Yetzirah in Ya’akov v’Esav!

This week in Anafim v’Alonim (“Branches” for 4th grade and “Oak trees” for 5th and 6th grades), we’ve been expanding our ideas about Ya’akov v’Esav (Jacob and Esau) while further exploring our collage and building modalities. With their chavrutah (text study partner), children have studied Bereishit (Genesis) 32 & 33, and as we move closer to synthesizing the texts, children’s ideas are becoming more complicated. They are raising deeper and more thoughtful questions, such as: What does it mean for Ya’akov to be Esav‘s servant? Is Ya’akov worthy of being called Yis’rael? What would I do if I were in this situation?













In collage, children have been playing with texture and dimension. Using a variety of paper, adhesives, and fabric materials, they have created remarkable pieces through which they can express insights and questions about the text. Some have experimented with layering techniques, others with incorporating drawing, and some with how rubber cement affects tissue paper and string. See a sampling below!

In building, children have been constructing independently and collaboratively with a variety of tiny building supplies within a neutral color palette. These have included natural materials, wooden shapes, and marble pieces. Children have used shape, texture, vertical and horizontal space, and pattern to create structures and scenes to represent and interpret text.













These creations are not only beautiful; they allow children a kinesthetic (movement-based) opportunity for exploration and a non-verbal way to communicate their ideas. Working with tangible materials can also prompt earlier representational and metaphorical thinking when processing rich texts. These samples merely hint at the diversity and complexity of the explorations in Anafim v’Alonim! We are incredibly proud of their boundless creativity and range of expression.

Next week’s yetzirah will be just as exciting! We’ll be starting by enriching our mixed media modality with grayscale drawing. Children can play with new charcoal and graphite materials, experiment with new techniques, and integrate chalk, ink, and pastel. We will then explore how we can express ideas differently by juxtaposing grayscale and color in all three of our modalities.

In collage, children will have an opportunity to play with color palettes and 3D paper materials. In building, our neutral materials will be refreshed and children can design with new and colorful pieces, as well as dark, light, and reflective materials. Stay tuned for what is sure to be an incredible body of art from Anafim v’Alonim!




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