Our Rosh Hashanah discovery table intrigued the children. They enjoyed manipulating many items including apples, honey and shofarot.
The children remembered tasting the apple last week and choosing their favorite and placing their vote on the graph. We continued our tasting of apples this week, including with it the addition of the holiday favorite honey . The yeladim loved dipping the apples, AND also feeling the honey with their fingers. “It’s so sticky!”, they said. We asked the children some thought provoking questions in order to find out why honey is eaten on Rosh Hashanah. We asked, “What does honey taste like? Is it sweet or salty?”
They were thinking.
“Sweet!” They yelled.
So we explained that when we Daven in shul on Rosh Hashanah, we want a year of good things, “sweet” things.
We took a look at a pomegranate. We noticed the skin is red with black dots and has a crown on top. It looks different than the apples. We cut it open and boy did it look different than the apples! All those seeds!!! Red juicy seeds! And that is what we ate! Some of us like the juicy crunchy feel and some of us didn’t. It was fun to watch each others faces as we tasted them.
The children at the in the Sunflower Class are focusing on many aspects of Rosh Hashanah. As they looked at the Provocations Table, they noticed the many symbols and ritual objects. During a classroom dialogue we spoke about facts and customs. One topic that emerged as a great interest was the concept of the cycle of the year. The teachers likened it to a circle, that the year doesn’t have a finite end, but ends and begins again right away. It was compared to items in the shape of a circle. The children noticed items for the Rosh Hashanah table that are circular in shape such as the round challah bread and apples. They then were excited to notice some circles in their play area and decided to become detectives and search out other items in their room that are circular. They brought the circular items they found together to the carpet to compare what they found. As a Reggio Emilia inspired preschool it was exciting to see the children take the lead with their interest, meshing our Jewish culture with mathematical concepts in such a practical way.
On Wednesday we talked about Tashlich. On the afternoon of the first day of Rosh Hashanah, it is a custom to go to a body of water. The yeladim yelled, “a pool!” We explained that it should be water that flows like a pond or a lake, or even an ocean! We Daven to Hashem and pretend to empty our pockets and “throw” all the “not so nice things” that we did over the past year.
So, we made our very own Tashlich pond in our classroom! The yeladim dipped their feet into blue paint and stepped all over the white butcher paper. We will add blue cellophane and even fish on Friday! We had so much fun and can’t wait to do this special mitzva with our families on Rosh Hashanah!
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Morah Lilli and Morah Yafit