Rosh Hashanah Works for the Classroom

Rosh Hashana is such an exciting time of year!  It can be challenging however,  to incorporate themed work into your classroom if you have many new students or you are starting a brand new class.  Some years, you will only be in the classroom a few days before Rosh Hashana recess.  Other years you will have several weeks to present lessons and themed works.  Over time, you will build a nice collection of handmade and purchased materials to supplement your holiday curriculum.  In the photos below, I will describe some of the works I have made or collected over the years and how you can use them in the opening weeks of school.  I’d love to hear about some of the works you have collected and created for your classroom!



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Matching Objects:  This is a language lesson that is best given as a group lesson when introducing objects the child might encounter during Rosh Hashanah.  In this basket I included honey, and honey dipper, pomegranate, fish, and small candle sticks.  As a group lesson you can discuss the special significance of these objects.  YOu can use this basket for the matching object lesson.  You can also play games with a small group of children, such as “Far, far away” in which one set of objects is placed on a rug across the room.  With the children seated around a rug with the other set, you can select one object and ask a child to go “far, far, away” and find the exact same object and bring it back.



Object/Picture Matching, Number Matching:  Even the youngest student can do this simple matching work.  Knowing numbers is not necessary, as it can be simply matching the one the “looks the same”.  Older children can include number names with their work.  To create this work, I simply traced one apple eraser 10 times, numbered them randomly, and glued the white paper to a red background which I laminated.  I wrote one number one each eraser and placed them in a small ceramic bowl.  On the shelf, the ceramic bowl sits on top of the number card in the tray.


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Picture/Picture Matching Cards: This is a very interesting visual work since many of the apple varieties are very similar, so the children will have to look very carefully to find the correct match.  It is also a wonderful language work because there are so many interesting variety names!  I found photos online and created these cards by including a red background and laminating them. All of my Rosh Hashanah works are backed in red when possible.



I made these custom apple crayons by melting old crayons into an apple candy mold I picked up at my local grocery store.  I placed them in a lovely apple shaped glass dish.  I placed them on the shelf next to small apple outlines for the children to color.



This is an apple themed counting game that I picked up a number of years ago.  It can be played as a game with two children, or it can be a simple fine motor work for one child who simply places the tiny apple pegs into the holes.


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Lacing:  I have collected two lacing works that I love to put out at this time of year.  Even the smallest hands can manipulate the lacing stick, but they might need help to prepare the work for the next person if they pulled the lace too tightly!



Practical Life Pouring:  This is a simple pouring work with apple themed ceramic cups and red acrylic gems.  It is a perfect themed pouring work that is appropriate for the beginning of the year.


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Practical Life Pinching: I made these small apples out of fimo clay.  They have held up fairly well, although a couple of them had to be replaced from broken leaves.  This is a good work even for small hands because of the shape of this pincher.  (I think it is a starwberry huller, so later in the year you could use this tool for hulling strawberries!)  The white tray is a paint palette I picked up at a local craft store.  The small acrylic cup fit perfectly in the middle of the tray.



Puzzle:  This is a simple wooden puzzle I picked up at the local Jewish bookstore.  By putting it in a red tray, the children can practice their tray carrying lesson and it increases the care they will take with this work.



Simple counting game:  I created this two person game as a simple counting game for the beginning of the year.  I placed apple stickers over the faces of the di and made dots up to only three.  I used two fimo apples (from above) as the game markers.  It is a great work to pair a younger child with and older child too!


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3-part Cards:  I created this language work for the simanim the children might find at their Rosh Hashanah seudah.  I wish I would have backed them in red!



This is a “how to draw” book.  Each page has one more part of the bee added until the child reaches the last page and has created the entire picture.  It is not meant for the youngest children, but second and third year children should be able to complete this.



Lacing apple:  I laminated and hole punched this large apple to be used for lacing.  I added a a red shoe string/lacing string in a small cup.



Art project:  This apple themed art project is set up on a table and stays out for several days for the children to complete independently.  It is fantastic for the start of the year since it does not rely on scissors.  Even the youngest children can complete this work after learning to use the glue stick!

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Practical Life Sorting:  This is one of the first sorting works using only the hand.


Practical Life Spooning:  The only thing I don’t like about this work is that the apples are very lightweight.  I would like to find apples that are heavier so the children can have more feedback in the hands.


Have a wonderful new school year!


-Morah Wymore

The reason for the seasons!

Today in homeschool land Mechel made a model of the earth on it’s axis and used a flashlight to simulate the sun.  It really made the solstice and equinox periods easy to understand!

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Meanwhile…Baila has started her study of the violin!  Today she practiced bowing with half of the bow on each string.  She came in and said, “I think this thing is not in tune today.”  I was somewhat skeptical since this was only her second time playing, but she was right!  We tuned it up and and she was able to continue practicing!

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All in all, a good afternoon!

Contour Maps

Today in homeschool land, we made a three-dimensional map of some hilly terrain.  Then we submerged it in water, gradually increasing the depth and marking the high water line.  We took it out and pressed some string into the lines to see it more clearly.  Then Mechel stood above it and drew a contour map.  It was a really great hands-on demo that made the concept of contour lines easily understood.  We will use this model for the next few lessons, adding features.


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I see the Moon!

Today in homeschool land we started to learn about the phases of the moon.  A couple of days ago we started a moon observation log, but then moonrise shifted way past bedtime!  Today we got out the sun, moon, earth model and turned off the lights to see the moon do its thing!  Then we borrowed the moon phase three part cards from my preschool class and got to work making a moon phase map. 

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I even found a moon phase song on-line to help us remember the names of the 8 phases.  I’ve had the tune stuck in my head for a few days now, but the rest of the gang was not impressed.  I’ll have to try it out on the preschool crowd to see if they like it!

Maps to scale

I checked out a really cool book about map activities from the library the other day, and it has inspired a whole homeschool unit!  So today in homeschool land we had a lesson about maps and their scale.  I made a grid using a very inexpensive, unpainted wooden picture frame I bought at the craft store.  I painted it and added number stickers and gold string at 2” intervals.  I sent the kids off to gather some objects that would fit under the frame and this is what we came up with:


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I gave the kids grid paper that had 1” boxes and we learned how to draw what we observe in one box at a time.  Baila said it reminded her of battleship!  Here she is working the grid:

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Goodbye Suffie

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A little Rube Goldberg

We were reading a Rube Goldberg-style comic and one thing led to another:

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A little mouse

Baila and Ben built a little mouse project.  It hugs the wall and will turn corners too!

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The BIG Paint!

The materials for our Jackson Pollock kickstarter project arrived in a huge truck today!!  The palette weighed over three hundred pounds.  Luckily the delivery man rolled it right into the garage!  I could hardly wait for the Baila to get home so we could test out the paints and the canvas. 

Baila was really excited to make a huge painting!  She was also really nervous about “messing it up”.  We talked alot about the process of making art and I tried to tell her that there really aren’t mistakes, just different paths that our art takes us on.  With all sincerity she asked, “but what if I think it is ugly?”  I asked her the same question back and she thought for a while and finally said, “I guess I would try to make it into something new.” 

We lined up some of the paint choices on a long table:


Baila got right to work:

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She kept saying, “Mommie, this is so awesome.  I love this.”

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Baila said, “Your students are going to LOVE this!”  I think she is right!!

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Her finished painting:


I can’t wait to hang it in her room!

More abstract art!

Today we completed our second to last project in our abstract expressionism unit!  We created paintings using enamel paint floating on water.  This technique creates an amazing marbleized pattern that had the kids gasping in delight!  Each child created a unique print and we were all thrilled to see the finished prints!


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YS selected his paints and used an old pencil to stir them together in different ways.  The finished print is amazing!


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AL was very thoughtful as she carefully stirred the paint.  We were all silent as we watched the paint flow around the pan!



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