The Meaning of Passover Story through Songs and Traditions

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The Passover story is an opportunity to teach children about overcoming obstacles, people's right to freedom and the undeniable power of God. This theme is so rich with activities that in class we use all learning centers from dramatic play, songs and movement to construction toys, arts and crafts and of course the library center.

Big ideas, concepts and values:

1. The story of Passover teaches us about slavery and freedom and the right of all people to be free.

2. The Hagaddah is a way to pass the story from one generation to the next. We must always remember and see ourselves as if we left Egypt.

3. Seder Night - Everything has a certain order and there are specific foods on the seder table.

Essential Questions:

1. What is a slave? What is a free person? How does it feel to be a slave as oppose to free?

2. What are the symbols in Passover that remind us of the story?

3. What are the special foods we eat and why do we eat them?

In Class Activities:

From Slavery to Freedom... - As a way to introduce the topic of slavery and freedom I like to act out the feeling of being a slave and this is how I do it... without prior warning I enter the class dressed as a Pharoah (head covered and a long material on my body), I turn off the lights and tell the children in a stern voice that they are my slaves and are building my cities for me. I than ask them to join me on the floor, there heads are down and they have to pretend to be building using their hands. The key is to stay in the role and keep a serious face and a stern voice. While the activitiy is no longer than five minutes the discussion that follows is very revealing as to how the children felt when they were slaves...

The focus of this activity should be on the group discussion and allowing the children the opportunity to share their feelings, fears and thoughts.

... At the end of the unit we pretend to be crossing the red sea into freedom as a finishing up role play activity where now I am Moses the great leader as oppose to Pharoah the mean king.


Music Center - This is a great CD by Fran Avni and now you can also download it in an MP3 format.

Courtesy of Amazon.com



Library Center:

Painting the Story of Passover - Here are sample of the main points in the story of Passover as created by the children:

Slaves

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The Burning Bush

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Turning Wheel The Ten Plagues

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Pop Up Crossing of The Red Sea

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What Happened First in The Passover Story? A great math activity is to ask the children to organize the sequance of the story in order.

Creative Center - Turn the creative center into a bread free zone by cleaning out all the bread products and preparing for Passover.

Trip to the Matzah Factory - You can make our own Matzah in class or visit you local matzah factory to experience hands on the making of this flat bread.

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"A Teacher Affects Eternity"

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