This week, we continued our conversation about Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. after revisiting the books about him as a child and as an adult fighting for change.
The children watched Dr. King’s 1963 “I Have a Dream” speech at the Freedom March in Washington. They were mesmerized by his words, especially about his dreams for children: “I have a dream that my four little children will one day live in a nation where they will not be judged by the color of their skin, but by the content of their character,” “One day, little black boys and little black girls will be able to join hands with little white boys and white girls as sisters and brothers. I have a dream today!” (the speech can be found at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vP4iY1TtS3s).
In their Martin Luther King Jr. journal pages, the children shared the feelings that resonated with them from our class dedication to MLK. Here are a few examples of their words:
“I drew 3 Martin Luther Kings so that I can choose which one looks better. We were talking about MLK and how if the skin color can be different, we can be friends. It wasn’t fair that everyone couldn’t use the same water fountain. Now, it’s fair because MLK had a dream to be fair.”
“This is Martin Luther King Jr.; he was trying to get on a train; The train was only for brown people, but it drove off before he could get on it. I drew the flag of MLK Jr. He wanted for white people and brown people to be together. He had a dream to be famous.”
We discovered that the shkaydiah (almond tree) is a traditional Israeli symbol for Tu B’Shevat and that Israeli children plant trees every year in honor of the holiday. The children then made individual shkaydiot and enjoyed the creative process of tearing and gluing different types of paper to build their trunks, branches, leaves and flowers, without the use of scissors. Their beautiful trees can be seen on the wall of our classroom.
We read the book, Yaldah Achat oo'Mitriyah Achat, by Datia Ben Dor, about a girl with an umbrella who meets her friends along the path and invites them, one by one, to join her under her umbrella to stay dry. The video and song for the book can be found at
In P.E. with Coach Danny, the children played Silent Ball. They worked hard to follow the rules of the game: 1. Be silent 2. Roll/throw a good pass 3. You have to catch it if it’s a good throw, and 4. You can’t throw back to friend who passed to you. This was a ‘getting out’ game, where the children were required to watch the ball and not watch the friend catching or throwing the ball.
During S’Torah Time with Rabbi Josh, he talked about the Tu B’Shevat holiday and our responsibility to take care of nature, trees and all growing things. Rabbi Josh told the story of Honi, Sarah and Carob Tree. Honi came upon Sarah as she planted a carob tree. She told him that though it takes 70 years to bear fruit, it was important to plant for her children and grandchildren so they could eat from the tree. Honi laughed at the thought. He then fell asleep under a tree and woke 70 years later, meeting Sarah’s granddaughter as she was picking fruit and finally understanding the mitzvah and importance of caring and planting for future generations.
Music with Ditza was animated! The children sang songs for Tu B’Shevat and the winter weather. They danced and marched with shovels, trowels, rakes and a watering can, and props for rainy weather. The links for a few of the songs can be found below:
- Shir Hageshem (The Rain Song) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=H8uFKniQDr4
- Ba’Gina (In the Garden) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=I0JYdDXqmDY
- Chag La’Gan (A Holiday for the Nursery) https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IErHuCvUZUE
Thank you to Lacey and her family for helping us usher in Shabbat.
- School will be closed on Monday, January 21st, in honor of Martin Luther King Day.
- The Tu B’Shevat Seder for the Pre-K children will be celebrated on Tuesday, January 22nd.
- Lacey’s special library day is Wednesday, January 23rd.
Shabbat Shalom and have a wonderful weekend,
Shoshi and Meirav