This week in Shteelim, we wrapped up our Sh’mitah theme and moved into a time of reflection and remembering of the past year.
In our final conversations about Sh’mitah, Shteelimers connected the Sh’mitah year to Shabbat as they came up with similarities and differences between the two traditions, and asked why we observe both in the first place. A lot of interesting points arose.
Child 1: The earth needs to have Shabbat. It’s not fair if we get to have Shabbat and the world doesn’t.
Child 2: Yes, the earth needs to have a turn to rest, too. But why does it get a whole year and we only get a day?
Child 1: If you add up all the Fridays for seven year, you get a year of Fridays! [which is why Sh’mitah is a year long].
Child 2: And we’re lucky that we get a rest every week.
Following these conversations, this week we moved into remembering all of the themes we’ve explored this year in Shteelim. Shteelim looked through photos of explorations past, and I reminded them by reading a list of everything we’ve done together. Shteelim told me some of their favorite things we’ve done this year. Then, we were able to revisit these activities, which we very different the second time around with a year of learning and growth behind us!
We went outside to do blind contour drawings (looking only at our subject and not at our paper), as we had done during the Hallel theme back in November.
Then, we compared the drawings we did to the ones we drew back in November during our Hallel theme. How did our drawings show the difference in seasons? How was our drawing style different? How was the subject we chose different?
We also had the chance to revisit music-making with instruments, a medium we used to explore during our hallel theme as well. This time, we made music to accompany each of the steps of farming as well as what Sh’mitah year might sound like.
It has been fascinating this week to look back at all we’ve done in Shteelim since the beginning of the year, and I look forward to revisiting other favorites and hearing more of Shteelim’s reflections in the final three weeks of the school year.