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Shavuot

May 2010, Iyar/Sivan 5770   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock

 

Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 18. 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.

 

Adult Learning: This month we will be learning about the holiday of Shavuot which falls on the the 6th day of Sivan.  There are so many great things to teach about during this holiday: The receiving of the 10 Commandments on Har Sinai, the story of Ruth, the bringing of the Bikkurim to the Holy Temple in Jerusalem as Shavuot is one of the Shalosh Regalim, and Tikkun Leil Shavuot which means to learn Torah All Night Long.   It is also traditional to eat dairy foods (Israel is the land flowing with milk and honey after all!), and to decorate your homes, schools or Shuls with flowers or greenery. This is the time of year when wheat is ripe in Israel and concludes the Counting of the Omer which began after the second Passover Seder. When teaching about the story of Ruth, be sure to point out Ruth’s chesed (kindness) towards Naomi; our topic from last month’s newsletter!

 

Suggested Shlock Rock Songs: “Parsha song”, “10 Commandments”, “U’Moshe Hikah Basela”, “Saleinu”,  “Ruth’s Song” and “Eretz Zavat Chalav U’dvash” from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time!, Chamisha Chumshei Torah” , “If you’re Proud” and “Alef Bet Rap” from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1 and  “Shul”,  “6th day of Sivan”, “613 Mitzvot”,  “Torah”, “I make a Bracha” from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together and  “Abba always has a Sefer in his hand”, “We got the Torah”, and “Trup”  from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3, 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,  and parody songs then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your MP3 player or computer and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE. Check out Shlock Rock’s newest CD: Shlock Rock No Limits available here.  It’s easier to download a CD than to make a cheesecake, and cheaper too! J

 Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:

 

Yom HaAutzmaut is April 19, 2010- For Ideas for teaching about Israel click here.

 

Lag B’Omer is May 2, 2010 – for Lag B’Omer ideas and more Shavuot ideas click here.

 

Project: It is traditional in Israel to wear white clothing and to wear a porayach (flower crown) on your head in honor of Shavuot. Have the children create flower crowns. This can be done by stringing together some flowers and leaves on a string or you can buy some Hawaiian leis from the dollar store and take them apart. The flowers already have a hole punched in them so the children can string them together on pipe cleaners (or on string using a child friendly needle). You can also cut up green paper leaves and use cut up drinking straws as filler in between the flowers. Yofee! 

 

Activity: This is a great time to learn the Alef Bet and do some activities using Hebrew letters.  Check out the Alef Bet rap here. Benny's Educational School Supplies sells foam letters that you could use in a sensory table or for a scavenger hunt. With older children, you can cut out the letters to spell Lag B’Omer or Shavuot in Hebrew and then scatter the letters outside. The children work in small groups to find the correct letters to spell the words and then get a treat as their reward.  (Suggestion: Try and cut each foam letter in the same color to easily identify which letters is missing (all lamed’s yellow, all gimmel’s green etc… It will help you to give clues when helping the kids who may need a little extra help to find their missing letters.)

 

Activity/Discussion: It is traditional to learn from Pirkei Avot (Ethics of our Sages) on Lag B’Omer and to learn Torah or the 10 Commandments for Shavuot. There is also a Midrash that says that Rabbi Akiva’s students were afflicted with a plague because they were not being respectful of each other. Rabbi Akiva said V’ahavta L’reacha camocha zeh k’lal gadol b’Torah – Love your neighbor as yourself is the greatest principal in the Torah. Here are a few Pirkei Avot related to respect:

 

Pirkei Avot 4:1 – Who is respected? One who respects and honors others.
Pirkei Avot 3:11 - One should never embarrass someone, it is not kind.

Pirkei Avot 4:3 – Despise no one for all are worthy of respect.

Pirkei Avot 4:19 – Don’t laugh if someone falls, help make him feel better.

 

Talk with the children about ways that they can be respectful of others. Can we treat people the way we like to be treated? (That comes directly from the Torah!) How does it feel when someone is not respectful? How can we show respect to our teachers or parents?

 

Project: Create a cooperative mural where everyone works together. Try and get the children to compliment each other’s work! This is a great time to create a school wide mural showing the receiving of the 10 Commandments on Mt. Sinai. One class does the background, one class does the mountain, and one class makes flowers to glue on the mountain. The Midrash says that all Jewish souls were there, on Mt. Sinai, so take digital camera pictures of each students face and have each student make a paper doll puppet of them selves with their digital camera photo to add to the mural.

Have the children make an individual project or picture and have the teacher give each project out to a different friend for peer complimentary review and write the children’s comments. This could make a nice book for your book shelf.

 

Books: About Respect - Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus and Mrs. Katz and Tush by Patricia Polacco, About Shavuot - Ten Good Rules, or Ten Good Rules; A Counting Book by Sue Remick Topek, The Story of Ruth by Maxine Rose Shur, A Dozen Daisies for Raizy by Rebecca Klempner.

 

 

Project/Activity: Have a school wide Food Drive to donate to a shelter or food bank. This way our students are bringing the “Bikkurim” to share with others. Decorate your shul for Shavuot using the foods donated. Place the food items into baskets and add some flowers and greenery your students created (or the flower crowns suggested above) after the Chag take them to the shelter or food bank.

 

Game/Math Activity: Create a 10 Commandments game and use little people or bottle caps as game pieces. Have the children roll a die to determine how many spaces to move.

 

 

 

 

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