Collaboration makes it all Possible

There has been quite a bit of excitement in Shorashim (‘roots’ for nursery) and Shteelim (‘saplings’ for Kindergarten) as we have started our theme, Adam v’Admah (using Chapters 1-3 of the book of Genesis from the Torah). One thing to know about this group of children is that they continue to find ways to collaborate and learn from each other every day!

As we began to hear the Genesis 1-2 text, children had ideas about building a גן (gan-garden), in fact they spent quite a bit of time creating their גן (gan-garden) together. The children told each other what parts they wanted to build and decided on the placement of each element of their גן (gan-garden) together. When a new child wanted to join their play, they would pause, explain what they were working on, and offer show the new child how to use materials in the building area.

At כיבוד (kibud-snack), children shared their answers to questions about our new text with a partner and with the full group. They took turns talking and listening. Later, they were able to take their ideas and turn them into elements we were adding to the גן (gan-garden), including, The Tree of Life and the Tree of Knowing Good and Bad.

When they heard about the Tree of Knowing Good and Bad, children started offering their own interpretation of what the Tree of Knowing Good and Bad should look like:

  • “I would divide it in half, one (side) is good and one (side) is bad.”
  • “The good side should be red.”
  • “The good side would have apples and butterflies and good things that can happen.”
  • “One side is red, it’s the good side, one side is black, its the bad side. I would put nightmares on it.”

Then, in a flurry of conversation between the children, they debated adding more colors to the good side. After they came to an agreement, we got to work creating our Tree of Knowing Good and Bad.

This week, we also introduced “Children’s Text Theater”, where we tried playacting a small amount of text, in this case, Adonai Elohim made the Adam with dust from the adamah (the ground) and breathed into his nose the breath of life. And then the Adam was alive. (Genesis 2:7). This kind of play is not possible without collaboration.

I can wait to see how the children will collaborate and learn from each other next week!

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