Last week I wrote about an amazing project that our 4's class is working on and asked you to stay tuned for more. Well, this week has proven to be just as exciting! (To refresh your memory, you can visit the blog post entitled Building a Neighborhood from January 10, 2017)
After building an entire neighborhood with homes, streets, waterways, and more, the Dubonim class delved into making a map of their neighborhood. First, the children talked about how maps are drawn. They looked at a state map of Maryland and drew maps of some of their favorite places.
The teacher took a photo of what the children built in the classroom and used that as a guide for drawing a large map of their neighborhood, including a map key of each child's house and number.
Sometime during their discussion about their neighborhood, the class talked about what makes their home a Jewish home. After reading the story My Very Own Jewish Home, Aimee yelled out, " a mezuzah!" The class decided to look for the mezuzot on the doors of their classroom. This led to a field trip around the synagogue looking for different kinds of mezuzot. The children took clipboards and pencils around the building as they tallied up how many they saw. Some of the children chose to sketch a mezuzah once they returned to class.
The teacher read the story The Shema in the Mezuzah and talked to the children about the words of Hashem and the meaning behind kissing the mezuzah when entering or leaving a room. Since the mezuzah relates to the notion that Hashem protects those who dwell within the home, they decided they wanted to make their own mezuzot for their own homes. Working with Maharat Fruchter, the children learned about the Shema inside the mezuzah and collected items from the Art Studio to embellish their own homemade mezuzot.
The learning going on in this classroom is so rich and exciting! I'm sure there will be more to come...