Morah Tzivie: What is happening to Mt. Sinai?
Natan: It has flowers on it because it behaved well.
Eliana: It was kind so Hashem gave it the Torah.
Amelia: It thought that it wasn't nice to brag, so it didn't, because bragging isn't nice.
Abigail: It is covered in flowers because Hashem gave it the Torah and mad it beautiful. It behaved well and made good choices.
Morah Tzivie: That's right. Mt. Sinai wasn't a mountain with flowers.
Hashem covered it in flowers because it was kind and thoughtful.
Hashem gave the Jewish people the Torah on Mt. Sinai. What is in the Torah?
Natan: The story of Mt. Sinai.
Morah Tzivie: Yes, that story and the story of the other holidays.
Amelia M: Aleph.
Morah Tzivie: Yes the Torah has Hebrew letters in it.
Judah: A mitzvah.
Morah Tzivie: Yes, the Torah has lots of mitzvahs in it to help us live good lives.
It has the mitzvah of being kind, visiting people who are not feeling well. It has the mitzvah of putting a mezuzah on the door.
Judah: It has how Hashem made us.
Morah Tzivie: Yes, it has how the world was created. It contains the stories, the holidays and all the mitzvahs we do.
We paid close attention to characters who were thoughtful, and those who were not.
Morah Katie: How was Yoko's mom thoughtful?
Amelia: She asked what Yoko wanted in her lunch box.
Morah Katie: How was Yoko thoughtful?
Natan: She said please.
As the story progresses, we discover that many of Yoko's classmates think her lunch is "yuck-o-rama', "ewwww" "it's GREEN" "ick". We notice that Yoko's delighted face has become sad.
Morah Katie: How would you feel if your friends said that about your lunch?
Kids: Bad, Sad, not good.
Natan: The Franks are so mean.
Sroli: They are not nice.
Morah Katie: Do you think they are thinking about Yoko's feelings? Are they looking at her face?
My Gan friends had very concerned faces during this portion of the story.
Amelia L: Why are they being like that?
Amelia M: They are not being thoughtful of Yoko.
Judah: It wasn't nice when they said red bean ice cream was for weirdos. I think it sounds like it would be good.
Mid-way through the story, the teacher creates an "international food day, and everyone needs to try everything".
Morah Katie: Does everyone in Yoko's class try everything?
Amelia L: No one tried her food.
Anton: It was thoughtful when the teacher made that thing, International Food day to try to help everyone be nicer.
Natan: Timothy decided to be nice and try it.
Judah: Well yeah, Timothy decides to be nice.
Evan: He liked it. He had one (coconut crisp) left over and shared it with her. He was nice.
Amelia: The others weren't thoughtful. Yoko helped Timothy with the chopsticks when he was trying her sushi.
Sroli: It's not nice to say yuck-o-rama.
Evan: I don't like the Franks, they are not nice.
Natan: I don't like bullies. You should just be nice.
Judah: Timothy and Yoko were the thoughtful ones and now they are friends and they are BOTH smiling.
We decided it would have been kinder to let Yoko know they were not fans of sushi, or they could have not said anything.
This book has helped express the idea of thoughtfulness.
We were able to explore Yoko's facial expression as the story progressed.
My friends really empathized with her and understood why she was sad, and what had caused it.
As a result, it has expanded my friends vocabulary when they are feeling sad and uncared for.
Natan: Anton it was my turn and you just took the it (ball) from me. You didn't think of me.
Anton: Ok, but I don't like it when you just grab stuff from me. You can ask me for it and I will give it to you, just please don't grab it.
Natan: May I have it?
Anton: Yes, it can be your turn.
Abigail: Judah I brought that chair over for me.
Judah: Well I really want to sit in this chair.
Abigail: You can ask Sroli if he can let you use his, or you can wait til I'm done.
Judah: Ok. Walks to Sroli. Sroli can I give you this chair and can I have that one?
Sroli: I'm done you can have it.
I feel very fortunate to witness these moments, and am proud to see these moments initiated by the children themselves.