Passover in First Grade!


An important part of our Passover curriculum is to focus on the Hagaddah, which is the prayer book we use at the festive meal called a Seder. At JCDSRI, starting in Kindergarten, our students each create their own pages of the Hagaddah. Each year they add new pages which represent their learning as they progress to 5th grade. The students worked very hard and were very excited to take their Hagaddah home to show to their parents. When reminded that they need to return them upon their return from Passover break, they are often dismayed that they can’t keep them.

“Why can’t we keep them?”

“Each year you will learn new things about Passover and add new pages to your Hagaddah. When you graduate in 5th grade, you will take it home.”

“I can’t wait to be a 5th grader!”

(The above photo is a group of First and Fifth grade buddies enjoying each other’s company before the break.)



Here are two of our proud students, each holding their representations of one of the Four Children: The Wicked child, The Wise child, The Simple child and The Child Who Doesn’t Know How To Ask. Students have been introduced to the idea that perhaps, we all have a bit of each of the four children in each of us.


IMG_1657Passover is also a perfect excuse to initiate a spring cleaning of the classroom. Students had a wonderful time scrubbing down our tables, organizing our supplies and library. The air was sweet with their efforts as they left for break, each clutching their special Hagaddah and bulging bags of collected detritus from their cubbies.

I can’t wait to see them all after break to hear all about their Seders and to observe how much each one has grown in just ten days!


18 minutes of Passover in First grade

It is amazing what can be done in 18 minutes.

18 minutes is the time required to bake kosher for Passover Matzah.

8 months is what it took for our 5th grade buddies to design and build brick oven to bake our matzah. (They even made the bricks from recycled milk cartons!)

matzah 1


13 Haggadah binders were passed on to me when I arrived this summer to begin teaching.  13 treasures, which were my first hint of the amazing creativity and serious students I would have the pleasure to teach in September.

One student asked me why each page was laminated.

“It has to be laminated because just think of all the chicken soup that your children might spill on it when they use it at your own family Seder table.” Oh how their eyes became round as saucers at that idea!

Haggadah 1

Haggadah 2

Please! please! return these treasures on Monday so that I may add in their photos and put them back into the magical box to pass on to our 2nd grade teachers for next year.

I hope you have all had a wonderful Passover.  I am so looking forward to hearing all about it from the kids. Especially the 4 questions!