This week Shorashim began to explore the story of Rivkah. In order to understand the story and be able to relate to Rivkah, we first had to make sure we had a working knowledge of some of the major components of the story that we don’t see too often in Chicago: camels and wells. As we read the story and encountered these items, we shared what we already knew. Most friends recognized a camel as an animal but few knew what they looked like. One friend helped us out by describing a camel as, “a horse with a bump on its back.” The well was a little more difficult, but one Shorashimer shared knowledge of a well being “a hole in the ground with water.”
We began to expand our limited knowledge by investigating pictures.
Here one student explores one particular picture of a group of camels walking in the desert which helps us see what they look like and how they move. This particular picture helps students understand how large camels are since it shows how tiny the grown man leading the camels looks by comparison! The camel pictures also help students connect to the setting since they are all set in the desert, like the story of Rivkah.
Here one Shorashimer eagerly holds up a picture of a well. Some Shorashimers pointed out that the wells have buckets, which we discussed help get the water from the ground. We were amazed that people used to have to go to the well for a drink instead of a sink or a water fountain!
Once we all had the opportunity to hold and explore the pictures up close, we decided it was time to put our pictures up around the room so that we could always see them to remind us and help us understand the story. We put two pictures up on a shelf by our puzzles where we often play, and the rest on the wall for everyone to see! We got to put the tape on the pictures ourselves and find the spots we thought were best for easy viewing, helping us take ownership in our classroom, and our beginning exploration of the story.
With our new understanding of the camels and wells as a foundation, we can begin to explore more content in the story. The pictures that are now a part of the Shorashim environment serve not only as a reminder, but also as a motivator to continue to learn and add to our classroom!