Iyar 5771 [email protected]
Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock
Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 28. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at www.shlockrock.com, click on Educators Corner to view our back issues.
Adult Learning: This month we will talk about ways to celebrate the holidays in the Hebrew month Iyar. These holidays are: Yom HaZikaron (which technically is in the month of Nisan), Yom HaAutzmaut and Lag B’Omer.
Yom HaZikaron is the Day of Remembrance. This is a wonderful time to help children to remember all the people who have helped make Israel the only Democracy in the Middle East. It’s also a great time to dedicate time to teaching about remembering to show kindness to all people.
Yom HaAutzmaut is Israel’s Independence Day and Lag B’Omer is the 33rd day counting the time between the 2nd Seder and Shavuot (Day 49 and the receiving of the 10 Commandments). It is traditional to count the days (starting at night of course!) with a bracha. Counting is always a wonderful math activity. This is a great time to do some daily adult learning. Here is a link with a small amount of daily adult learning based on counting the Omer from Aish.com. The completion of counting the Omer is Shavuot.
If you are looking for one CD with a bunch of great songs, than Shlock Rock for Kids - Party Time is the way to go. There are 10 songs suggested below just from this one CD! J
Suggested Shlock Rock Songs: "Lag B'Omer" , "Ten Commandments", "U'Moshe Hikah Basela" , "Saleinu", "Ruth's Song", "Oogah Medley", "Eretz Zavat Chalav U'Dvash", "Eretz Yisrael Sheli" and "Where in Israel" ALL from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, "613 Mitzvot" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together, "Torah" and "Sixth Day of Sivan" from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together, "We read the Torah" , "Chamisha Chumshei Torah" from Shlock Rock for Kids Vol. 1 and "Abba Always Has a Sefer in His Hand" , "We Got The Torah" , "Trup" , "Breishit Again" from Shlock Rock for kids Vol. 3, and "49 Days to Count The Omer" from the CD WoodShlock, and "All Night Long" and "Krias Hatorah" from Shlock Rock to Unite All Jews.
To hear the songs, click these links: kids songs , original songs, parody songs and Hebrew songs then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your computer or MP3 player and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE.
Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:
For more ideas related to Lag B’Omer click here.
For including more Hebrew into your classroom click here.
For ideas related to teaching about Shavuot click here.
The Day of Remembrance is a great time to create patriotic ties to Israel. Do the same types of activities you would do for Memorial Day at the end of May. Israel’s flag also has a star and stripes too!
This could also be a time for reflecting on our behavior which is also very appropriate during the counting of the Omer. This could be a time for teaching about remembering to be kind and tolerant towards everyone. This is the angle I will focus on since Memorial Day activities are easy to find.
Craft ideas: Have your children create a story book for your classroom book shelf showing ways to do kind things using the letters of the alphabet or Alef bet (or a combination of both). This should also be illustrated by the kids too. Email me if you would like a copy of the ABC’s of Kindness just to use if you get stumped on a letter.
Check out www.torah4kids.com and click on Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together for ideas for teaching about “V’ahavta L’reacha camocha” (Love your neighbor as yourself). Click here for a free song download too.
Collect items to send to soldiers in Israel or check out this resource to send kosher pizzas to the IDF (Israeli Defense Force) : www.pizzaidf.org
Snack idea: Assign families a vegetable to bring in to share with the class. Read the story Bone Button Borscht by Aubrey Davis and create a community vegetable soup together. This story is the Jewish version of Stone Soup and shows how a town full of stingy people became a community by learning to share with each other. Invite some local senior citizens to join you, or students who will be joining your school in the fall.
Activity: Have the children stand or sit in a circle and roll a ball or ball of yarn to each other saying something kind or what they like about each child they roll to. Make sure no one is forgotten and that there isn’t one child who gets too many turns too! If you use the ball of yarn, as each child gets the ball of yarn they need to hold onto a part of the yarn before they continue on with rolling to the next person. This way you make a kindness web.
In my school, we celebrate Israel all year long with the pinnacle being Yom HaAutzmaut.
Snack idea: Bake a birthday cake for Israel and eat it! After singing happy birthday Israeli style!
Craft Ideas: Create birthday crowns. These could either be like for a Queen or King or Israeli style using flowers and leaves glued to a paper or poster board strip stapled to go around their heads.
You could also make Sun Visors to keep the hot desert sun out of your eyes! Decorate as desired.
Learn about places in Israel and make things used in that part of Israel (i.e. Eilat – beach related crafts, set up your classroom like a glass bottom boat - blue sheets with fish and other sea life and pretend to be on the boat floating around seeing all the cool sea life.).
Make flags using children’s Hebrew names (or English names) and see the next idea.
Movement Ideas: Using the flags your class created, have a parade.
Choreograph dances to your favorite Shlock Rock songs or Israeli songs and dance! My favorite Israeli dance is Niggun HaTik, it’s easy enough for my preschool students to do (and that means I can do it too!!). J
Learn the hand motions to the song Eretz Yisrael Sheli (email me if you don’t know them).
Snack ideas: Family Fun magazine this month had an idea for making an edible bonfire click here. In my class we have dairy issues, so I will substitute the cheese for either orange, red and yellow pepper slices or a graham cracker with pareve frosting tinted orange as the flames; you could also try fruit leather or Roll Ups that are red or orange to create the flames.
Make S’mores (American traditional bonfire treat) or roasted potatoes (Israeli traditional bonfire treat).
1) You can make a “sit upon” for sitting upon (hence the name!) while around the bonfire. Make a pillow using a recycled plastic bag (like a zip lock) stuffed with other recycled grocery bags. Help children to seal the edges decoratively using duct tape and then have children decorate using stickers or permanent markers. The grocery bags could also be lots of different colors to add to the beauty of the “sit upon”.
2) Make a back pack for a Lag B’Omer nature walk from a paper grocery bag. Roll the top of the bag down about 1/3 of the way. Attach poster board straps to one side (usually the side that has the store’s ad) and decorate as desired. You could also use Velcro dots as a closure at the top.
3) Go for a nature walk and collect twigs and small rocks and glue them to a piece of recycled cardboard to create a bonfire centerpiece for your picnic table. Of course you should use the backpack (suggested above) to collect all these cool things!
Have a rainbow scavenger hunt: have children look for things in nature that are yellow, red, green, brown, orange, white, etc… Another use for the backpack!
Create some obstacle races for the children to do: i.e. run get a stick and bring it to the next person in line, that person takes the stick to the area where a bonfire will be (or where you will pretend to have a bonfire), and continue on so each child gets a turn.
Or place cones in lines and have the children do various movement activities around the cones (zigzag running, galloping, skipping, straddle walk, etc…)
Do some bean bag tosses towards a target.
Using the song "Lag B'Omer" from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, try these dance moves in a big circle:
(Moves for the Chorus :)
Walk 4 slow steps forward (during the lyrics “Lag B’Omer” – 2 beats per step)
Walk 4 slow steps back (during the lyrics “The 33rd day of the Omer – 2 beats per step)
Walk 4 slow steps forward (during the lyrics “Lag B’Omer” – 2 beats per step)
Walk 4 slow steps back (during the lyrics “This is a Lag B’Omer song”- 2 beats per step)
(Moves for the verses :)
Hold hands and walk in a circle to the right
Repeat the moves for the chorus
Repeat the moves for the 2nd verse but go to the left
Repeat the moves for the chorus.
ONE MORE TIME!
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