Wednesday, February 10, 2010

Welcome to our little town...

A look at this week:

With Purim right around the corner, we started our three week study about the holiday. This week we focused on the town, Shushan, and the characters: Ester, Vashti, Mordecia, Haman and King Achashveirosh.

And how did we do this? We started the week by talking about the story of Purim. This led us to a discussion about the town of Shushan. Then we talked about buildings that we may find in a town. We decided to take boxes and decorate them to make them look like different buildings in a town. The children chose to make the palace where King Achashveriosh lived. They also wanted to make an additional house where Queen Vashti may have lived. The other buildings in our town included a grocery store and a hospital (where, as Avery stated, "is where sick people are." And of course we wanted to make sure that the sick people were also taken care of!).

After we made our town we decided to also make some jewelry that Queen Ester would have liked. So we used painted pasta and made patterns. First as a class we played a game of letter memory and each time someone found a match they were able to add a piece to our pattern. Then they were able to make their own necklaces. How nice it was to see that the next day Lizzy chose to wear her necklace back to school since she was so proud of it!

On Wednesday we continued to study patterns by making Persian carpets. We wondered if these carpets may have been similar to items that could have been found in the palace in Shushan. We talked about how when we weave the paper, we develop an AB pattern (a two color pattern that repeats itself).

As for other activities that the children enjoyed participating in, there were many others. In writing, the children were able to fill in the blank to: Purim, Purim, What do you see? I see _______ looking at me. It was nice to hear the different ideas they came up with that had to do with Purim. Some answers included "a costume, Queen Ester, Queen Vashti, a grogger, King Achashveriosh and Haman." In the block area the children tried to build their own town. Some children chose to work with the felt board box and use the felt Purim characters to try to act out the story of Purim. Other children chose to go gem digging (a math and science exercise) where they used flashlights and popsicle sticks to dig in the corn kernels to find "gems" and then had to count to see if they found all 15 before returning them back to the kernel pit.

Listening in:

It is always interesting to listen in to the children during play times. Many times the children choose to play different role playing games. We have been talking, lately, about their choices and making sure they are not scaring each other by growling or chasing them too much. However, the day that I just stayed back and listened the children chose to play pirates. Here is a little bit of what they were saying.

Miriam: Do you want to play Jewish pirates with us?

Lizzy: We are playing pirates. I have a telescope.

Josh: We're pirates

Lizzy: Jayden, we're playing pirates. Right?

Jayden: Yes.

Lizzy: Then let's get on our pirate ship!

Looking at next week:

Next week is a short week since we do not have school on Monday due to the observance of President's Day. However, starting on Tuesday we are going to start making noise as we continue to discuss Purim. With the grogger as the premise for our discussion, we are going to be making music. The children will be making some musical instruments and exploring others.

Puppet play

Pattern making, paper weaving

Gem digging

Town building

Showing off his pattern necklace

lacing pasta patterns

Memory to make patterns

Painting boxes to make our town

And for an added treat, last week during our music class (which is part of our Shabbat party) the children made a thunderstorm in the rainforest.

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