For perashat Pekudei, we made a 'replica' of the Mishkan.
I explained how the frame was wood covered in gold, but that since we didn't have spare gold at TDS, we would be covering wood with silver. Small people inevitably confuse these two colors anyway.
With aluminum foil, the students began the task of covering our blocks. This builds skills in logistics, coordination and fine motor development. And of course it is super fun!
When we had a large pile of shinny blocks, construction began. There were pictures of the Mishkan around the room if they wanted a guide, but I only provided one directive: "The Mishkan can only be built if everyone works together."
Working all together was challenging at first. Everyone wanted to build their own Mishkan or to work only with a select group. Several separate construction sites began.
"We don't have enough blocks," they began to complain. "That is because you need to work together. If you work together and make one Mishkan, there will be enough."
Slowly they began to work together.
And a beautiful structure took form.
More valuable than learning about the form of the Mishkan, was the lesson that great things can only be created if everyone works together.