Ready-to-Go Lesson Plan for Yom Ha'atzma'ut: Parade Floats
Ready-to-Go Lesson Plan for Yom Ha’atzma’ut:
By Wilhelmina Roepke
Duration: 1 hour
Students (or families) will work together in small groups, learning about Israel and using folders from the Let’s Discover Israel series as inspiration to make miniature parade floats for Yom Ha’atzma’ut.
Students will be able to identify key facts about Israel and to explain them creatively to others.
Students will learn about Israel people and places in a fun, supportive environment.
This activity is appropriate for students in grades 1-4, either alone or with parents in a family program. Younger students will need more adult assistance with Step 2: Find main ideas, and for their final write-ups.
1 or more packets of Let’s Discover Israel (each packet contains 8 different folders, enough for 8 small groups)
1 shoebox per group
Art supplies for each group (scissors; glue or tape; construction paper; markers or crayons; various craft supplies such as buttons, chenille stems, popsicle sticks, stickers, ribbon, etc.)
A display table in the lobby that can remain in place for the next week
Explain that Yom Ha’atzma’ut—Israel’s Independence Day (the 5th day of Iyar) is celebrated in 2010 on April 20. Invite students to describe how they celebrate their country’s independence day, and make a list of their answers. Next, ask for ideas of how they might celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut. (have a barbecue; sing songs about Israel; make Israeli flags; eat Israeli foods) Compare their answers to these two questions and consider why they are the same or different. (10 minutes)
Step 1: Divide into groups
Divide students into groups of 3–5 participants. (If this is a family activity, assign 2–3 families to each group.) Assign individual group members to serve as recorder, presenter, and time-tracker. (If other members want roles, you may assign additional titles such as designer, moderator, or encourager.) Explain that each team is going to make a miniature parade float to celebrate Yom Ha’atzma’ut. Their presentation of floats will teach the rest of the class about one aspect of Israel. (5 minutes)
Step 2: Find main ideas
Distribute Let’s Discover Israel folders, one or more of the same folder to each group. Instruct the group to read through the folder together, paying special attention to page 1. After reading, each group will discuss and brainstorm three important facts that they want to share with others about their folder’s contents. (15 minutes)
-Israel is a home for the Jewish people.
-King Solomon built the Temple in Israel.
-Yom Ha’atzma’ut is Israel’s birthday.
-It’s a busy, modern city.
-Tel Aviv’s most important buildings are the three towers of the Azrieli Center.
-Part of Tel Aviv is the ancient seaside city of Jaffa.
Step 3: Make floats
Once the lists are complete, give each group an empty shoebox and art supplies. Tell them that their floats must include the title of their Let’s Discover Israel folder (“Our Homeland,” “Jerusalem,” “Israeli Kids,” etc.), and that its design should include at least two of the main points they wrote down. Ask the recorders to write short explanations (about 2-3 sentences) describing what their floats represent.
Groups work independently on their floats. (20 minutes)
Step 4: Present and display
Led by the presenter, each group shows its float to the assembled participants and explains why they chose to represent their concept in the way they did. After everyone is finished, allow time for questions.
Explain to the class that their floats will be arranged parade-style on a special table in the lobby for the next week, with their explanations posted below. Invite everyone in the group to sign their explanation page, and then proceed together into the lobby (also parade-style) to arrange the floats. While traveling through the hallway together, you can sing an Israel-themed song that the students know such as Am Yisrael Chai or David Melech Yisrael. If you prefer, you can play Hebrew songs on a CD player and students can use musical instruments as accompaniment. (10 minutes)