Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Sand, Stars, and Senses

This week's parsha, Lech Lecha, includes Hashem's promises to make Avraham's descends like the stars and like the sand. 
We are exploring these two elements in connection with our 5 senses (a topic of emergent interest in the class).
During free play, students enjoyed digging through sand and finding stars inside. 
Sometimes they used their sense of sight.

 Sometimes they used their sense of touch.
 They always had fun.

We had a discussion about using our senses to observe the stars and sand.
"I can see the stars, but we can't touch them," Yitzy pointed out.
"Because they are in space," Elisha added.
"True. But even if stars were close, we still wouldn't touch them because they are made of fire," I share.
"Like the sun!" Yochanan added. 
"It would be too hot to touch them then. I touched a pot that was hot and burned my hand and it wasn't even fire and it hurt," Chana shared. 

We moved on to sand by passing around sandpaper and noting how it felt.
"It feels sticky," Lainey observed.
"I think it is smooth," Moshe Yehuda remarked.
"It is bumpy," Ariela noted.
They debated their observations of touch. 
 Next we tried our other sense with a cup of sand. We tried smelling it, but no one could detect much scent. 
We enjoyed listening to the sound of it shaking in the cup. 
Although some students expressed interest in tasting the sand, I suggested we taste out sandwiches later at lunch instead. 

We also tried to estimate how many grains of sand there were in the cup, in connect with Hashem's promise. Guesses ranged from 3 to a million. 

Since we couldn't be sure of that number, students each had a plate of sand where they could practice writing numbers. 

 Or shapes
 Or letters.
 Or focus on the wonderful sensory experience. 

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