With Passover about to begin, what a perfect time to do a unit on Pesach (the Hebrew word for “Passover”) and Egypt. We did a unit on Easter Lesson Plans as well, so that our kids can learn about various religions and customs. The Passover science experiments include the “build a floating basket” challenge, the magic of the parting of the Red Sea, the amazing floating egg and paper fire balloons! Plus, make your very own matzah at home (you only need flour and water!) and learn about Ancient Egypt while practicing your reading, writing and math with tons of free printable worksheets! But before we start, don’t forget to join our Facebook Group and “like” our Facebook Page, so you won’t miss out on any of our educational fun!
If you are looking for ways to keep your kids (and yourself!) entertained during your Passover Seder this year, you should get some Jumping Frogs and Ten Plague Hand Puppets. But if you are ONLY going to buy one thing, then you need the How Jew You Do (Passover Edition) Game which is a fun to encourage the adults and kids to have fantastic conversations!
📚 Reading: Kids Passover Story & Haggadah Book
- Here is a great Kids Passover Guide to learn about the holiday. If you only have time for a quick overview, here is a super short Kids Passover Story Summary.
- Have some extra time? Here is a fantastic Kids Model Seder, along with this great (free!) Printable Haggadah for Kids to read! For those who may not know, a Seder is the meal that Jewish people have on Passover where they tell stories, read and eat delicious food. The Haggadah is the book that Jewish people read from at the Seder.
- (K-2) Listen to Rachelle Burk read her story “The Best Four Questions” in this video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=IKwj29PgIv4
🧪 Passover Science: Floating Basket, Red Sea Parting & Paper Fire Balloons
When Moses (Moshe in Hebrew) was leading the Jewish people out of Egypt, there was a miracle that happened when the Red Sea split. You can simulate this by “parting the Red Sea” at home! Here’s how: https://themakermom.com/2014/04/science-fun-for-kids-parting-the-red-pepper-sea.html
When Moses was a baby, he floated in a basket, down the Nile River. So let’s do some floating vs sinking experiments!
- You can test if an egg is safe to eat by putting it in a bowl of water. If it sinks, it is still good. If it floats, it is time to throw it out. So (hopefully!) your eggs all sink, but let’s see what happens when you put an egg in salt water vs regular water (*HINT* this is the same thing that happens if you go swimming in the Dead Sea): https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/floating-egg/
- (K-2) You can take this floating and sinking experiment a step further by gathering a bunch of objects around your house and testing what floats vs what sinks! Try to form a hypothesis first and record your results using this free printable: https://docs.google.com/file/d/0B-cVjZBMBNNXVExsV25sS25DN2c/edit Do your hypotheses change as you test out more objects? Here is a great source that explains what buoyancy is and why some things float, while others sink: https://www.bbc.co.uk/bitesize/topics/zc89k7h
- (3rd – 5th grade) Learn how to build a boat (or basket!) with this challenge using aluminum foil, toothpicks, beads and craft sticks. Are you able to design a boat that will hold five pennies without sinking? If so, see how many pennies it takes to sink your boat! Then, see what you can do to improve the design to hold even more pennies! https://www.wikkistix.com/lesson-plans/stem-mayflower-boat-building-challenge/
In the mood for even more science today? Let’s take a look at the miracle of the burning bush, by exploring how paper can be lit on fire without burning! Please be careful and only do these Passover Science Experiments under adult supervision!
- While Steve Spangler does this experiment where he shows how you can light a $20 dollar bill on fire without it burning, you are definitely more than welcome to do this with a regular piece of paper instead: https://www.stevespanglerscience.com/lab/experiments/burning-money/
- Another fantastic fire-related experiment is this one, where you make paper fire balloons that actually fly away. This one is always a huge hit for kids to watch: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=2Wj-3-tjPI4
🧮 Ancient Egyptian Math & Geometry
Read this kids story about the history of geometry, which began in Ancient Egypt: https://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Product/Story-of-Geometry-Montessori-Gift-of-Egypt-Gift-of-the-Nile-4205770
The Egyptians had a different numerical symbols than we do! These games will teach you about how Ancient Egyptians did math:
Here are a couple of Egyptian-inspired math puzzle worksheets:
✏ Writing: Free Printable Ancient Egyptian Worksheets
Oh my goodness, wait until you see these worksheet packets (sorted by ages / grade) all about Ancient Egypt! These are so well done and will keep your kids busy for quite a while. To save on printing costs and to help our environment, you may want to print pages as you go along (versus the whole thing all at once).
- Pre-K: You will work on pre-writing, cutting with scissors, coloring, puzzles and even make your own Egyptian-themed dice to use in a fun counting game! http://www.3dinosaurs.com/download/pdf/packs/egypt-tot.pdf/1586120337-c21c867f53af1e20
- Kindergarten – 2nd grade: Your packet of Ancient Egypt worksheets is so huge, that it was separated into the following four pdf files. They are in order from easiest to hardest, with an idea of what you will find outlined below. You can find each pdf file at the bottom of this page: http://www.3dinosaurs.com/printable/egypt-pack
- Part 1: This packet is the easiest and probably most appropriate for Kindergarten. It has beginning reading, patterns and addition / subtraction worksheets towards the end.
- Part 2 contains reading and writing words about Ancient Egypt, a 100’s chart lesson and you make your own Egyptian-themed dice to play fun math games with.
- Part 3 includes writing prompts about Ancient Egypt to practice writing sentences.
- Part 4: This packet you make your own patterns and solve pre-made patterns.
- 3rd – 5th grade: Become an Egyptologist! You will learn about Ancient Egypt’s geography, pyramids, mummies and even crack hieroglyph codes: http://www.royalbaloo.com/download/RoyalBalooEgyptologistUnit.pdf
🖌 Passover Art: Frog Origami
Let’s draw some plagues for our Passover art project!
- Make an Origami Frog
- How to Draw a Frog: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=n_kovglf_eM
- How to Draw a Fly: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=XN78NKED4Vw
🥣 DIY Matzah & Passover Recipes
We don’t always have recipes in our lesson plans, but what would a Passover unit be without some great recipes! You can even learn how to make your very own matzoh (though it will not technically be “kosher for Passover”):
- DIY Matzah Recipe https://pjlibrary.org/beyond-books/pjblog/april-2019/how-to-make-your-own-matzah
- There are a ton of different opinions on how to make the best matzo ball soup. Do you like floaters? Sinkers? Do you use club soda? Or regular water? I will leave these heated debates for your Passover table, but this recipe gives instructions for floaters, sinkers AND gluten-free matzo balls (so there is something for everyone!): https://toriavey.com/toris-kitchen/perfect-chicken-soup/
- Brisket is an absolute must (in my opinion) for the main dish! Here is a great Passover Brisket Recipe: https://thepioneerwoman.com/cooking/passover-brisket-i-think/
- My absolute favorite dessert chef is the James Beard Award Winner Alice Medrich, and I’m planning to try her “Put an End to Bad Passover Cakes” recipe this year… but quite a few desserts in Alice Medrich’s book, Flavor Flours, would work! It is a cookbook that uses all kinds of alternate flours like rice flour, corn flour and oat flour (but no wheat flours, so everything is gluten-free). Every family, of course, has different customs that they follow during Passover, but these work for us!
Let’s do some frog-inspired movement to get that energy out, while being Passover-themed!
And the most fun part… share a photo or video of your Passover science experiments, your frog art (or of any of the other fun activities) on Facebook! Make sure to include a link to this website or to our Facebook Group and Facebook Page, so that we can see it too! I’ve purposefully added a lot of options for parents who need to keep their kiddos occupied for more time and to allow you to cater to your children’s preferences.