During the first few days of סוכות (the festival of Sukkot), we in ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade) began our Sukkah City project by figuring out the Early Rabbis’ rules of what a סוכה (sukkah) needs in order to count as a סוכה (sukkah). We looked at pictures of סוכות (sukkot) and discussed what they had in common, built different models out of tiny building materials, and sketched some pictures. Now, we finally get to start building our own mini model סוכות (sukkot)! Finally!
It turns out, though, that building is really hard. We have lots of different materials available in the classroom (twigs and natural sticks, popsicle sticks, twine, yarn, glue, wire, tape, and different kinds of cardstock and paper, for starters) and even more available in the יצירה (Yetzirah, art/creativity) space next door. (Some children requested air-dry clay to form part of their structure, to help hold pieces together, or serve as a foundation.) But there are problems one might not anticipate. This wall won’t stay up! The roof keeps falling down! If I build with these sticks log-cabin style, how will I make the door?
…or giving some sincere admiration and feedback, our most powerful resource in the classroom is the creative, collaborative community we have in each other.
(Oh, and by the way. That last סוכה (sukkah) plan under discussion under the table? It’s designed to be easily disassembled and reassembled. Wait until you hear about the Torah text that inspired it! Stay tuned…)