May 20, 2024 |

Grades 2-5: Omer Project – Week 4: Netzach/Commitment

Posted on May 22, 2016

Last week our theme was Netzach, which we translated as commitment and focused on things we are committed to.  At the beginning of the session students were given the first part of our core text, “The work is not upon you to complete, but…” and then had to write what they believed would come next.  Eventually the students learned the second part of the text, “but neither are you exempt from trying.”  [Many kids had guessed that even before it was revealed!]
Our game was “Social Issue Pop-Ups” and as a global issue was called out, anyone who felt committed to that issue “popped-up”.  Some of the global issues were: caring about animals, caring for the earth, homelessness, hunger, illiteracy and poverty. 
We then listened to the popular Jewish song, “Lo Alecha” in Hebrew (which is our text) and while listening students illustrated something they have done to help issues they care about (raised money, organized collections, donated goods, volunteered).  Two things each of these issues have in common is that they are all too big for one person to solve or fix alone and they are issues that might not be solved in our lifetime, but as our text suggests, we are still obligated to work on their behalf.
Next students acted out the Honi story and made seed bombs (more info att he end of this blog or google seed bomb).  The Honi story helped students understand why even when things too big for us, we can still work on them and try….and maybe have an impact, even if we don’t see it.  Making seed bombs, which will be placed along the edge of the TI driveway, was a tangible way to understand our text.
Finally students wrote something they are committed to one a leaf and placed it on a side of their cube.  They also cut out pictures that represent netzach in magazines for our collage.
Drama: The Honi Story
Narrator: One day a man named Honi was walking on the road and saw a person planting a carob tree.
Honi: How long will it take for this tree to bear fruit?
Person: 70 Years
Honi: And do you think you will live another 70 years and eat the fruit of this tree?
Person: Probably not. However, when I was born I found many carob trees planted by my father and grandfather.  Just as they planted trees for me, I am planting trees for my children and grandchildren so they will be able to eat the fruit of these trees.
What is a native plant seed bomb?
A seed ball is a marble sized ball made of clay, earth and seeds which is used to replant areas.  Seed balls have been used around the world to reseed land that has been abused by man or by Mother Nature.
Why not just seeds?
When seeds are sown on top of the soil they may be baked dry by the sun, blown away by the wind, washed away by heavy rains, or nibbled away by birds or other small wildlife. Very little is left to germinate and grow.
Why native plant seed bomb?
Seed balls protect the seed from the heat of the sun. They’re heavy enough to be unaffected by the wind or heavy rains and the hard clay casing deters animal nibblers as well.

Why native seed balls work
In dry areas, the shape of the ball actually gives enough shade to conserve moisture. The seeds begin to germinate and the ball breaks apart. The small pile of crumbles provides the start for the root system, but is still heavy enough to anchor the emerging seeds to the ground.

The small leaves of the new plants provide enough shade for the soil to conserve more moisture. The plants then mature and produce their own seeds and provide shelter once the second-generation seeds fall to the ground. The seeding and regrowth continues until complete plant cover is achieved.

Making seed balls gives nature the extra boost it needs to make things right.