Tu Bishvat and Environment Week at Heschel

Tu Bishvat and Environment Week at Heschel

Feb 01, 2018

Tu Bishvat is the “New Year for the Trees.” In keeping with the environmental ethos of our school, we regard Tu Bishvat as a time to teach generative topics that raise consciousness and wonder about our natural world.  Here are some examples from the week:

  • Our JK students learned the story of Choni Hameagel, and came to understand and appreciate the diversity of trees and seeds. They displayed an amazing ‘Seed to tree forest’ that shows the diversity of trees and seeds and how amazing it is that such a small seed has the potential of a whole tree.
  • Our SK students have been learning the generative topic, “When we know how we feel, we can express our feelings and act responsibly”.  The SK students looked at the different kinds of fruit eaten at the Tu Bishvat Seder, and compared these fruits to specific feelings. For instance, we eat a fruit with an inedible shell/skin but an edible inside; this teaches us to be aware of the feelings deep inside us that can’t be seen by others. We eat edible fruit with an inedible pit; this teaches us about feelings that we can see on the outside (in someone’s expression or words). The SK students created a feelings tree, using self-portraits that convey a multitude of feelings.
  • In Grade 1, students spent the week educating the school about our civic responsibility to take care of our waste responsibly. The students conducted a waste audit by measuring the mass of garbage in each bin in the school. They analysed their findings and then presented them, along with recommendations, to the entire school. The students also made their own paper in the art room using recycled materials.
  • In Grade 2, students learned how different kinds of trees provide habitats for different kinds of animals.
  • In Grade 3, students have been learning about the interaction between living forms that contribute to the health of an eco-system. They watched the film, The Salmon Forest, heard from an expert about the life cycle of the salmon, and are now raising salmon eggs in an aquarium outside of Moreh Greg’s office, in an effort (with the Toronto Zoo) to rejuvenate Ontario’s salmon population.
  • The student council environment team also ran some amazing activities at recess this week.  They created a Tu Bshvat taste test so that students could try different fruits from trees, they demonstrated how we can use pedal power to light up an LED light bulb, and they made bird feeders and seed bombs to improve our schoolyard habitat!

    Thanks to all of the families who participated in our battery recycling drive this week.  The results will be in by early next week and we will be proud to announce which class recycled the most batteries.