As the children left the classroom yesterday, I took a deep breath. Wow. ענפים (Anafim– “branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) made a huge leap forward on their שבת (Shabbat) projects this week! Their own personal interpretations of שבת (Shabbat) started to take shape, as they made connections between different concepts and conversations we’ve explored over the past few weeks. Each child began to synthesize in their own unique way.
Then, I realized something funny: I’m not sure anyone even said the word שבת (Shabbat). Did anyone even tell me what they were doing? Did anyone say anything at all, besides things like “Can I use that?” “Where’s the aluminum foil?” “Can you help me pour the paint?” “It won’t stick! Can you hold this up for a minute?”
So if they didn’t say anything, what did the learning look like this week?
It looked like sketching; comparing…
And here’s the amazing thing: Whatever ideas the children might be able to articulate right now about their projects, if I asked them, those are only a small part of what they’ll be able to explain by the end of this theme. When you do hear their ideas about שבת (Shabbat), you’ll be able to tell how their learning about שבת (Shabbat) grew through each child’s unique memories, perspective, skills, and personality, all five senses, and a whole bunch of imagination. Each vision of שבת (Shabbat) will be as unique as the child who imagined it.
See what I mean? Wow.