Parashat Noach provides countless wonderful learning opportunities.
While the story of Noah unfolded before the children, Michali was eager to tell her classmates about her Sunday swimming lessons. This led to a discussion about everyone's water adventures.
Judah told a scary story of falling in the pool and "almost drowning." Everyone listened and asked lots of questions.
"I throw toys in the pool and they drown and people get them back," Yitzy shared.
"Who drowns?" I asked.
"The toys," Yitzy explained. We needed a new vocabulary word.
"When something falls to the bottom of water, what is it called?" I queried the class.
"Fall down," Laney suggested.
"Drown," many kids responded together.
"Somethings stay on the top of the water. This is called floating." I began. The students seemed to know this and eagerly shared their progress in swimming lessons.
"But when things, like bath toys, fall to the bottom of water, it isn't called drowning." The students looked confused. "Things that fall to the bottom of the bath sink." The students looked much more confused and I realized how thoroughly absurd the English can be. "It is the same sound as the word 'sink' you wash your hands in, but it means something different..."
Then is was time to test it out. We sensory table was full of water. I filled a tray with miscellaneous items from around the room.
Each child chose an item and hypothesized (I was going to focus on this vocab word, but 'sink' is a more important word.) if it would float or sink.
I was impressed that when I asked when the item was made from, almost every child was able to identify it wood, glass, and plastic with ease.
It was a really fun experiment!
Some things float and some sink. Noah and his family were safely floating on the tevah (ark).