Two Readings of Matan Torah:
Matan Torah (normal)
1. Ask your pupils to read this account of the lead up to Matan Torah.
Don’t give any guidance with regard to reading with expression, etc.
2. Learn through the text with your class. Once they have some idea
about what is going on, ask them to read the passage again, except
with more expression in the voice. They can be directed to
practise this in partners first.
Matan Torah (dramatic)
3. Now hand out this version. Ask the pupils what they see.
How has this been printed? Why?
4. Now let them practise reading this text with their partners.
5. Hear individuals or pairs read the passage as they have practised it.
6. You can now read it to the class yourself. You can experiment
with other ideas, too. For example, organise a reading that
begins with just one person but additional readers come in
every new line or so, thereby increasing the volume and drama.
They can additionally be directed to increase the volume in their
voices as the group of readers grows.
7. Now you switch on your CD/tape player, or even DVD & interactive
whiteboard, and treat the class to a full sound and light show
replete with thunder, lightening, shofar blasts, the works!
One Rav said that Har Sinai was the original and best ever
8. Give out the Matan Torah – Picturing Matan Torah page and explain
that you want the pupils to draw what they imagine the scene to have
been like based purely on their reading of the Chumash text.
9. It is up to you now whether you wish to introduce the many wonderful
Midrashim that can be discussed and added to the general picture
and the children’s pictures in particular!
The point of this exercise and the gradual build up in particular is to show the
children that there is enormous drama in the Torah, in the simple ‘pshat’,
before venturing into the Midrashim. It just takes a more thoughtful and
alert reading of the text to see it. Behatzlachah!
More on Shavuot
…with Torah Tots
Rabbi Akiva Tatz, at TorahAnytime.com:
“Miracles and the Sinai Experience” (Video Shiur, advanced)
Rabbi Paysach Krohn, at TorahAnytime.com:
“Searching Inward While Reaching Upward” (Video Shiur, advanced)