Can you name all of the Ten Utterances [commandments] in order? I am not a big believer in rote memorization but this is one everyone should know since they are the direct words of Hashem to us. It isn't like naming the presidents or capitals, or even the seven dwarfs. But memorization is only going to happen if it is fun.
I started by teaching the kids the 'calling counting game'. Sitting in a circle, the group must count to ten out loud. But only one person can say each number. If two people call out 'three', you have to return to one. Understand?
Once the children got the hang of the game, we swapped out the numbers for the Utterances. We shortened them, to make the game faster.
1) One Hashem 2)No others 3) His Name 4) Shabbat 5) Mother & Father 6) Murder 7) Marriage (the boys group said adultery but thankfully there was no discussion of the meaning or implication of either) 8) No Stealing 9) No Lying 10) No Jealousy
The boys group got the hang of it pretty quickly. The girls struggled because everyone wanted to call out all the answers. But everyone had fun and most kids learned the order. The content of what each really means and all of the commentary on it was well beyond the scope of this lesson. They have plenty of time to learn all the details, but now they know the Ten in order.
Sleepy, Grumpy, Dopey, Happy, Sneezy, Bashful & Doc
Then onto Shema. I think most of the children have a solid knowledge of the words of Shema and their significance. But I was uncertain how many knew the words are from this week's Parasha.
"Oh, is that the only part of davening that comes from the Torah?" one girl asked after I explained the origin.
But everyone knew that the words of Shema are in the mezuzah. So we made mezuza cases.
Because this was science week at camp, the cases were made out of test tubes.With lots of glitter and glue and stickers, and stuff.
"Hey, where are klafs? I need to fill mine," one camper asked. Sorry, that is the parents' responsibility.