Provoking Feelings Using Music and Dance

In שׁוֹרָשִׁים (Shorashim– ‘roots’ for nursery) and שְׁתִּילִים (Shteelim– ‘saplings’ for kindergarten), are exploring our Torah theme text, Ya’akov v’Esav (Jacob and Esau) in a number of ways. We are retelling and asking questions, building scenes from the text, acting out the text using props.

One area that we are working on, is connecting with feelings that characters might be feeling at different points during the text. One exploration that we are doing to help with this is dancing with scarves to different kinds of music (like happy, sad, or angry sounding music), with a prompt like, “We will listen to different kinds of music to help decide what feeling we think Rivkah (Rebecca) was feeling when she hears about Esav (Esau) getting a blessing. After dancing we will share the feeling.”

Video of children dancing for this prompt:


Some stills of children trying feelings for Rivkah (Rebecca) with some accompanying statements about feelings:

“Rivkah (Rebecca) is sad when she heard Esav (Esau) would get the blessing, because she didn’t want him to.”

“Rivkah is sad that Esav is the only one getting a blessing.”

“Rivkah was mad when the son she didn’t love was going to be blessed.”

“Rivkah is mad because she does not want Esav to have the blessing.”


What we noticed after dancing with scarves is that children had more to say about how Rivkah might be feeling when she was helping Ya’akov get ready (Jacob) get ready to pretend to be his brother Esav ( (Esau) to get Esav’s blessing.

For example:

“Rivkah is sad thinking about Esav would get the blessing.”

“Rivkah is happy, she wants Ya’akov to get blessed.”


I can’t wait to learn what other feelings the children will associate with these characters at other points in the text!



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