ענפים (Anafim, “Branches” for 3rd-4th grade children) have grown a lot this year. For example, they can sit together and work in חברותא (havruta, text study partnership) to explore a new Rabbinic text, connecting it with their own ideas and their peers’ ideas. That requires a lot of different reading, writing, and collaboration skills, not to mention focus!
However, there’s nothing like really feeling free to play and explore. So, as the children imagine and develop characters who have experienced and done acts of אונאת דברים (Ona’at devarim, “hurting with words”), the whole classroom becomes a joyful workshop.
This week, the children eagerly experimented with tin foil, cardboard, plastic, and paper; ripping and cutting and gluing it to create armatures for papier-mâché masks, and splattered paint on giant sheets of butcher paper to evoke the feelings of אונאת דברים (Ona’at devarim, “hurting with words”).
In the words of a fourth grader, “This is the best kind of art!”