Friday, April 22, 2011

Creative friday!

This week we talked about Passover. No, we are not Jewish but I love the plagues story and I love the sedar foods. My favorite memory of school is from learning about Passover in Kindergarten with Mr. Eisenberg. I went to an NYC public school so our learning about Passover took a little bit of a secular stance; we took a field trip and made butter! We walked over to the local Key Food- M. Eisenberg told us to pretend we were wandering the desert complete with imagining we were on camels. We bought Matzoh and supplies to make butter, the checkout lady gave us all lollypops. When we got back to school we made butter in a tin can by shaking some cream with a marble. Mr. Eisenberg told us about the work of the Israelites in Egypt while our little arms shook that cream into butter....I remember all of this so vividly, I remember how seamlessly the learning and the play came together and I often think that Mrs Eisenberg is the reason I went into Museum (or site based) Education...

So anyway this week over lunch one day we had a mini comparative religion lesson. We went to church last weekend for Palm Sunday so Joe has been talking about that all week, so I wanted to talk about the other half of the Easter story. That of Passover.

First we made charoset. We made it with from our dried apples that we first soaked in the liquid from our preserved concord grapes (Joe remarked that the apples were like "those pills that turn into dinosaurs when you put them in water"). Then we added some chopped up almonds (we don't like walnuts!) and Cinnamon, it came out pretty tasty! When I asked the boys what it looked like Jude said "yum eat" (what do yo want from a not quite 2 non talker?) and Joe said "it looks like that square rock I smashed by the car" The square rock in question was a red brick so I guess I succeeded in the Charoset making! We ate the charoset with Matzoh ("It's just like a cracker!") and both boys tried some horseradish- Jude loved it and Joe said it was too not sweet on his tongue. We also mixed up some salty water to taste. Joe said this tasted like when he licks his tears of his cheeks when he is crying....

I don't own a Passover storybook, nor do we own a ten plagues kit for kids. So I did the best I could with a book of bible stories that Joe's godmother gave him and the Internet. The weather was kind of cloudy and gross this week so the plagues were a good indoor activity. It was fun to pretend our middle room was the desert, and Joe got really into the acting out the plagues. For those who don't know the plagues are: blood, frogs, lice, wild animals, pestilence, boils, hail,locusts, darkness, and the killing of the first borns. We first wandered around the middle room with our lunch tied up in the picnic blanket. When we found a "nice spot" we began to encounter the plagues....First our water turned to blood (I put some red food coloring in the bottom of the boys' cups so when I poured the water from the jug it turned red), then the frogs jumped all over our blanket (I had some jumping frog toys from the dollar store, and had the boys pretend they were frogs), then our heads got really itchy with pretend lice. Then the wild animals came to the picnic (Jude set up all the plastic animals around the blanket and Joe made various menacing animal sounds), then the animals were all struck dead (they knocked them all over one by one; which made Joe ask "If god made all the animals why did he go and make them all dead the next day?"), we had a hailstorm in the house (we threw cotton balls at each other), we had locusts eat some of our picnic (we jumped around and nibbled up some matzoh), we wandered away from our picnic in darkness (a little game of blind man's bluff). The final plague was troublesome so I just decided that we left Egypt and got to eat....

Joe has been playing some version of what he calls "Plague Picnic" ever since. He had already dug a hole in the yard that he calls the Egypt hole so now he jumps into Egypt and gets plagued, then jumps out and yells "we're saved! lets have crackers!" I think some parts of the story sunk in more then others, but I also think it is something that will stay with them, and maybe when they learn about Passover for real (or as real as you get in CCD) they will already have a base of knowledge (as shaky as that base is)....






4 comments:

Gwynne Watkins said...

I am crazy impressed with this activity.

regina said...

thanks g! it sounds longer then it took really. joe gets really into pretend play so he was super into it which helped!

Liz said...

I'm also impressed! I can barely figure out how to create traditions related to my own heritage, never mind a different one...

Mary said...

Your plague-related activities sound truly awesome. Seriously. Way cool!

I still have the ten plagues kit you sent me for my birthday a few years ago -- I find it amongst my Easter trim every spring and bask in its glory.