Fifth graders learned about Simchat Torah and discussed reasons we celebrate the Torah. Our conversation focused on reasons we keep rereading the Torah year after year. Students brainstormed many thoughtful reasons including: to remind us of our history, to keep learning new lessons from the stories, to practice reading Hebrew, and to relate to the lessons of the stories differently each year according to what is happening in our lives at that time.
Students also reviewed what we would like our classroom community to look, feel, and sound like. From there, fifth graders created a class Brit, consisting of five rules, and signed that they agree to follow our class contract.
We also started to learn about the Jewish value of preserving one's dignity and the dignity of others. We framed this lesson within the context of bullying and what we can do to feel that we, and the people around us, are respected. During this discussion, a student brought up the rainbow flag at our school. Fifth graders discussed how all who choose to join our community are welcome.