Friday, 16 January 2015

Plagues of Fun: Vaera

In Parashat Vaera we learn about seven of the ten plagues. I like to teach them as thoroughly as possible now, so when we learn about Pesach in a few months (I don't want to think about how soon that is going to be!) this part of the lesson is review.

Everyone makes frogs, and there are countless cute methods, by my plan was to try something else. We went for boils and hail!

Big Boils!
We mixed up a batch of red puff paint glue.

elmers glue
shaving cream
tempera paint

Pour a tablespoon of glue into a medium sized bowl. Add an equal amount of paint. Then add about half a cup of shaving cream. Stir really well. It looks like a dessert item and paints like a dream. When dry, the paint has a raised, puffy texture, sort of like a real boil!


Using Q-tips, we applied boils to a picture of Pharoh.

The children loved doing the project and kept saying, "Sorry Paroh!  Does that hurt? Maybe you should let Bnei Yisrael go free! Sorry Paroh!"

Tada! The students loved this painting experience so much they did it to a few other papers too.

Bouncy Ball Barad!
You can make your own bouncy balls. They do not work as well as store bought ones, but they are equally cool. 'Barad' is hail. Big balls of ice (or in this case, rubbery material) which fall from the sky. During the plagues the ice had fire within it as well, so we made red and white bouncy balls.


 Each child had a cup with warm water and a tablespoon of borax (the safety concerns of Borax were addressed) and they stirred it with a popsicle stick.  While they stirred, I mixed one part corn starch to two parts elmers glue. They I added about a tablespoon of my mixture to each kids cup. They stirred and counted to ten and pulled out a stringy glob and rolled it into a ball. Meanwhile I added red and orange paint to the remaining glue compound (for the fire part of the hail). This was added to everyone's remaining borax water. Then the two globs were to be joined in one ball.                                                                      
When I tried it at home the students immediately began bouncing the balls around the room and throwing them onto the Pharoh doll. Everyone had a blast. When I did it at home, Tova spent a lot of time yelling, "Ball ball!" while her big sisters experimented about where the ball best bounces.

 The balls do go a bit flat if left out. They can easily be reshaped. Keeping them in the fridge minimizes this problem.

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