Know what Tu Bishevat is and why we celebrate it
Understand the importance of recycling and looking after the environment
By the end of the lesson, the children will have understood the meaning and importance of Tu Bishevat and thought about how we can protect the environment that we live in
- Brainstorm about Tu Bishevat – recap prior knowledge about Tu Bishevat. Encourage children to name any customs or traditions we have and do on Tu Bishevat. Why do we have a new year for trees? Why are trees important?
- The Importance of Trees – Discuss the importance of trees: They produce oxygen, provide shade, fruit to eat, look pretty, generally improve and protect the environment. Move discussion onto other uses of trees such as rubber, wood, paper, as well as deforestation.
- Watch Tu Bishevat YouTube clips:
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=hyfnXUQz9z8 – funny Tu Bishevat rap http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=7O7Uog6BqDk&NR=1 – quite American, but worth watching.
Following the clips, encourage further discussion and discuss the impact global warming may have on the trees and our lives and therefore how important it is to look after the environment.
- Recycling – Using the “Why should we recycle” sheet, discuss importance of recycling, what the children do at home and at school and how we can improve and help the environment if we all make an effort to recycle. Watch the following advert clips:
Alistair – Starve your bin: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=JgXKgoTHSNI
Welsh advert 2009: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=MiPk8cLJnmE
The Possibilities are endless – energy: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VlE7akkeifI
The possibilities are endless – paper: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Rd0CNzPduUU
- Option 1: Plant a seed for Tu Bishevat – Children to plant some seeds/bulbs and look after them and watch them grow over the next few weeks. Plant the seeds/bulbs in small troughs/containers and ask one child to water them straight away. Take a photo of the newly planted seeds/bulbs so that each week the progress can be tracked.
- Option 2: Create a Recycling Poster – Children to make posters using recyclable materials (e.g. newspapers, tissue paper) encouraging the community to recycle. Discuss what children do at home, in school etc and why it is important that we, as a synagogue, should recycle. If the resources are not available, then children can create a poster without the resources.
- Option 3: Create a Recycling Sign – Ask the class to make signs for recycling boxes within the synagogue or for home. Encourage children to begin designing the signs for the boxes. Show them examples of recycling symbols. Can the children relate them to Judaism, Tu Bishevat and/or their local area.
- Option 4: Write and Film Recycling Advert– Children will be writing and filming an advert encouraging members of the community to recycle. Brainstorm what made the adverts funny / successful / informative etc. Ask the class to think about what they would put in a recycling advert. Once some initial ideas have been decided, the children should write a script for their advert including roles, camera shots and stage directions etc. Make sure they write a list of anything they will need for the filming and prepare any props needed. Once ready, begin filming and make sure that the class is aware that they will be able to edit their piece once they have finished filming. Once the filming is complete help the class to upload and review their footage on a laptop. Discuss the footage and make sure there are clear links in the advert to Tu Bishevat and Tikkun Olam.
- Option 5: Write an Eco-Code – Children to look at Eco-Code Examples and then write their own version of an ‘Eco-Code’ – a poem, or acrostic about how we can care for the environment as individuals and as a Synagogue
- Sing a Tu Bishevat Song– Children to sing the Debbie Friedman Tu Bishevat Song