Thursday, November 08, 2007

Activity Friday Plans: Focus on Israel

Tomorrow is the windup day for our study of Israel. The weather this week is about as far from Israel's climate as you can get--snowing but melting, dark and dreary. So it's a good day for some fun.

Since I haven't gotten to the library this week, I'm using our own resources to put some activities together. The main book I'm drawing on is Chaya Burstein's A Kid's Catalog of Israel (an old edition). I'm planning on photocopying several of the pages and putting together a booklet for each girl.

This is our plan for the day:

Before opening: find as many toy animals (or pictures of animals) as you can that are named in the Bible, and arrange them on the dining room table (explanation later)

Opening time: Jewish-themed choruses, read a Psalm, and pray for Israel (Explore the Holy Land).

Mix yeast dough for Schnecken (cinnamon rolls), from A Kid's Catalog, and leave to rise for an hour.

Table work: finish the maps we've been making and do some of the printout pages: a bit of copywork, a page explaining how to calculate what Hebrew year you were born in, and a pair of paper dolls with their clothes (from A Kid's Catalog)

Snack: Land of Milk and Honey Blender Buzz (smoothie made from milk, honey and bananas); bagel slices, and clementines ("baby oranges")

Roll out the Schnecken dough and slice into rounds; leave to rise again

Games and music: "Relay race" with oranges (since there are only three of us here, we can't do relay races with teams, so we just see how fast we can go). Folk songs (Zum Gali, Hevenu Shalom Aleichem). Oh--I just remembered something else! We have an old video of Sharon, Lois and Bram singing Tzena Tzena, as well as a Really Simple Dance Lesson in the Kid's Catalog. That would be really fun to dance around to, even for capital-K Klutzes (Mama Squirrel) who can't remember which way to put their feet. (If you want to see The Weavers singing Tzena Tzena way back when, YouTube has a video.)

Put the rolls in to bake

Short folk tale; read about a few unusual places you could visit in Israel, including the Biblical Zoo in Jerusalem

Make Star of David paper chains (Kid's Catalog) (you don't glue these--the cutout stars link together) (If we don't have time for this before lunch, we'll do it after lunch)

Lunch Break: eat Schnecken and whatever else we're having. Go visit the Biblical Zoo in the dining room.

Afternoon activities: Undecided yet; could include crafts we're already working on, or oven-bake clay. If the weather got really co-operative, we could go to Ten Thousand Villages and look for things made in Israel; but that might have to wait a bit.

(Sebastian asked how our day went: see the Comments section for our favourite things and directions for making a paper chain.)


Sebastian said...

I hope you'll come back and tell us how the day went.

Mama Squirrel said...

Hi Sebastian (and thanks for the link on the WTM board--I'm honoured),

We had a good time yesterday even though the weather stayed nasty and the younger Squirrelings are fighting colds. I think the most fun was the orange-under-your-chin race up the hall and through the living room--best record was 8 seconds, held by Ponytails (I think). The Apprentice came home from high school and couldn't believe that anybody could run that fast, especially with an orange under her chin; so she tried it herself and came pretty close (or maybe she broke the record, I'm not sure). We won't tell her classmates, though.

The cinnamon rolls turned out good too--definitely something we should make more often. We're not into the really really gooey version--these were just sweet-roll dough with some sugar and cinnamon in the middle. But nice and soft and cinnamony--and GONE.

Dancing to "Tzena Tzena" was also a good way to work off some energy.

And we had fun winding down in the afternoon cutting paper up to make star-of-David paper chains. I can't find anything about this online, and I can't draw a pattern, but I'll try to describe this: you take a rectangle of paper (like a half or quarter-size sheet), fold it in half and fold it in half again like a greeting card. Cut it in half diagonally (northwest to southeast), discard what's in your right hand (if you cut right-handed), and keep the part that's in your left hand.

Got it so far?

Cut a triangle-shaped piece out of the folded side, as if you were cutting paper snowflakes. Don't make it too big, don't get too close to the corners. You should end up with a folded piece of paper that looks like a number 7.

Unfold it and it looks like a bowtie with two triangles cut out of it.

Cut more pieces just the same, and link them together by pushing the end of one through the hole of another one. When you have a whole string of them, hang them up; they should look like a line of stars of David.

Did we learn a lot about Israel? I think we barely scratched the surface, but at least it was a start. And now on to Egypt. :-)

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