By Rebecca Gosling-Barr & Sally Burton, Nottinghamshire, Schools and Families Specialist Services
Pesach or Passover is a spring Festival celebrated by people who are Jewish.
As a family, they take part in the Seder meal, with the symbolic foods that represent different parts of the Passover story. This symbolic meal is the perfect sensory opportunity for all children to learn about the subject. Braille and text is used so that the whole class can be included in the Sensory Story bucket with suggested learning opportunities from Sue Phillips Theatre of Learning, Judaism Resource File and Anne Krisman’s 5 Keys approach to RE.
- Seder dish-symbolic foods
- Matzo – bread/crackers, bread dough, yeast
- Special table cloth
- Cushions for chairs
- Grape juice
- Candles (scented)
- ION parter starter (Amazon)
- Lively Jewish music (e.g., Hava Nagila)
- Prince of Egypt DVD and soundtrack
- Haggadah (Story of the Passover for children)
- Star of David made out of playdough by a student
- Sand paper (to represent the harshness of slavery)
- Spice beads
- Small recordable switch
- White pampas glass plant, or bulrush
- Spring flower (hyacinth)
What links can we make with our pupils’ lives?
- Key Focus: Who is in my family? What makes them special to me? When do we have special times with them?
- Activities: My Home project — Who do I live with? Where do I live? What special times od I have with my family? Invite families in for a coffee morning; bring in a photograph of a specia ltime. What speical times do we have in school?
What is at the burning core of the faith?
- Shabbat – special meal as a family starting at sundown Friday until Saturday
- Kosher – special food rules that Jewish people keep (Kashrut)
- Activities: Have a special meal, with a nice table cloth, plates, and tables pushed together like a large family dining table. Light a menorah candle and serve blackcurrant squash and challah bread. You can make your own bread as an additional acitvity. Play Jewish music for atmosphere. For a more formal activity, compare an Orthodox family and how they live to a Liberal Jewish family. What makes my family special to me? Write a poem and draw a picture!
What sensory elements are in the religion?
- Key focus: Shabbat. The family is at the heart of the religion. Use the spice candles and challah bread.
- Activities: The mother lights the candle and says a prayer. You can find instructions, with a video, for lighting Shabbat Candles here. Make your own platted bread
What are the symbols that are the most accessible?
- Key focus: Love for family, Star of David & Menorah, light out of darkness
- Activities: Make symbols and decorate. Light the Shabbat candles.
What are the values of the people in the religion that speak to us?
- Key focus: Family
- Activities: Why is family important to you? Why are family important in Judaism?