Tu B’Shevat, the 15th of Shevat on the Jewish calendar – celebrated this year on Wednesday, Feb. 4, 2015 – is the day that marks the beginning of a “new year” for trees. This is the season in which the earliest-blooming trees in the Land of Israel emerge from their winter sleep and begin a new fruit-bearing cycle.
We mark the holiday of Tu B’Shevat by eating fruit, particularly from species of fruits that grow in Israel: grapes, figs, pomegranates, olives & dates. We reflect on the lessons we can derive from the cycle of planting & growth, nature and caring for our environment.
Here is a terrific activity for children (and adults!) to celebrate the holiday of Tu B’Shevat. Note the variations to accommodate learners of all abilities.
On Tu B’Shevat it is a custom to eat fruits from the seven species that grow in Israel. Some of these fruits are new to many of our students and taste different than the typical fruits they enjoy. We suggest a Tu B’Shevat Taste Test!
Students can try the various fruits and record whether they think each one tastes sweet, salty, sour or spicy on individual worksheets and then share with the rest of the class. Teachers can record the class’ results on an over-sized piece of chart paper using the attached images, making this a lesson that spans multiple subject areas.
A variation to make this a more “active” activity: Try hanging up the four signs (sweet, spicy, salty & sour) and have students stand by the sign that they think the fruit they just tried tastes like. They will then be able to move from sign to sign after tasting each type of fruit.
Download all the images: Tu B’Shevat Activity 2015. Have your own idea on how to use these visuals? Go ahead! But be sure to share how you used it in your classroom with the rest of us!