The kindergarten children needed more. They were taking part in the nursery tunic-making project, but they were nearly bursting with wanting to grapple with the whole, complex Yosef story. We invited kindergarten children to design their own project.
The knowledge, creativity, and sensitive social attunement of the four kindergarten children expanded to fill every aspect of this project. From collaboratively retelling the entire text, complete with their own literary flair (from “There was once a boy…” to “And that was that!”) to making props, navigating disagreements, matching character costumes to the mood of the scene, and acting with movement, posture, and expression, children’s interpretation of the text emerged through hundreds of small details and collaborative decisions. This was their version.
When the kindergarten children saw the book they had created together, they knew they had accomplished something Big. “I feel like a twelfth grader!” one boy said. And indeed, these young children showed as much dedication, collaboration, enthusiasm, and deep thought about Torah and human relationships as Jewish people of any age. Kol hakavod – way to go – amazing kindergarteners.