Making connections

This week, first grade Nitzanim children started their final projects for our להתפלל (L’hitpalel) theme. Many children are working with a partner to tell a fictional story about תפילה (tefillah–prayer).

All week, I’ve sat in the hallway with pairs of children transcribing stories that come tumbling out of mouths.

One story is about Lily, who is using תפילה (tefillah–prayer) to express gratitude for trees. Another story involves Nathan, who lives in Alaska and makes a תפילה (tefillah–prayer) because he is uncomfortable without a coat. Finally Rockstar goes to temple on holidays להתפלל (l’hitpalel –to pray) because he just loves singing.

These fictional stories highlight the ways that children are connecting the strands of prayer and praying that we’ve opened up over the course of our theme. Their characters may or may not wear טליתות (tallitot –prayer shawls) because we spent a week in our theme interviewing community members about why they choose to wear טליתות (tallitot –prayer shawls). Some characters pray in temples while others pray outside because we explored multiple settings for prayer. Some of their characters make תפילות (tefillot— prayers) to ask for something or to express gratitude, just like Channah in the text we read from the first book of Samuel. Finally, characters in these fictional stories may associate feelings with the act of praying, a strand of inquiry we opened up at the very beginning of our theme.

What gorgeous, layered stories the children are writing and bringing to life in their buildings. I can’t wait for them to share with you!

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