On Wednesday, February 4th, Benjamin’s mom came in to visit our classroom and share the Jewish Holiday of Tu B’Shevat with us! We learned that Tu B’Shevat means, “The 15th of Shevat” in Hebrew, and that it is a holiday that celebrates the birthday of the trees!
We began our cultural celebration by reading Madelyn Rosenberg’s wonderful book, “Happy Birthday, Tree! A Tu B’Shevat Story.” In the story, a little girl, Joni, is celebrating Tu B’Shevat, and she tries to think of the best gift for her favorite tree. After reading the story, the children responded to the question, “Which gift do you think is the most important one that Joni gave her tree?” Many children decided that Joni’s gift of her promise to always do her best to respect and take care of the trees was the most important one of all. The children really resonated with this story, and many commented at the end, “This is a perfect book for Unity Charter School!
After reading our book, we had a delicious snack of pomegranates, olives, and grapes. Many children had never had pomegranates or olives before; so, many children were brave and gave them a try! Many decided that they did prefer these new snacks and happily enjoyed them with their classmates!
In our final activity to celebrate Tu B’Shevat, we each used an old container to plant seeds. We planted parsley and basil, and we gave our seeds the gift of water, just like Jonni. It was a wonderful cultural celebration that truly embraced the importance of our impact and effect we can have on the natural world. Thank you, Benjamin’s Mom!
Happy Tu B’Shevat!
The African Wild Dogs
About the Author
Kimbelry McCurnin is the lead 1/2 Grade Teacher at Unity Charter School. She graduated with high honors from Boston University with a degree in Early Childhood Education. She began her teaching career here at Unity working alongside Jennifer Carcich as her teacher’s assistant from 2011-2012. Kimberly is thrilled to rejoin this special, close-knit commUnity and honored to be part of such a talented, passionate staff. In her spare time, Kimberly enjoys attending yoga classes and taking advantage of the wonderful culture and arts that New York City has to offer.