Wednesday, 6 November 2013

Sooner or Ladder- Vayetzei

There have been numerous requests for me to post the week's activity before I do it, so that parents and educators can do it as well. Here is the plan, and later in the week I will add photos of our experience.

Parashat Vayetzei begins with Yaakov on the run from Essav. He stops for a rest and has the most glorious dream, of a ladder to the heavens, with angels moving up and down in. I love this moment!I find everything relating to Jacob's ladder enthralling.

[Side note: Jacob's ladder is like Noah's ark, an object intrinsically tied to a Torah figure. Does everyone have one? Is it universal? 
The next time the girls and I are walking I plan to play 'Torah Word Association'. 
"I'll name a person. You name the first object you think of." 
I wonder if Moshe will be in a basket, have a stick, be holding the tablets, etc.  Answers reveal a lot about the child, or where the education has been focused. If we are going for a long walk round two could be a middah (trait) of the person, or color, or anything.]
My first plan of the week was to make the classic wooden toy, Jacob's ladder. But I decided it was too time consuming for the results. If you want to try here are some instructions. Or if you are super cool you can make one out of chocolate bars like this. I would love to do both, but this is not a good week for children with chocolate or hammers.

Therefore I went to buy a ready-made Jacob's ladder for decoupaging with pictures of angels. After wasting a huge amount of time, energy, and brain cells, it was concluded that Toysrus does not sell them (and most of the staff did not know what they are). Next year I will be prepared and buy them from Oriental Trading. I got one off Amazon, which should arrive Thursday. Not much time to get it done, so I might save it for next year.
That leads us to string Jacob's Ladders. I will use silver ribbon (sort of dream-like) and try this. The girls have never learned string games and this should be an interesting motor skill/coordination activity. I'm not sure what we will use for the angels.

A few years ago the supermarket had ladders for birdcages for 5 cents each. I bought one for each of my students and they made a clothespin angel to move up and down the ladder.

Have fun!

We started today with a mini puppet show of Yaakov going to sleep. 
We talked about the rock pillow. 
Using white silly putty I formed rocks. Gabi counted how many were made and Cohava had to calculate how many more were needed.
Then the rocks magically fused into one large rock/pillow for Yaakov (Guy Smiley).
"And then he started to dream about..."
"A ladder!" Cohava yelled.
"We are making angels for our project," Gabi yelled louder.
They were underwhelmed when I pulled out a silver string but once I showed them how to make Jacob's ladder they were pretty excited.

It is good I have started early this week because it is harder for them than I thought. They are currently up to step two. Hopefully by Shabbat they can show off their new skill.

As I continued teaching the narrative, the girls were eager to share their memories of Yaakov's movement of the huge well cover, unintentional marriage to Leah, and the births of the boys who would become the tribes. 

The part which was new and most intriguing for them, was Yaakov's manipulation of the Lavan's cattle  to get the spotted and speckled of the flock.  Gabi decided everyone must dress as one of these so they could be part of Yaakov's herd and not get stuck at Lavan's house. 

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