One of these approaches is to look at the text as a series of “knots and loops”. Knots are moments in the story where the path to freedom narrows, tightens, or is blocked, while loops are moments in the story where opportunities for freedom open up. By engaging with the text through this reading strategy, the students are able to demonstrate their understanding of the text and offer their own interpretations.
In art class, the students then learn the art of knot tying and macramé. After studying a number of classic knots and experimenting with some of their own, each student selects verses from the Torah to express through a series of knots and loops.The students then write the verse, in Hebrew, on a ribbon and weave it into their piece.
The resulting collection of textile artwork and embedded Torah text becomes the backdrop for the culminating performance of the Dramatized Haggadah.
In Torah class, the students are tasked with writing, in Hebrew, a script that dramatizes key moments of the Exodus story. These scripts are later performed as a dramatization of the Maggid section of the Haggadah.
The final major integrated component of the Grade 5 Dramatized Haggadah is a study of the novel, Underground to Canada by Barbara Smucker. Underground to Canada recounts the experiences of Julilly, an African-American slave, who along with several other escaped slaves, makes the perilous journey through the Underground Railroad to Canada. The novel emphasizes the courage of Julilly, her friends, and those who helped them in their journey from Slavery to Freedom.
…The final object on my seder plate is the north star to represent freedom. I chose this object because in Underground to Canada, Julilly is told about the north star and people tell her that if you follow the north star, you will be free. From the start of Julilly’s journey to the end, the north star guides her to freedom. In this quote from Underground to Canada another slave at the Riley Plantation is telling Julilly about the north star: “They say you travel north and follow the north star and when you step onto this land you are free.” (Chapter 1 page 16) In Sefer Shmot, God creates a pillar of smoke and a pillar of fire for the Jews to follow day and night. This is the mark of freedom like the north star. As it says in the Torah: