The best part about teaching both Judaic Studies and General Studies is that I can connect two of my favorite units into one: Sukkot and the human skeleton. There are many ways to teach about the Lulav and the Etrog. The most popular school of thought is by waving the Lulav and Etrog in all directions, we are reminded that God is everywhere. Another interpretation is through relating each part of the Lulav and Etrog to different parts of our bodies. The Hadas (myrtle) leaves are shaped like an eye. The Arava (willow) leaves are shaped like lips. The Etrog reminds us of our heart. Finally, the Lulav reminds us of our spine (we stand straight and tall, proud to be Jews.) There’s the connection to the human skeleton!
In Science,we examined X-rays of the skeleton, and put the X-rays together to form a complete skeleton (we named it Adam). We wondered what was opaque or translucent, then watched a little video of a song about how our bones fit together.
Then we traced the outlines of our bodies on huge pieces of paper. Armed with a magic marker and a black and white copy of a labeled skeleton, students took over the first grade hallway and drew themselves as skeletons. One student asked if his phalanges (fingers) could hold his favorite baseball card!