Tu B’Shevat was an outstanding opportunity to expand the children’s receptive and expressive Ivrit vocabulary, especially because such a wealth of material was available on Israeli websites. The students began with research on Internet about trees in Israel, learning about what each variety needs in order to thrive. They learned about the differences between Astei Noy and Astei Pri. A PowerPoint story “HaOren HaBodid” (The Lonely Pine Tree) sparked discussions and a question and answer session to assess comprehension. With this good vocabulary base upon which to build, each student researched information about a specific type of tree, then wrote and shared orally a short story or poem about it.
Speaking of sharing, 5th grade girls were so proud of the puppet shows they created that they have taken them “on the road” to all of the younger classes. They researched Aggadot (Legends) as a class, then broke into groups. Each group selected an Aggadah story and retold it as an original puppet show. Their Ivrit keyboarding skills are steadily improving along with their increased conversational prowess.