November Den Blog for Jewish Studies 2nd-6th grade

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2nd grade: Second graders have been busy learning the vocabulary and plot line of the story of Noah’s Ark. They love playing games to reinforce vocabulary and are excited to share their latest project – their Animal Journal – on Portfolio Day. As they read the story of Noah’s Ark, they imagine life as an animal on the ark – what the animal was thinking and feeling, who they made friends with, and at what point the animal got really, really bored! We are continuing to learn our Morning Blessings (Birkot HaShachar) in Hebrew as well as continuing to explore the weekly Torah portion.

3rd grade: Third grade has been working hard to create a “Road Trip” around Israel to visit the many landforms found there. They are excited to present their Israeli Landform project to you on Portfolio Day! We are also creating plays based on the story of Avraham, which you will see in February at their Chumash Ceremony. We have also been learning more of the prayer Ahavah Rabah and 3rd graders have also been enjoying meditations during our weekly Tefillah.

4th grade: fourth grade has finally finished learning Parshat Toldot about the story of Yakov and Esav (Jacob and Esau). They have also learned a little bit about Midrash, or stories by rabbis to help fill in the “gaps” in the Torah. Fourth graders are going to ultimately write their own Midrash based on Parshat Toldot. We have also learned nearly all of the Vayomer prayer, and we are working on being confident and independent leaders of this prayer.

5th grade: Fifth grade students have been working hard to understand the story of Yosef and his family, as well as what Rashi say about it, and soon they will be solving the mystery of what truly happened to Yosef after he got thrown into the pit. They have also created their own artistic interpretation of Yosef’s multi-color coat based on the love-hate dynamics which the coat caused Yosef and his family. Fifth grade has also learned the entire Ashrei prayer, and we are working on being confident and independent leaders of this prayer.

6th grade: Sixth grade has been immereed in JCAT (Jewish Court of All Time) this month, especially as our trial is “heating up” and getting more intense. We have seen several exhibits to help us better understand the plight of refugees in Israel as well as the perspective of Israelis who are wary of inviting more refugees into an already turbulent country. We have also heard testimony from important politicians as well as refugees. In other exciting news, two of our students (Theodor Herzl and Michelle Obama) have been chosen as Justices to present their views on the trial to the JCAT-powers-that-be who make the ultimate decisions. In the next few weeks, I look forward to reflecting with the students on the experience as JCAT comes to a close and we transition into our Torah learning units for the remainder of the year.