Zvuvi’s Israel

Summary:
Zvuvi - a cute Israeli fly takes you on a whirlwind tour, introducing pre-schoolers and young readers to Israel. Along with his cousin Zehava, Zvuvi wings his way here, there and everywhere, taking you to the fun places children love in Jerusalem, Tel Aviv, Haifa, Eilat, the Dead Sea, and many more attractions throughout Israel you've never heard of. You'll crawl inside caves, go on a safari, paraglide over the Mediterranean, go horseback riding in the Galilee, kayak down the Jordan River, ski on Mount Hermon, plus much, much more. Full of zest, Zvuvi makes sure to get his readers equally involved, by playing "Hide ‘n Seek" with them at every stop. The end result: readers get to know nearly every corner of Israel while competing with each other in finding Zvuvi's favorite hiding places.


Let's Talk About Israel
Take out a globe or a map of the world and show your students where Israel is located. Then ask them the following questions:

  1. Who was Abraham? What was his connection to the Land of Israel?
  2. Who was Moses and what was his connection to the Land of Israel?
  3. What is the connection between celebrating the holidays of Sukkot, Passover and Shavuot to the Land of Israel?
  4. What happened when the Second Temple was destroyed in Jerusalem. Where did the Jews go? Use this as an opportunity for students to talk about their own family roots.
  5. Why do we celebrate Yom Ha'Atzmaut?

Let's Connect the Jewish Symbols
Israel has two important Jewish symbols that everyone can identify with:
1. Talk about "The Star of David" and the Israeli flag. Ask your students how many have their own Star of David necklace. Turn this into a "Show & Tell".
2. Talk about the 7-branch Menorah that is the symbol of the State of Israel and the 7-branch Menorah that stood in the Temple over 2,000 years ago. Explain the difference between the 7-branch Menorah and the 9-branch Hanukkiah.

Create Your Own Mini-Israel
Create your own "Mini Israel" using Zvuvi's Israel as a guideline. If you can, involve an Arts & Crafts teacher and turn this into a long-term project that ends by making it the focal point of your Yom Ha'Atzmaut celebrations. Once a week, month, every two weeks (you determine the frequency), read a Zvuvi double spread story. After each story, use the arts & crafts time allotted to the class around creating your own "Mini Israel." For instance, start this project off with A "Wail" of a Time in Jerusalem. Read the story and talk about it ("what are the different activities we see in this story?" "which shapes can you find?", etc.). Through the guidance of a crafts teacher, start building Jerusalem. Once the class has finished this project, go on to the next story - The ZigZag Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway and repeat the process. Continue until the entire book is read and a complete Mini-Israel has been created.

Zvuvi Israeli Food Day
Make this event a family program. Israeli food is mentioned in four different stories: Felafel in A "Wail" of a Time in Jerusalem; Humus in The Zigzag Jerusalem-Tel Aviv Highway; Biblical Breakfast found in the second double spread of this same story; and grilled St. Peter's fish in Round and Round the Kinneret. Read these stories out loud, along with your students and their families. After each story serve the appropriate food. Naturally, the felafael has to be prepared ahead of time. Serve it with an Israeli salad (also prepared ahead of time) and tehina. Put each ingredient in a bowl and hand out cut pita breads. Let your students fill their own pita bread so that they can feel they are making their own falafel "sandwich". As for a Biblical Breakfast, you can contact me for ideas and/or you can visit the Neot Kedumim Biblical Landscape Reserve website.
Finally, St. Peter's Fish is better known as Talapia ("Musht" in Hebrew). Israelis love to grill it outdoors. Hold a family St. Peter's Fish barbecue and serve the fish along with an Israeli salad, humus and tehina.