Tu B’Shevat: The Birthday of the Trees

Good afternoon Tzeeporim families and friends!

The last two weeks of school, we had a terrific time learning about Tu B’Shevat, the birthday of the trees.

The first letter we explored during those two weeks was the letter T. We made lists of “T” words, practiced tracing the letter Tt, and turned our letter Ts into beautiful trees. First, we wrote the word tree on the bottom of our paper. Then, we used brown watercolor to make a trunk and branches. Last, we added leaves using our fingertips and green ink.

We enjoyed reading Tree for Me by Nancy Van Laan. It was an engaging story with lots of words that rhymed with the word tree.

We made a Tzeeporim family tree on one of our bulletin boards. We decorated leaves to put on the branches, and added photographs of our families as well.

We worked on oral literacy skills in our dramatic play center, and enhanced our phonemic awareness in our puzzle center.

In Jewish Studies, we continued to learn more about Tu B’Shevat.

In P.E. we learned how to hit a hockey puck.

In Music, we had a blast singing “Head, Shoulders, Knees, and Toes.” We love it when Ms. Zina plays the song very fast, so we can move our arms quickly too!

We had so much fun celebrating our first 5th birthday this year! We made special cards for our friend, enjoyed lunch in our classroom, and a special ice cream treat!

We enjoyed it when our Mystery Reader came to read us the book Fuzzy Farm. It was a fun and interactive story.

We culminated our week by welcoming Shabbat with our ema and aba.

Last week, we continued learning about Tu B’Shevat and trees! Our letter of the week was G. We turned our letter G into Grapes.

We discussed the four seasons: winter, spring, summer, and fall. We talked about how the seasons are different, and that Tu B’Shevat celebrates the start of spring in Eretz Yisrael (the land of Israel). Then, we completed a cutting and pasting activity about the seasons.

We painted individual family trees. We painted bark and branches, and then added leaves with our fingerprints. After the paint dried, we each drew pictures of our families with crayon and markers.

We learned the lyrics to the song “The Green Grass Grows” and took turns adding the different pieces to our felt board.

We read a plethora of books about trees and the environment, including The Giving Tree by Shel Silverstein, The Lorax by Dr. Seuss, and books about gardening by Lois Ehlert.

We collected leaves on the playground and used them to make leaf rubbings.

We did some whole group literacy activities that focused on compound words and deletion. We took a word like “seashelll” and learned that it has two parts, “sea” and “shell”. If we delete the word “sea” we are left with the word “shell”.

We worked one-on-one with a teacher completing shape patterns, and worked with friends using our Legos to construct and create.

As a cooking activity, we used some green ingredients like limes and avocados to make GREEN GUACAMOLE! During snack, we got to try our tasty treat.

During Jewish Studies, we sang songs about Tu B’Shevat and read stories about Tu B’Shevat as well.

In P.E., we practiced hitting the hockey pucks into a net and scoring goals.

In Science, we learned how to create a chemical reaction by combining water, soap, yeast, food coloring, and hydrogen peroxide in a milk jug. Once all of the ingredients were combined, they created a foam which overflowed onto the table. It was fun playing with the foam on the table!

The other VPK class joined us for a fun Mystery Reader. We enjoyed listening to the story together!

We culminated our two week lesson study on Tu B’Shevat with an interactive VPK Tu B’Shevat Seder. We sang many of the songs we learned from Morah Rachel and Morah Miriam in Jewish Studies. We drank four different colored cups of grape juice to represent the four seasons and ate different fruits. We used our “coloring book” to record whether we liked or did not like the fruits that we tried, and we learned the proper brachot (blessings) for each type of fruit. We were happy to be joined by Rabbi Tilman at our seder!


The past two weeks were just terrific! We can’t wait for what is in store for us this week and next week as we learn about community helpers like dentists, doctors, police officers, and firefighters!

Todah rabah,

Ms. Alicia and Ms. Carolyn