What a great time we had decorating our room for Purim – a festive holiday filled with lots of noise costumes, decorations, masks, sweets, and good deeds.
We learned that the Purim story took place in the town of Shushan, Persia (currently Iran). As a result, we studied the architecture and art of both ancient Persia and the Middle East and adorned our room with pictures of ancient Persian architecture.
During our research, we saw pictures of intricate mosaics and many bright blue windows and doors. We learned that domes, columns, geometric shapes, nature-based patterns and vibrant colors are a rich part of Iran’s art and architecture.
Building upon these observations and deepening our understanding of patterns and sorting, we filled our science table with small toys, buttons, shapes and gems. We practiced sorting these treasures according to size, color, kind, shape, texture, width or height (and we’re still thinking of other classifications!)
We also created patterns on paper using supplies from our Art Center!
Utilizing this experience with creating patterns, as well as our knowledge of Persian architecture and art, we decided to recreate our very own vision of Shushan in our classroom using wood, screws, paint . . .
. . . tissue paper, oil pastels, cardboard, glue, paper . . .
. . . jewels, glitter, markers and stickers.
We have made domes, arches mosaics, and palaces.
In addition, to transforming our classroom, we also changed our appearances by creating masks. When creating these masterpieces, we not only improved our math, literacy and fine motor skills, but we practiced working collaboratively, strengthened our working memories and honed many other executive functioning skills (like impulse control and goal-directed persistence).
Deepening our understanding of the Purim story itself, we created some of its characters from paper and fabric.
This project required that we reflect on each character’s role in the story, his/her influences and responsibilities, and his/her choices. This helped to deepen both our literary skills as well as our empathic abilities. If you are interested in a trip back to ancient Persia, we invite you to visit our classroom! We look forward to giving you a tour.