Seventh grade has been hard at work on a project integrated through the every aspect of their lives. It may sound impossible, but it’s true; this is because it’s about the Zones of Regulation. The Zones of Regulation help us identify our emotions using colors (blue is tired or bored, green is happy and ready to go, yellow is anxious or nervous, and red is angry or out of control). First we thought about our own Zones on a daily basis. Then, we read 1 Samuel 10, which is the story of Saul’s coronation as the first king of B’nei Yisrael. As we read the chapter, each student “colored” the verses with the color corresponding to the Zone the character was experiencing. We talked a lot about how we all had different interpretations, and tried to identify with what Saul (or other characters like Samuel or God) felt. Finally, we looked at an artist – Mark Rothko – who uses blocks of color almost exclusively in his artwork. Each student chose a scene which they felt connected to, and they created their own Rothko-esqe canvas painting to represent the Zones of Regulation of a character at that moment. This was such a fun project (I even made a painting!) and many students really enjoyed connecting with Torah and art and human emotions all in the same project! We will be wrapping this up before Winter Break – I will let you know when and where the art is ready to be displayed in January.
In the coming unit, we will continue the story of Saul and his reign as the monarch of Israel. We will also begin a unit on Rabbinic Judaism, which will integrate nicely with what students are learning in humanities, and will set us up for a full unit in Mishna later in the year.