1. Planting virtual trees (a: Pedagogic Center website; b: Knesset website)
Read about the Greening of Eretz Israel and the Keren Kayemeth LeIsrael (JNF) (a)
Between now and Tu B'Shvat, each class is going to plant as many virtual trees (b) as possible and make a list of everyone who manages to do this (one per person, please). You can also get family and friends to join you. We want to hear on Tu B'Shvat how many trees you manage to plant and which students manage to arrange the most plantings! Book prizes for the top three!
2. Of course, if you plant trees, you need certificates for all those who participated.
You can use online certificates or design your own. Have a school contest for the best certificates and if you can scan them all into a static Powerpoint presentation, with the details of your school, organization or community, we will exhibit them online. Book prizes for the best three exhibits.
3. Tu B'Shvat Quiz (Aish Hatorah, Akhlah)
Work in groups of two or three students. Collect as many sources of Tu B'Shvat customs as you can - and as many different terms and blessings that would be associated with customs of the festival. Now go online and try one of the quizzes and see how you score! Write down which quiz you tried, what you think about it and your score - and let us know!
4. Find those Fruits! (Pedagogic Center website)
Can you make up a plate of 15 fruits for Tu B'Shvat, including traditional fruits from Eretz Yisrael and any other fruits? Try it using only fruits from trees, rather than "fruits of the ground". What blessings would be said over the different kinds of fruits? Each student now makes his or her own list and points are awarded for those who have fruits that no-one else has!
For Seder Tu B'Shvat in school, (or at home,) in groups of 3, organize fruit plate of 15 fruits with all kinds of fruits, so that there will be different blessings, and also fruits that will be "new" (not yet eaten in this season), so that a "shehecheyanu" blessing can be made. Ask students to ensure the plate is covered in cling film (wrap).
Students display the fruit around the table and participant walk around looking to find one plate with a new fruit that they personally have not yet eaten, and sit down near that plate (not their own!). Have everyone sit down and take out paper and pencil. They have 30 seconds to look at the plates, before they are all covered with a cloth or paper napkin. Each participant now has to write down all the fruits they can remember from the plate!
5. We're sure you could create your own quiz or wordsearch!
Divide into teams to create a quiz (20 minutes) and pass the questions and answer cards to the teacher or educator - to check that no repeat questions are used and that the answers are correct.
If the class is large, two other teams can make word searches and duplicate them for homework assignments for all the class.
On Tu B'Shvat, appoint a question master, a scorer and a panel of judges and run a short quiz.
6. Nature / Ecology class Learning about trees (Melitz; COEJL)
What kind of trees grow in your area? What species? What kind of soil and climate do they require? When do new leaves come out (if deciduous?), when do they blossom and when is their fruit ripe? What edible species are there?
What are the dangers to these trees and what can be done?
Photograph and/or draw the trees. Please scan them into a Powerpoint presentation and submit them to your school website and ours, with your own names and the school's, or stating which class produced it.
Top three exhibits win book prizes!
7. Human ecology - senior high school (Pedagogic Center)
Use the Activity series "For Man is as the Tree of the Field" so that everyone participates in the wall exhibit for the first lesson or activity. You can also photograph the exhibit and scan it into Powerpoint for the school website or submission ot the Pedagogic Center website (remember to include all your details!)
In the second activity, all do the first exercise and then the class or group splits into groups to work through exercises #2-5. Review. Conclude with exercise #6 and review what we have learned about people and the way we behave to each other.
8. Midrash and Stories
Each group of three searches the recommended websites to collect one or two stories related to Tu B'Shvat. Choose your favorite story, photocopy it for the others and relate it to the class or group on Tu B'Shvat in drama, mime, or as a puppet show. The session should be long enough for discussion of the stories and questions.
9. Treasure or Scavenger Hunt
This is an activity which can be played in 4-6 teams on Tu B'Shvat and requires a judging panel. The challenge is to prepare the clues (related to the Festival) or tasks for the Hunt. As soon as the class or group has learned enough about Tu B'Shvat, they begin working on the preparation of the route or assignments for another group, with the educator/teacher's help where necessary.
10. Arts & Crafts (a: Knesset website, KKL, Pedagogic Center; b: Akhlah)
This is a great opportunity for creative talent, or group work in desk-top publishing.
Let us recall some of the ideas above:
Tree certificates, tree exhibits (real and virtual), wall exhibit. (a)
Other ideas (as age appropriate):
Wall panels with fruits & blessings, greeting cards (b)
11. Tu B'Shvat Seder (Akhlah, JTSA, Melitz, WUJS...) - for older groups
There are many websites with a Tu B'Shvat Seder today. Use them to compile the kind of Seder which has readings and explanations of what is being done. Make a chart which is divided into an introduction, 4 sections and a conclusion. Add in a list: Introduction, the cups of wine (grape juice), the fruits, the blessings, ideas, stories, quotations. Then each group of three or four students fills in one section of the Seder preparation. Each group takes responsibility for preparing and running their part of the Seder!
|JAFI - Pedagogic Center
|For all age groups
||Background and activities for diverse audiences
||Downloadable files, activities for various settings
||Extensive files, background, activities, curricula, themes include ethics, values |
|Teachers, students family
||Overview and study
||Files for reading online or download
||Comprehensive background, guides, laws and customs, stories, family activities, quiz. Seder ceremony. Audio & video files to download as well |
|Akhlah - Jewish Children's Learning Network
|Children, families, and educators
||Introductory and overview
||Downloadable files, activities for various settings
||Extensive files, background, activities, crafts, quizzes, Hebrew vocabulary, seder |
|Midrash Ben Ish Hai
||Sephardic customs and traditions
||Traditional Sephardic customs and traditions, insights.|
||Introductory and activity site
||"Fun" site with many activity files
||Traditional approach, very busy look aimed specifically at kids. lots of background material, with pictures, audio files, greeting cards, games and activities. Requires Java plug-in for multimedia files. |
||English and Hebrew|
||Knesset birthday site for Tu b'shvat
||Knesset history, Israel-related activities|
|Students (high school - college-age)
||overview, sources, customs, links for students|
|World Zionist Organization
|Students & adults
|SPNI (Society for the Preservation of Nature in Israel)
|COEJL - Jewish Perspectives on the Environment [selection of articles, resources]
Keren Kayemet l'Yisrael (Plant a Tree in Israel)
Chabad (Tu B'Shvat Web Game )
Virtual Jerusalem (with Educator's Guide)
Bet Hashita (in Hebrew)
International Competition on Jewish Identity