Building literacy skills and more around Tu B’shvat

As a progressive school, our teachers seek out areas of integration within our curriculum. With the holiday of Tu B’shvat (the Jewish New Year for trees) approaching, second grade teachers worked collaboratively, weaving the theme into many subject areas. Students are reading poetry about trees and learning about the important role trees play in our environment using the scientific guiding question, “how can we work together to solve problems?” This question also happens to be a focus of second grade’s Social/Emotional curriculum which is reinforced through the literacy and science explorations.

Spreading Tu B’shvat spirit to the rest of the school, the class will perform a Readers Theater production next week based on the story, Save the Lofty Trees by Leslie Mills. Readers Theater performances help students build fluency, confidence and stamina in reading – important second grade skills. Rhonda Mills, second grade’s Judaics Studies teacher, translated parts of the script so the students will perform in both Hebrew and English. They will also include Hebrew and Tu B’shvat songs accompanied by our resident musician, Chris Southiere. Introducing another subject area into the unit, second graders have been busy in TikkunXDesign building props for their production.