Yosef (Joseph)


Second/Third Grades (ages 7-9)


Winter 2023 (5783)


“When Yosef revealed himself he was feeling good. He has been tight and hasn’t unleashed himself to his brothers. He is scared but also happy. He doesn’t have to stay hidden for the rest of his life.”(age 8)


Uncovering Emotions Through Chalk Pastel


What does it take for children to peel back the layers of a complex biblical figure like Yosef (Joseph) and develop their own interpretation?

In the first – third grade group, children heard the text multiple times, wrestled with it with peers, and created with chalk pastels. Chalk pastel was such a rich, expressive material for this age group! Children could blend and layer, use pressure and big gestures to express their big feelings about this text.

Children developed such nuanced interpretations! One 8-year-old thought the biblical Yosef changes through his life. He starts “being normal” and “turns angry” when “his brothers did all those bad things…, because it’s not really his fault that he’s Ya’akov’s [his father’s] favorite.” This child thinks that Yosef becomes a person who is “hiding himself.” Finally, years later, “he took off all of his disguises and showed himself…unleashing himself and revealing himself” to his brothers.