Monday, March 26, 2012

Morah Katie: What are you creating?
Levi: A pyramid.
Morah Katie: What is it made from?
Dena: Paper, but it's hard to make it stick to the wall.
Gracie: You have to push hard.
Morah Katie: Would you rather build a paper pyramid in the Gan, or a real pyramid in Egypt?
Levi: The Gan!
Dena: Paper is better!

We are learning why we eat matzah, why we have for cups of wine, dip vegetables in salt water and eat bitter herbs, and sit and recline.
Morah Tzive: Many many many years ago in a land called....
Kids: Egypt!!
Morah Tzivie: You know! Well in Egypt there was a king.
Morah Tzivie: What should a king do?
Kian: Be good and take care of people.
Morah Tzivie: A king should take care of his people, making sure they have food, and are well cared for. BUT King Pharaoh, the king of Egypt, was very bossy. Instead of being sure his people had the things they needed he only thought: I GET ALL I WANT, I WANT ALL I WANT."

Morah Tzivie explained how King Pharaoh took a big piece of land and wanted a big brand new pyramid.
We listened to how King Pharaoh made the Jews build the pyramid with no pay, working all day, with no rest.
Morah Tzivie: How do you think it felt?
Tori: Bad
Morah Tzivie: The Jewish people were slaves to King Pharaoh. When you are a slave, you have no rest, you are hungry, and tired. A slave doesn't get to choose what they do. The Jewish people were feeling so sad.
Today when people build what do they use?
Levi: Cement.
Noah: Cranes
Kian: Tractors
Morah Tzivie: Long long ago in Egypt there were no cranes or tractors, the Jewish people had to use their hands! It was hard, hard work!
We eat charoset to remind us of the cement of the pyramids, and the hard hard work the Jewish people were made to do.
To try to experience how heavy a cement block for a pyramid would be, we filled a milk container with sand, we filled on with air.
Morah Katie: Which container will be heavier, the one filled with sand or with air?
Dena: The sand will be heavier!
Ben: Yes the sand will be the heaviest.
Morah Katie: Well let's see how strong we are.
Morah Katie: Clearly you are very strong because you are lifting the container FULL of air with just your pinky!
Kian: That is because it is light! not heavy!
Levi: HAhaHAha it is SO light! so easy to pick up!
Morah Katie: OH! Let's try the sand filled container.
Ben: Wow, it is really heavy, to heavy for my pinky.
Kian: Yeah, it is really heavy.
Morah Katie: Imagine building a pyramid with cement bricks heavier then this container with just your hands? Or carrying the bricks on your back?
Tori: It would be really hard work.
Levi: I wouldn't want to.
Morah Katie: Remind me, why do we celebrate Passover?
Levi: Because the Jewish people became free.
Noah: No more building pyramids.

We heard more of the time in Egypt.
We know that the Jewish people were slaves in Egypt and that they were feeling sad, hungry and tired.
Morah Tzivie told us how the Jewish people prayed to Hashem for help.
Morah Tzivie: The Jewish people davined to Hashem, "Please Hashem, we don't want to work for King Pharaoh, we have no time to be with our families or to do mitzvahs, please help us."
Hashem heard them!
Hashem said "I created people to make the world a nice place, to help others, NOT to build for Pharaoh. I will take them away from Egypt and give them the Torah."
Morah Tzive told us about Moses.
Morah Tzivie: What does brave mean?
Noah: Not scared.
Morah Tzivie: Brave is when you're scared and you do the right thing anyway.
Hashem told Moses that He needed him to be the leader for the Jewish people, to go King Pharaoh and tell him to let the Jewish people leave.
Moses was scared, but he was brave. He knew Hashem would watch over him and help him.
We are feeling worried for Moses, but we know he goes to King Pharaoh and tells him to let the Jewish people leave Egypt.
Morah Tzivie: King Pharaoh says NO! Moses tells him Hashem is going to give him a consequence for his bad choice, Moses tells him: All the water will turn to blood, there will be no water to drink or to water plants..."
Levi: The fish in the rivers will die.
Morah Tzivie: What happens? What does King Pharaoh do?
Tori: He didn't let them go and the water turned to BLOOD!
Morah Tzivie: That's right, and then King Pharaoh says "Never mind! The water is back, the Jewish people can't leave!"
Morah Tzivie: Moses goes to King Pharaoh again. What did King Pharaoh say?
Kids: NO NO NO I will not let them go!
Morah Tzivie: Have you ever seen a frog?
Levi: In my backyard.
Kian: I have seen a frog.
Morah Tzivie: A frog can be cute, but what about frogs everywhere? Hashem sent frogs everywhere! On the floor, in their breakfast, in the oven, on their heads. Too much! It was getting gross. The people said to King Pharaoh, "Too many frogs! Let the Jewish people go!"
And what does Pharaoh do?
Kids: Let's them leave!
Morah Tzivie: The frogs leave, and what do you think happens?
Tori/Levi: He changes his mind! Says NO!
Morah Tzivie: This happens 10 times! Hashem sends lice and wild animals and hail and darkness and other warnings. Finally King Pharaoh says: OK GO, go quickly! I will not change my mind again!
The Jewish people hurried to leave, they were only able to quickly mix water and flour and let it bake in the sun, no time to let to it rise, no challah, only matzah.

In preparation for the next part of the story we are revisiting the wonder of water!
We have run all types of experiments to get a better understanding of this element.
Can we transfer water from one cup to another without pouring? YES!
Water will spread out and up a paper towel because as a liquid water likes to fill every open space available!

Can red water turn a yellow daffodil orange? As of Thursday, only the veins of the petals turned a faint orange.
What would happen if we leave the flower in the water longer than a week? What if we added 20 red food coloring drops instead of just 10?
Why can a penny hold 18 drops of water? Surface tension! Water molecules are sticky! They like to "stick together!"
We are painting our very own kiddush cup! We can't wait for them to be fired and become shiny and even more beautiful!

Tuesday, March 20, 2012

It began like any other week.
Children came into the classroom with excitement and plans to learn and play.
But something is different.
We are preparing to trade items on our Shabbat table
for a SEDER table!
Morah Tzive began to tell us about the beautiful, special holiday of Passover.
Morah Tzivie: We don't eat challah at the Seder meal, we eat...
Kids: Matzah!!
Morah Tzivie: We don't use a challah cover, we use a beautiful...
Kids: Seder Plate!!!
Morah Tzive continued to explain to us that at the Seder meal we get to have 4! cups of grape juice!
And we have place a very special cup on the table, Elijah's cup.

In home living we created our own Seder table.
After we set the table,we invited friends to join us.
We ate a hard boiled egg and bitter herbs.
We dipped the potato in salt water.
We enjoyed our 4 cups of juice, and set a cup out for Elijah.

Morah Katie: Tell me about your dinner table?
Dena: I made a shabbat dinner, but now we are having a Seder dinner.
Morah Katie: Kian, what are you eating?
Kian: It's bitter.
Morah Katie: Is that challah I see?
Dena: We are hiding it because we don't eat challah.
Scout: Why are there 4 cups?
Dena: It's a Seder meal.
Shalom: But no challah.
Morah Katie: Do you have any vegetables for dipping?
Shalom: Yes and salt water too. It's a Seder.
Next week we will begin to answer the questions of why this night is so different from every other night and why we eat such interesting foods!