After attending the grade 6&7 musical instrument symposium our Kindergarten class started asking if they could work with these students to create their own musical instruments. This provided us with a wonderful opportunity to build community in our school and work on a special project for our Kindergarten yard. Last week for the first time, the grade 6&7 students gathered to start working on a music wall. As they took turns rotating through centres and building together it worked to strengthen our community as the students got to know each other in a meaningful way.
Later in the week, all of the Mountview classes gathered together for the first time to rehearse the finale for our school concert. As they did so we started to look at how music can bring us together as a community over the holiday season and throughout the year. This led to student talk around holidays, traditions, ceremonies and memorials that they experienced throughout the year. During this study, we started to look at one holiday that some of our students celebrate in December. This celebration was Hanukkah.
Students listened to books to understand the tradition and celebrations surrounding Hanukkah. They learned that Hanukah is also referred to as The Festival of Lights. The students learned that more than 2,000 years ago, the Jewish people fought against an enemy who would not allow them to practice their religious traditions. Their enemy destroyed the Temple in Jerusalem, which contained many holy objects including a sacred lamp called the menorah. One small band of people, called the Maccabees fought their enemies and won. When they returned to the Temple in Jerusalem the first thing they did was restore the sacred lamp. But there was almost no oil left -- only enough for one day. The lamp was filled with this oil and lit. Instead of lasting only one day, it burned brighter, and brighter, lasting eight days. This was considered a miracle!
During our daily math routine, the students continued to study 2D & 3D shapes. At one centre they were given the opportunity to make menorahs and the Star of David using pattern blocks. After being introduced to a dreidel game, some students participated in the STEM challenge of building a spinning dreidel with connecting cubes. They then counted how many cubes they used.
As a sensory & math activity, the students looked at different symbols of Hanukkah and used hollow dreidels to explore capacity. After learning that Hanukkah lasts 8 nights they were able to use loose parts to build pretend candles and represent numbers from 1-8 on a tens frame.
Students also had the chance to examine a menorah. After they learned that a menorah has 9 candles they were able to examine a menorah and make one out of plates, paint and clothespins.