Babaganoush has begun learning Parashat HaShavuah-the weekly Torah portion-in a new and innovative way this year. One of the goals in learning the Parashat Hashvuah is for each student to find personal connections to each parasha. The students have been creating ‘cut paper collages’ to illustrate each parsha and tell the story and meaning of each. Together, we have been creating a color-coded key to represent between 6-8 main characters of the parasha. After they have finished creating their collages, each student takes a turn, coming up to the front of the class to explain to us what their representation of the parasha is. Not only does this method give them a deeper understanding of each parasha, it helps them process it and individualize it. It is also giving them experience in public speaking in a non-judgmental and comfortable environment.
This technique is something that I learned during my time with Legacy Heritage Teacher Institute in Jerusalem this past summer. We were shown a book that was created by an Israeli artist and his depiction of the story of the sacrifice of Isaac. We were then given the opportunity to create our own collage to depict what our experience at the institute meant for us. I immediately began to think of ways to institute this technique in my own classroom. The students look forward to this activity each week and have shown a tremendous amount of growth and creativity in creating their collages. They will create individual books at the culmination of each of the book of the Torah.