Hebrew Buddies: 6th Graders Create Hebrew Story Books for SK
Charone Ousley, MS Jewish Studies
In order to make reading and learning Hebrew fun and accessible, Ms. Ousely's 6th grade class decided it was time to showcase and test their Hebrew skills with other students in the school. After much preparation, and a couple of delays, the day finally arrived for students in 6th grade to partner with their reading buddy and read aloud their Hebrew children's storybook to students in Senior Kindergarten!
The elder students entered Ms. Ahitow and Ms. McKenna's kindergarten classroom and met their buddy for the first time. They came prepared with their books in hand and their clipboards filled with questions. Ms. Ahitow announced the partners and without teacher direction, the 6th graders led the kindergartners to a spot in the classroom. They had already practiced rehearsing their introduction to their buddy:
"Hi, I'm ______. I'm in 6th grade. What's your name? I have a book I want to share with you. The title is, ___________. It means ___________________ in Hebrew."
The 6th grade students read beautifully—with confidence, poise and fluency! Their kindergarten partners practiced reading a letter to them in return. The exchange was magical and both classes were fully engaged. When the students returned to class, they used a "talking piece" to share their thoughts and feelings about the experience. Every student offered valuable feedback and suggested future interactions. After seeing all of the students filled with so much nachat (nachas in Yiddish, or joy), we concluded that this is a relationship they definitely want to invest in!
The 6th grade class would like to thank Ms. Ahitow and Ms. McKenna for warmly welcoming them into their classrooms last week. They made time in their busy schedule to facilitate this experience. We look forward to our continued collaboration!

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