In our research about Native Americans we noted that they used the things they found in their environment for all their needs. Through looking at pictures of Native Americans we noticed that they used the skins of animals for very many things including blankets, clothing and even to build their homes. We brought into our classroom different fabrics with patterns of the different animals. During circle time the yeladim were able to examine, feel and compare the different textures and skin patterns that different animals have.

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We continued our discussion of how the Native Americans dyed their clothes. Earlier in the week we took the corn kernels and separated them into different bags. We added a different color of food coloring to each bag and mixed the color and the kernels together. We let them sit for a few days and waited to see what would happen. At the end of the week we took out our kernels to look at. Our corn kernels that we dyed with food coloring looked so different than what they looked like before we added the food coloring!

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Our exploration about using color to dye things was not over. We really wanted to feel what it was like to live at the time of the Native Americans and Pilgrims. Morah Rachelle explained that since there were no stores to buy certain items, the Native Americans had to use what they had; very often it was different plants, vegetables and fruits. The Native Americans honored the land by using as much as they could of what would grow. So we thought about the colors we knew and brainstormed together what foods we knew of that could be used to dye fabric to our favorite colors. (Some children said blueberries could be used for blue and green berries for green!) We opened up a tea bag to see what color the tea leaves looked like and realized that if they wanted to dye their clothes brown, they might have used tea leaves. We looked at a beet, and thought that if they wanted to dye their clothes red, they might have used a beet!

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Our second chance to dye something came as an opportunity to dye a white t- shirt that we would actually wear to our own feast. We had two bins filled with very warm, colored water and everyone had the chance to dip their t- shirts into the red and brown dye. We can’t wait to finish decorating them and to wear them to our feast!!

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Different foods were brought into the class to show the yeladim what the Native Americans planted, grew and ate at that time. Butternut squash, acorn squash and pumpkin were some of our examples. The yeladim were able to touch and inspect them, and they realized that the pumpkin was very heavy! But we really wanted to see what was inside. We cut open the butternut squash first and looked at the seeds. We passed it around so the children were able to observe what it looked like on the inside. Then we opened up the acorn squash. The yeladim decided that it was called an acorn squash because it was the shape of an acorn! We compared the two different types of squash. The acorn squash seeds were a little smaller than the seeds form the butternut squash. We talked about comparing things; looking at the seeds and deciding what is different about them and what is the same. Then we opened up the pumpkin. Those seeds were so big! We decided to roast all these vegetables and had the opportunity to eat them in class just like the Native Americans did. We can’t wait to taste more interesting foods next week!!

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Our Parshat Lech Lecha discussion brought us back to Avram and Sarai  Since Avram and Sarai had such a long trip down to Eretz Canaan, we decided to talk about modes of transportation. How do we get from one place to another? In the Parsha they traveled on camels and donkeys and used those animals to pull wagons. Now we have so many different ways of getting around. Here is what the yeladim answered when asked about, “How do we get from one place to another?”

Effie. “Motorcycle.”
Noam. “Stroller.”
Tal “Car.”
Eli “Walk.”
Anna “Airplane.”

Most of these answers have wheels like the wagons in the Parsha, so we painted with wheels! Yes, we took some wheels we have from building toys and really enjoyed rolling them in paint and then on our paper. They made cool patterns. We talked about traffic lights and the colors of them; red, yellow and green. What does each color mean? Red means stop. Green means go. Yellow means slow down. So we painted using these colors with the wheels, all different kind of wheels and cars.

Since we had spoken about the special Tefillat Haderech bracha, the special prayer we say asking Hashem to protect us on a long trip, we decided we should make one to keep handy in our car. Please hang it somewhere easy to find. Watch out! We are ready to drive!!

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Shabbat Shalom!

Morah Lilli and Morah Yafit