Building Community Though Building a Sukkah

The beginning of a new school year is a time of transition. In Shorashim (‘roots’ for nursery) and Shteelim (‘saplings’ kindergarten), we are setting routines for our day, welcoming new children, and trying to figure out what it means to be part of our classroom community. This is a perfect time for us to be taking on a big project together and it’s סוכות (Sukkot) so we built a סוכה (Sukkah)! We worked on figuring out what strategies we might use to be kind and help each other and safely play together in our small סוכה (Sukkah).


 We started out by reading a story about a group of children who work together to make their “just right” סוכה (Sukkah). We also shared ways we could be kind or help each other when playing סוכות (Sukkot).

During kibbud (snack) we looked at photos to help us notice that a סוכה (Sukkah) can look lots of different ways:

“My סוכה (Sukkah) is small and made of straw”
My סוכה (Sukkah) has some much green (plants) covering it.”


The children noticed that a סוכה (Sukkah) tends to have at least 3 walls, have a top made of  natural materials סכך  (schach-leafy branches). 
The we shared idea for what we could do in our סוכה (Sukkah):
“Eat and Rest”
“Play hide and seek or tag”


The actual construction of the סוכה (Sukkah) took place in two stages. On Thursday we built the frame.
Some children decided to approach building our סוכה (Sukkah) like an architecture project and drew blueprints for the סוכה (Sukkah)
On Sunday when we were eating kibbud (snack) children looked over at the סוכה (Sukkah) and started to notice that we were missing a few things that they thought we should include:
“Where is the סכך  (schach-leafy branches)? Can we put it on top?”
“Hey! I don’t see any decorations!”
“We can’t eat inside without our table and chairs”


Then we got to work!
Making decorations with a partner.
Putting up our decorations with a partner.
Asking, “can I have a turn to put up סכך (schach-leafy branches)?”
“I’ll bring the table!”
“We should bring food inside, so we can eat together.”


At the end of the day I asked children to share if they saw other children being kind or friendly while we were playing.
Some of their answers were:


“They helped my holding up the wall.”
“They decorated with me, its better when we can play together!”
“They brought the table so we could eat in the סוכה (Sukkah).”


What a strong way to start building our kind and helpful community, Shorashim (‘roots’ for nursery) and Shteelim (‘saplings’ kindergarten)!

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