A Message from Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School: March 30
Karen Leavitt, Head of Lower School
Dear Lower School Parents, 
It is exactly one calendar month from Megillah Reading to Seder Plate. The season of spring holidays is upon us as we see Purim in the rearview mirror and look ahead to Passover. Our teachers are busy instilling practices and rituals, engaging in rich text studies and readying our Lower School students to participate in their grade-wide school seders and lead portions of their home seders as well!  
While all of the Lower School students participate in explorations about the Passover holiday, each grade level takes on a unique focus and layer of increasingly complex learning. First graders are engaged in studying about the Passover story and the important components of a Seder Plate. When students enter first grade, they are exposed to these holiday studies primarily in Hebrew. Students use their newly developing familiarity with the Hebrew alphabet to navigate their own interactive Haggadah. After an in-depth study of the symbols on the plate they will create their own Seder Plate that can be used at your seder.  They will also be practicing the order of the seder, which you can help them review by listening to this song
Second graders are reviewing their foundational knowledge about the Passover story and adding on important learning about the “four fours” that appear in the Haggadah. The number four plays a significant part in the Passover celebration. In addition to the four questions, there are also four children, four glasses of wine/grape juice, and four different names for Passover. Ask your second graders to explain!
Our third graders review and synthesize the story of Passover by performing a play in Hebrew. Through studying the theme of avdut, or slavery, they will be guided in conversations about how the Jews became slaves and what kinds of choices you can make as a slave, if any. Jews became slaves because they were different, and students spend time connecting this notion to the concept of empathy and how we treat others who are different than us. 
As our oldest Lower School students, fourth graders are preparing for the Seder by studying the Haggadah, and learning about the various components of the Seder through the lens of "Avdut L'Cherut, from slavery to freedom." They take foundations from their third grade learning about slavery and extend the conversation to freedom and redemption. Being free affords opportunities, and fourth graders are exploring how to use those opportunities for growth and leadership. 
We are looking forward to our grade level seders at school on Monday, 4/11 (3rd and 4th grade) and Tuesday, 4/12 (1st and 2nd grade). We ask that all students dress nicely for their seder, perhaps in spring colors. Check out this Passover Mashup for holiday inspiration!
Chag Sameach! 
Karen Leavitt
Head of Lower School

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