Friday, March 28, 2014

Bom Dia from Brazil!
While in Brazil, we discovered that Gauchos roam the pampas (broad open plains) and the Pantanal. 
Morah Katie: Where else did we meet gauchos?
Scout: Argentina!
 We learned that Brazil grows 2 very popular plants.
Morah Katie: IF we went to the store and there were no oranges for us to buy, what country could we travel to in order to buy more?
Anton: Brazil!
Morah Katie: If we were to bring back a souvenir from Brazil, do you think your mom and dad would enjoy COFFEE?
Kids: YES! 
Morah Katie: As would I.
During snack we enjoyed sweet oranges and smelled coffee.
Amelia: I do not like the coffee. The oranges smell better.
Sroli: We need water for our coffee.
Morah Katie: I think we will just smell the ground up coffee beans at preschool.
Sroli: It smells good!

While in Brazil, we met 3 Brazilian children:
-Gabriella who lives in the rural countryside and helps her family farm.
-Alex who lives in a big city, Sao Paulo, who goes to school and play soccer.
-Taki, who is a Karaja Indian. He lives in the Amazon jungle and helps his dad and uncles hunt for food.
Taki had an interesting pet.
Morah Katie: What kind of pets do you have?
Sofia: I have 3 dogs.
Gracie: I have Princess and Brother. They are both kittens.
Scout: I have a kitty.
Morah Katie: Why do you have pets?
Gracie: They are soft.
Scout: I like to pet my kitty.
Sofia: They make me smile.
Morah Katie: I also have pets, and they make me smile. They can be so silly they make me laugh and feel happy. Our friend Taki has a pet. He has a monkey!
Kids: What?!?!? wow... a monkey?!?!?
Morah Katie: How do you think Taki feels about his monkey? 
Gracie: He probably likes it just like we like our pets.
Morah Katie: We even have classroom pets. Taki is not so different from us. What do you, Taki, Gabriella and Alex all need to grow up happy healthy and strong?
Gracie: Food.
Zim: A house, or shelter.
Judah: Clothes.
Efraim: Toys.

Morah Katie:  Toys can be very fun. Can you still have fun without a lot of toys?
Kids :  ..... Yes.
Morah Katie: If all you had to play with were sticks or pebbles, what could you use to transform them into games or toys?
Gracie: Your brain.
Scout: Your imagination.
Anton and Scout are slow slow sloths, moving slowly to collect their tzedkah.

Morah Katie: What is the most popular game Brazilians play?
Isaac: Soccer.
Morah Katie: What do you need to play soccer?
Gracie: A ball.
Scout: Open space.

As we reminded ourselves that all children around the world- from Japan to Botswana to Israel- 
need food, shelter and clothing to stay strong, safe and healthy, we began to think back to what the Jewish children in long long ago Egypt might have needed to be strong, safe and healthy.
Morah Katie: Tell me, what do you think the Jewish children who were living in Egypt long long ago needed?
Efraim: Food.
Zim: Hashem.
Scout: Clothes.
Gracie: Shelter.
Morah Katie: Not so different from what modern day children in Vancouver Washington, or Brazil need.  

 Morah Tzivie began to tell us about our upcoming holiday.
Morah Tzivie: A very special holiday is coming soon. Who can tell me the name?
Efriam: Pesach!
Morah Tzivie:  Pesach is the Hebrew name, who knows how to say it in English?
Judah: Passover!
Morah Tzivie: Pesach, Passover, is a very different and interesting holiday.  
Let's begin by setting our Shabbat table. What do we need?
Gracie: A Kiddush cup.
Zim: Juice.
Efraim: Challah.
Gracie: Challah cover.
Zim: Candles. 
Morah Tzivie: This is our Shabbat table. 
A Passover table looks very different, with lots of interesting things on it.
The dinner is called a Seder. 
First, we do not eat challah at a passover dinner. What do we eat instead?
Sroli: Matzah! 3 Matzah!
Morah Tzivie: The candles can stay for our Passover meal.
Does our Kiddush cup stay?
Efraim: Yes!
Morah Tzivie: We keep our Kiddush cup, but guess what? We drink 4 cups of Kiddush. We need 3 more cups.
Also, we have this special plate. 
Scout: A Seder Plate.
Morah Tzivie: On our Seder plate we have 6 spots for 6 very special and interesting foods. 
1 egg, 1 chicken bone, lettuce, charoset- chopped apples, nuts. 
On our Seder plate we also put maror, bitter herb- it is so bitter it makes our tears come. We also place some potato to dip in salt water.  
The last thing we need for our Seder table is a very special cup. It is Elijah's cup, we don't see him but he visits every Seder meal.
We look forward to learning why we eat such interesting foods, and why a Passover Seder is so different from a Shabbat dinner.
Adeus Brazil! 
Pesach Ba! (Passover is coming!)

Friday, March 21, 2014

¡Hola Argentina!

¡Hola from Argentina!
We have flown to South America.
Our first stop is Argentina.
While in Argentina we visited the Andes mountain range.
Morah Katie: What can you tell me about the Andes?
Efraim: They have snow and chilly.
Morah Katie: They are very very tall mountains with glaciers on some peaks, and they separate Argentina for it's neighbor Chile.
Morah Katie: Are there any animals in Argentina that we have seen in other places around the world?
Jack: Penguins.
Morah Katie: Where else have we seen penguins?
Sroli: Arctica!
Morah Katie: Yes, Antarctica. Anywhere else?
Scout: Australia.
Morah Katie: What other animal can we find in Australia and Argentina? These animals help children with one of their needs to be happy and successful.
Scout: Sheep.
Morah Katie: What do sheep provide?
Ameila: Thread.
Scout: Wool.
Gracie: For clothes.
We learned that in the area of Argentina called The Pampas, gauchos herd cattle.
Morah Katie: Who are Gauchos? 
Gracie: Argentina cowboys and cowgirls.
These gauchos took turns riding our "horse" Brownie.
We visited the city Buenos Aires. While there we went the neighborhood of La Boca. We discovered that the buildings are colorful.
Ella: They look happy.
Scout: I see orange.
Amelia: I see red.
Efraim: I see green.

We discovered a sweet treat while in La Boca: empanadas!
These pastries can be savory with meat and beans or sweet with fruit.
We had apple empanadas.
Ari: I have an empanada. It is apple.
I like cinnamon.
Gracie: It is good.
Natan: I like it!
While in Argentina, we discovered the Tango!
Adios Argentina!

Thursday, March 13, 2014

 Celebrating Purim
"Little Torah, Little Torah, 
let me hold you tight.
Teach me, teach me all your mitzvoth, 
so I can do them right."
Morah Katie: Please tell me a mitzvah?
Gracie: Helping a brother or sister or mother.
Natan: Helping a grandma.
Efraim: Helping a grandpa.
Zim: Helping a friend.
Morah Katie: Helping is a mitzvah. What is a mitzvah you might do to celebrate Purim?
Scout: Share tzedakah.
Sroli: Give cakes.
Morah Katie: What is giving food called?
Efraim: Mishloach manot.
Morah Katie: What is another mitzvah we do to remember and celebrate the Purim story?
Judah: Shake the grogger.
Morah Katie: When? 
Gracie: When we hear Haman!
Morah Katie: What do we call the scroll the story is read from?
Efraim: Megillah.
Morah Katie: To help us celebrate you are all going to get to dress up as the people in the story and we will make our own Gan Megillah!
Morah Katie: What is another mitzvah we do for Purim?
Jack: Eat cake and ice cream.
Natan: We eats lots of treats to celebrate.
Morah Katie: We have a festive feast! Do we wear anything special to the party?
Gracie: We dress up in costumes to celebrate.

We practiced making mishloach manor for our friends in class.
As we learned to include 2 types of food for our mishloach manot, we sorted our kitchen food by the Bracha for each food.
We used our snack basket to help us create a mishloach manot still life painting.
We have been sharing a bit more tzedakah each morning.
We enjoyed a delightful fruit feast as we practiced shaking our groggers when we heard Haman.

Purim is a happy holiday.
We see and remember how Hashem is always with us.
We share the joy and happiness we feel by sharing and giving to others so everyone can feel as happy as we do.
Fortunately, my friends at The Gan live this daily.
Happy Purim!