Using Our Knowledge of the Shema to Learn Hebrew

We’ve been singing the Shema together since September. We know most of the words pretty well. We even know what some of the words mean, since we have hand motions. Now we’re using our knowledge of the words of the Shema to help us learn Hebrew.

Using homemade flashcards, we put the words of the first line of the Shema in order. Then we put the words of the song we sing from the middle of the Shema – ” ושננתם לבניך- visheenantam livanecha…” – in order. It was quite an accomplishment!

One boy was faced with two cards that had the same first two letters. He said he knew the difference between the two words because he saw that one of the words had an “oooh” sound in the middle. He said the word he needed out loud, and he didn’t hear an “oooh” sound. Instead, he heard a “sh” (ש) sound, so he checked the other word to find a ש in the middle.  Great sleuthing!

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