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newsletter6

March 2009, Adar 5769 [email protected]
Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock

Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 6. 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

“When we begin the month of Adar, our joy (simcha) increases.” (From the Gemara: Ta’anit 29a). This month we will talk about the Mitzvot related to the holiday Purim. There are 4 Mitzvot: 1) listening to the Megillah (also known as the Book of Esther), 2) participating in a Purim Festive meal, 3) Mishloach Manot, or Shalach Manos: Sending gifts of different foods to our friends, such as candy, fruits, nuts, hamantashen (the baskets traditionally contain at least 2 different foods that you would make different brachot on) – we like to call them MiSHLOCK Manot , ad 4) Matanot L’Evyonim (Sending gifts to the poor –Tzedakah). To learn about the story of Purim click here. Spread the JOY!!

Recommended SHLOCK ROCK songs: “Purim Medley” from Shlock Rock for Kids – Party Time!, “Purim” and “Mishenichnas” on Shlock Rock for Kids – Sing Together, “Megillat Esther” on Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3, “Bang the Grager” on Shlock Rock for kids Volume 1, or “Achashverosh” from the CD’s Purim Torah or Shlock Rock 10 - GH1, “Hamantaschen” from the CD Sgt. Shlocker’s Magical History Tour. To hear the songs click here (kids’ CDs) or here (click on the CD, and then the song you want to hear. You can download a song to your computer or IPod for about the same price as a chocolate bar for your MiShloach Manot bag! )

Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:

Movement Activity: It’s Adar! Listen to one of the Shlock Rock songs listed above and dance with scarves. Did your joy increase?? I recommend “Ahashverosh” from GH1 or “Hamantaschen” from Sgt. Shlocker’s Magical History Tour, they are so much fun for kids AND adults!!

Dramatic Play: Purim is a great time to take out all the dress up clothes and party! Turn your whole classroom into a palace using scarves, sheets, feather boas, etc… Create thrones for King Ahashverosh and Queen Esther using a box that you cut and paint and decorate, or a regular chair covered with fabric and decorated with jewelry etc… Use your imagination! Act out the story of Purim – a King, a Queen and a bad guy – what more could you ask for?! Instead of a line leader, have a King/Queen for the day.

Cooking/fine motor activity: Bake Hamantaschen (or Oznai Haman as they are called in Israel – Haman’s ears!) with your children. Here is an easy pareve recipe. My favorite filling is chocolate chips! You can also make an easy no-bake version using white bread (with the crusts removed) then cut into a circle. Put a blob of jelly or marshmallow “Fluff” and chocolate chips in the middle and pinch the ends closed to make a triangle shape. Make a bracha and mmmm, take a bite!

You can also practice making hamantaschen using play-doh. I am sharing the joy with you by giving you my secret recipe for chocolate play-doh, if you make a million dollars from it, please share it with me! This play-doh makes your whole room smell yum! Make sure the kids don’t eat it!

Chocolate Play-doh

3 cups of flour
1 cup cocoa
2 cups salt
4 cups water
8 T oil
4 tsp cream of tartar
1 tsp vanilla extract

Combine all ingredients in a pot and cook on medium (stirring constantly) until thickened. Cool and store in a zip lock bag.

Projects: Make MiShloach Manot bags to distribute to area nursing homes or group homes. You can make a container using a paper plate decorated and folded into a triangle shape or weave ribbons through those green strawberry baskets. Check out www.Torah4kids.com and click on Green Chagim for more ideas for Purim using recycled materials! Remember the mitzvah of Bal Tashchit we learned about last month!

Make a grogger (noise maker to drown out Haman’s name) using a non perishable box of food (like macaroni and cheese, rice or couscous) and decorate the outside of the box. After Purim, donate the box to a food bank! Fun and Tzedakah rolled into one!

Israel Connection: In Israel, Purim is bigger than Halloween is here! Most everyone dresses in costume, the mailman, the teachers, the bus driver, even the people at the supermarket! Large inflatable hammers are sold and people walk around bopping each other on the head (not that we recommend this in our schools!). There are parades, festivals and public performances and lots of “L’Chayims” all around! Unlike Halloween in the US, Israelis give treats to friends instead of sending kids around asking for treats. What a beautiful tradition! Check out these pictures taken in Israel on Purim. I love the last one with the garbage collector in costume!

Connecting Families: In November we suggested Share-A-Shabbat. This month, maybe you can have a Share-A-Seudah! Invite some friends over for a festive Purim meal (Seudah) or have a school event on Purim day (Tuesday, March 10 – Monday, March 9th is the Fast of Esther). It’s fun and a mitzvah in one! Share the joy!

Math: Play lotto games or patterning games using pictures of: Hamantaschen, crown, grogger, scepter, MiShaloach Manot, etc… Print them on card stock and laminate for durability.