

This week, fifth and sixth graders wrestled with a text about the Israelites bringing materials to make a מִשְׁכָּן (mishkan). What’s a מִשְׁכָּן (mishkan)? According to the children, it’s “a fancy portable temple on poles,” or “God’s home, …so they could carry Adonai with them.” It’s astounding to watch these children wrestle with Torah text like …

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Nov 17

Israelite Experience Bamidbar

This week in Beit Shorashim/Shteelim (Nursery and Kindergarten) we focused our play on one piece of text about an experience that the Israelites had בַּמִּדְבָּר (Bamidbar), between their old home and their new home. The text comes from שמות (Shemot- Exodus) 16 in the תורה (Torah).   In these dramatic play photos, the children imagined …

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