Wednesday, May 11, 2016

Day 4 - New York City!

What a day filled with adventure and learning! We started with a visit to temple Emanu-El, the largest reform synagogue in North America, if not the world. As today was Yom HaZikaron - we started with a discussion about what that means as a day of remembrance for Israel's fallen soldiers and how it is juxtaposed by being followed with Yon Ha'Atzmaut as a day of celebration.  Students had insightful commentary about dedication and remembrance for fallen soldiers in the state of Israel, the bitter memories of those times, in comparison to the sweet memories of freedom, liberty, and the creation of a Jewish state of Israel. We observed a moment of silence and the group chanted Kaddish as they were led by Max and Ilan. Following Kaddish, we were joined by a docent and historian named Hadassah. She told the students about the construction of the facility before the depression and elaborated on the architecture. Students had insightful questions about the structure and community and compared it to what they learned at Eldridge Street on the opposite side of town.

Following temple Emanu-el, we did a walking tour of Rockefeller Center, and then back towards Time Square before catching the bus to go to Metropolitan Museum of Art.

Once at the Met, the students were encouraged to look for and engage in history through art, artistic styles, and to learn. Each group was charged with completing a mission through the museum and documenting their learning.  They were each asked to complete the following:
1.  Life imitating art! Take a picture of yourself in front of a piece of art or next to that piece of art, imitating it! Feel free to be creative but remember to be appropriate. Sculptures, paintings or other similar items are all acceptable.

2. Find something from ancient history - Greek Roman, or Egyptian! There is part of the Temple of Dandur set up in one section of the museum, sculptures, displays, and much much more! Have fun exploring.

3.  Find a piece of art by any of the impressionist artists. These include Claude Monet, Edgar Degas, Vincent Van Gogh and Camille Pissaro among others. Be sure to photograph yourself alone or in a group  in front of that art. 

4. Find something from American history. Think about our Presidents, founding fathers, or anything else representing the United States of America. This can be a painting, a statue, or other artifact. Be sure to photograph yourselves in front of it as well.

5. Bonus! Find something that interests you take a picture and tell us why you found it interesting!

Several of the groups upon seeing the Sunflower painting by Vincent Van Gogh recalled a 4th grade art unit where they learned about Van Gogh and then themselves painted sunflowers. Another student asked about the dot paintings, referring to the Pointilism styling of painting  by Georges Seurat and recalled painting sailboats themselves in that style as first graders. It was wonderful to see and hear about learning becoming real and dynamic while having it move outside the classroom wall. They experienced this with joy and enthusiasm. Many students also enjoyed the roof top garden where the set of the mansion from the movie Psycho is on display.   

When asked about their favorite part of the Met, this is what the students replied:

Favorite things at the museum:

Max: bronze Greek chariot
Maya: Georges Seurat and Pointilism
Hannah: painting of the person on the subway
Dunn: painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Alex: painting of George Washington Crossing the Delaware
Adam: statue of Perseus with medusa's head
Guy: anything by Vincent Van Gogh
Daniel:  anything by Vincent Van Gogh
Omri: sunflower painting by Claude Money
Everett: specific details in paintings
Seth: psycho mansion
Ezra: psycho mansion
Ilan: My favorite part was the pigeon and the girl 

So no trip to New York is complete without a Yankees game! So after the Met, we trekked to Yankee Stadium in the Bronx and enjoyed a game of the Yankees versus the Royals.
It was a very action packed day!


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