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Into the Wilderness and Up The Mountain – A Shavuot lesson and project for ages 2-5

Wednesday, May 1st, 2013 3:50 pm by shirlala

A little messy, a lot of fun.  A hands-on Shavuot art project and lesson for ages 2-5.

* This holiday is sponsored by the numbers 7 and 10*

Teacher Review
Exodus 19:14 -17 Moses climbs up the mountain, the people prepare, the mountain shakes with excitement
Exodus 20: 2-18  Ten Commandments

For the art project
Supplies:  sturdy paper, glue, glue bowls and brushes, fine sand, tissue paper cut into squares

Begin with a quick reminder of our path out of Egypt, across the Sea of Reeds. And here we are now in the desert wilderness surrounded by…  sand! Where are we going? How will we get there? What does it feel like to have the sand under our feet and the sun over our head?


Paint the bottom of the paper with a light brush of glue, start sprinkling sand onto it to be the desert ground.

Open a Jewish calendar and count together (in Hebrew!) from the days of Passover to the holiday of Shavuot, 1(echad)  2(shtayim)  3(shalosh) 4(arba)  5(chamesh)  6(shesh)  7(sheva)  and again 1 2 3 4 5 6 7 etc. 7 times over until you reach Shavuot. 

That’s how long our great great great great…great grandparents walked on the sand in the desert.
Sprinkle some more sand. Until… we reached Mt. Sinai.  

Paint more glue into the shape of a mountain and sprinkled the sand in the shape of the mountain.

Moses climbs up the mountain.
Re-enact Moses’s climb up Mt. Sinai.   Re-enact the shaking and thunder and lightning excitement of the dramatic moment when we received the gift of Torah.

Discuss how it feels to receive presents and how this is the biggest gift of all.

Tell a story: Midrash tells us that at the very moment of receiving Torah, all of Mt. Sinai spontaneously bloomed into a rainbow of colorful blossoms! 

Using the dip and stick technique, scrunch up colorful pieces of tissue paper to make  “flowers”, dip them in a bowl of glue and paste onto the mountain to make bursts of color all over the page.

The Ten Commandments
What’s in the Torah?  What did Moses and the people receive that day? All kinds of stories that teach us how to be the best we can be and lay out the rules for a good life.  Discuss the rules your students have that make them feel safe and secure in the home, at school and with their friends.  Also, the rules that make us Jewish (i.e. Shabbat) I don’t think it’s critical to go through the actual ten commandments with this age group.  There are some that are fun to discuss and you should feel free to play around with this.  The story here is about creating rules for good living.  

Music Suggestions (depending on what direction you go, there are many other fun choices)
Torah Tziva Lanu Moshe
Hakafah (Peter and Ellen Allard)
Tree of Life
Rainbow Round Me

Follow UP
Make tissue paper flowers to decorate the classroom and home.

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Posted in Activities for home and classroom, Holidays, Resources, Shavuot, Stories, Torah