CHAPTER SEVEN

YOM HAATZMAUT INDEPENDENCE DAY

 

1  BACKGROUND

 

Israel Independence Day is celebrated annually on the 5th Iyar, the anniversary of the establishment of the State of Israel (May 14, 1948). The day preceding this celebration  is devoted to the memory of those who gave their lives for the achievement of the country's independence and its continued existence. This indicates the mixed feelings of grief and joy with which the Jewish Nation won her independence. It is a national holiday observed both in Israel and through the Jewish world.

 

Yom Hazikaron (Remembrance Day), observed for the 24 hours preceding Independence Day, is devoted to the memory of all the soldiers who fell in the defence of the State of Israel, and to those people who have lost their lives in terrorist attacks. Remembrance Day begins at sunset with the sounding of a siren. The minute long siren sounds throughout the country of Israel and people stand still as one minute’s silence is observed. At a ceremony at the Western Wall in Jerusalem, the President of the State lights a memorial torch. The day itself is marked by special prayers and memorial services at military cemeteries. A second siren sounds at 11.00am on Remembrance Day and marks the beginning of these memorial ceremonies throughout the country. Israelis light memorial candles in their homes and flags are flown at half-mast. All shops and places of entertainment are closed.  Immediately after Remembrance Day ends, Independence Day begins.

 

Fireworks, dancing and celebrations in the streets throughout Israel mark the eve of Independence Day. The official ceremony takes place at Mount Herzl in Jerusalem. Twelve torches symbolizing the twelve tribes of Israel are lit. Throughout the country there is much rejoicing. Between 1948 and 1967 a grand parade by the Israel Defence Forces was held to mark the day itself. Today such parades are not generally held. Every Independence Day the President holds a reception for the diplomatic corps and for soldiers who have distinguished themselves in the course of duty. Two other events held in Jerusalem mark this day. The famous International Bible Competition is held each year on Independence Day, as is the awarding of the Israel Prize to distinguished artists and scholars. There has also developed the tradition of going on picnics or barbecues as part of Independence Day celebrations.

 

While Independence Day celebrates the actual date of the establishment of the Jewish State, Zionist settlement in Israel is usually dated from 1882. There was a Jewish presence in the Land of Israel throughout history.  In 1882 the “Bilu” group of pioneers began settling the land and the Zionist movement was born. After the “Bilu” came the second, third and fourth waves of immigration. The more the Jewish population increased in the country, the more pressure there was to establish a Jewish State and realize Herzl’s dream of a Jewish country.

 

This dream received international approval when in November 1947, the United Nations voted to partition Palestine into a Jewish and Arab state. Subsequently, Great Britain gave up its mandate over Palestine, and Jewish authorities led by David Ben Gurion issued in a solemn assembly in Tel Aviv the Proclamation of the State of Israel. However, the Arab nations opposed the partition of Palestine and the establishment of Israel. Immediately after midnight of the 5th of Iyar, the armies of Syria, Jordan and Egypt crossed the borders of the newly declared State of Israel and attacked. The War of Liberation or the War of Independence, as it was variously referred to, lasted for about a year. The Arabs were defeated and an armistice between the Jewish State and the Arab nations was signed.

 

When Israel gained independence in 1948 no one had to compose a national anthem, as an unofficial one existed. Hatikvah (The Hope), the anthem of the Zionist Movement and the settlers of Palestine for over half a century, was adopted by the government of the new state. The words, which express hope of return to Zion, were written as part of a poem by Naphtali Herz Imber in 1878. The melody was composed in 1882 by Samuel Cohen, a Moldavian settler in Rishon le-Zion.

 

Likewise, a new flag was not required. Rather, the well-known Zionist flag was adopted. The modern Israeli flag has historic roots. It was designed by David Wolfsohn for the Zionist movement at the time of its first Congress (1897). Wolfsohn based the design on that of the blue and white Jewish prayer shawl and combined it with the six-pointed star known as the Magen David. This star was believed to have decorated King David’s shield and to have had magical powers. During the nineteenth century, when Jews were looking for a sign to become a symbol of Judaism in the same way that the cross symbolized Christianity, they chose the Magen David. It appeared officially in synagogues, on letterheads of Jewish organizations and was later adopted by the Zionist movement. 

 

It is important that you read the introduction in order to put the activities that follow in their correct framework.

 

 

2  LEXICAL ITEMS

 

barbecue, Bible Quiz, birthday, country, dance, fireworks, flag, independence, memorial service, picnics, remembrance day, state.

 

Ideas for different levels

Grade 3: By now grade 3 pupils should know all the letters of the alphabet. They will also enjoy doing word searches. At this stage it is important that the words in the bank are written in the same case as the letters in the word search. Let them do the grid word search in a set time and then work with them to locate the answers.

Grade 4: Grid word search with or without word bank. Locate answers to provide practice in calling out co-ordinates. Use the words in sentences.

Grade 4/5: Tile puzzle.

Grade 5/6: Independence Day word search with or without word bank. Use words in sentences.

Grade 6: Cities word search.

 

Activity        Grid word search.

Find the following words :  BIRTHDAY, COUNTRY, DANCE, FLAG, INDEPENDENCE, ISRAEL, JERUSALEM.

 

They go in 4 directions:

 

 

  A B C D E F G H I J K L

1 I N D E P E N D E N C E

2 L E A R S I A Y U A G B

3 R E N E B I R T H D A Y

4 V I C O U N T R Y G L T

5 N M E L A S U R E J F J

 

 

Now use the grid to talk about where the words are.

For example: Jerusalem is at J/5.

 

 

Answers BIRTHDAY (E/3), COUNTRY (C/4), DANCE( C/1), FLAG (K/5), INDEPENDENCE, (A1) ISRAEL (F/2), JERUSALEM (J/5).

 

Activity       Tile Puzzle.

 

Complete the following sentences and put your answers into the tile puzzle below.

(At least one letter has been given to you.)

 

The d___________ of independence was signed in May 1948.

The Jewish people now had a h___________.

I___________ has a blue and white f___________.

The S___________ of Israel c___________ her birthday every year.

Happy B___________ Israel.  It is I___________ Day!

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

I

 

 

A

 

L

 

H

 

N

 

 

 

 

 

D

 

 

 

 

E

 

 

B

 

 

 

 

 

 

P

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

E

 

 

 

N

 

 

 

D

 

 

 

S

 

 

 

E

 

 

 

N

 

C

 

E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: declaration, homeland, Israel, flag, State, celebrates, Birthday, Independence.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity    Independence Day Word Search

 

 

In the word search below you have words going in all directions:

                                                         There are 12 things all related to  

                                                         Independence Day.

 

Find them and use each in a sentence.

 

 

E Y H B W Z T Y B Y E C E S T A T E U

C R F A A S A V J A E C G K V O A O N

N X O R T F F Y V D N G L N Q P J H C

A D A B X A V V S E B I B L E Q U I Z

D W H E D B X W D C F M Z A A O P X I

E G B C H E S N V N I U M P Z Z M R M

U C Q U G J E Q P A F N V A F H T C B

E A I E A P A C W R V S C T Q H J V L

O F C V E J F A I B A S B I D Q F Z Y

B W I D R I B S P M D T L A P J L M T

J B N R E E S J M E X T Y R T N U O C

K I A C E X S C S M V G P Z Z J C I S

F L A G O W X L L E U Q V P Y T U E W

Q V A S T M O H A R P J A C R B T W E

M K M T K Q D R Z I M I N U P A R P N

V I Q O V M H S K I R I L D T E Q X Q

Q D K X I K N Y L S V O O S I A B G L

Y A D H T R I B H H T R M E L L F I N

G F E Z O C K V Q H Y C H E B N Z C S

X S W J Z Z Y S N W Y I E S M K B S A

 




 

         Word Bank :   

 

Barbecue, Bible Quiz, birthday, country; dance, fireworks, flag, independence, memorial service, picnics, remembrance day, state.

Activity       Cities Word Search

 

In the word search below you have the names of 20 Israeli cities going in  all directions:

 

 

How many can you find before looking at the word bank?

 

A C C O J E N A H A R I A A D A T W G E

A Q J V G E O R J W H A S A S F E F D K

L F E Q B E R V J T T H F H M I L K U E

P O D T H S A U S Q D A K F N A A V U G

E X D U Z X H B S O S E Q U T H V W E I

I B X M J S S L D A L W P P I S I S J X

L H J B Y D A G L O L W L A L R V Y G X

A M D B F Y H I N Z H E N O Y D N Z N Y

T U M E A A T E R D F O M P L Q A N V L

F L X Y R J A F Z E M Y S A F A D N T O

R L N E R G M V B H B R J L W S D P C R

V E I Y X B A D S G Y I B X R S X A E Y

T X H C V L R T N N M H T J R J T I K E

T A C O L S A B E E R S H E V A Z L Z H

Z R L U V Y K A R B I E N B L V U Z C U

Q Z T I R O O O G I E W F C A K N R P D

Q E D I E T T Y V G A N O M I D O E G A

M W K O X T Y V T R D O V S G X A H N H

 

 

 



Word bank :

 

Acco, Ashdod, Ashkelon, Beersheva, Bnei-Brak, Dimona, Eilat, Haifa, Herzlia, Jerusalem, Kiryat Shmona, Lod, Metulla, Naharia, Or-Yehudah,  Ramat Hasharon, Rehovot, Safad, Tel Aviv, Tiberias 

 

 

3  SONGS

 

Happy birthday 

 

Happy birthday to you (x2)

Happy birthday dear Israel

Happy birthday to you.     

 

Hatikvah (translation)

 

So long as still within our breasts

The Jewish heart beats true,

So long as still towards the East,

To Zion, looks the Jew,

So long our hopes are not yet lost

Two thousand years we cherished them

To live in freedom in the Land

Of Zion and Jerusalem.

 

 

4  ACTIVITIES

 

Title: Happy Birthday.

Level: Grade 3/4.

Materials: Flashcards. Optional - a copy of the code can be found in chapter 2 page 51.

Aims:

-to present lexical items connected to the festival.

-to practise alphabetical order.

Description:

Put the flashcard “Happy birthday” on the blackboard.

Sing the song Happy Birthday without stating whose birthday it is.

[Words: Happy birthday to you (x2)

             Happy birthday dear who

             Happy birthday to you.        ]

Ask the pupils whose birthday it is. Elicit Israel and place flashcard on blackboard. Find out from the pupils how old Israel is. Sing the song again substituting ‘Israel’ for ‘who’. Let the pupils join in.

Ask the pupils how they celebrate Israel’s birthday and elicit the lexical items (flag, dancing, barbecue, picnic, fireworks.) Each time place the flashcard on the blackboard.

Present the name of the holiday and put the flashcard on the blackboard.

When all 8 flashcards are on the board read the words together with the pupils. Call on volunteers to help arrange the flashcards in alphabetical order.

Tell the pupils to use the code a=1, b=2 c=3…, choose at least 2 of the words from the blackboard and to write them in code. The pupils can then exchange coded words and solve them. For their portfolios let them solve the expression

__ __ __ __ __       __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __       __ __ __ __ __ __

 8   1  16 16 25        2   9  18 20  8   4   1  25        9  19 18  1   5  12

 

Flashcards: “Happy birthday”       Israel       flag      dancing               

    barbecue        picnic        fireworks        independence

 

Title: Know your alphabet.

Level: Grade 3/4.

Materials: Activity (All Mixed Up.) Optional - a copy of the code can be found in chapter 2

Aims:

-to practise alphabetical order.

Description:

Write the following on the blackboard :    __ __ __ __ __ __

                                                                      9  19 18  1   5  12

and tell the pupils to solve it using the code a=1, b=2, c=3 …….

Hand out the mixed up alphabet sheet. Explain what they need to do and let them solve the problem.

 

Activity

 

ALL MIXED UP.

 

Danny wrote out the alphabet but he made some mistakes. Put a circle around all the letters which are in the wrong place. Write them on the lines below.

 

 B  Y  C   R  E  F  G I  H  J  K L  M  N  O  P  Q  T  S  D  U  V  W  X  A  Z 

 

 __ __ __ __ __ __ __ __ 

 

Can you arrange these letters to make a word? Do you know a song with this word?    Can you use the a=1, b=2 c=3 …. code and write the song in code?

 

 

 

Title: Listening.

Level: Grade 3/4.

Materials: Sentence strips, an Israeli flag (can be a picture), flashcards and pictures of the words to be dictated (blackboard, boy, car, classroom, flag, girl, house, window.)

 Aims:

-to practise listening skills (listening in order to follow directions, listening for understanding).

-to practise letter-sound recognition.

-to practise global reading.

Description:

Have the pupils take out their notebooks. Ask the pupils to write down the first letter of the words you dictate. Dictate the following words:

blackboard,  boy, car, classroom, flag, girl, house, window. Check their work by holding up the flashcards. At the same time check that they understand each of the words.

Tell the pupils that you are going to use the words in sentences. And they have to draw a picture to show they have understood. Here is a list of sentences to use. (Use these sentences to make sentence strips.)

 

1.      The flag is in the classroom.

2.      There is a flag on the car.

3.      The flag is in the window.

4.      The flag is next to the blackboard.

5.      The flag is on the house.

6.      The boy has a flag.

7.      The girl has a flag.

 

Correct their work by having volunteers come to the blackboard, read a sentence strip and explain it (they can demonstrate, draw or translate.)

 

 

 

               

Title: Independence Day Links.

Level: Grade 5.

Materials: Worksheet (Link Word Activity).

Aims:

-to revise lexical items associated with the festival.

-to practise letter recognition and formation.

Description:

Begin the lesson by brainstorming for words related to Independence Day. Make sure the following words are put on the blackboard (Bible Quiz, David, blue, picnics, flag, barbecue, fireworks, dance, state).

Leave the words on the blackboard to act as a word bank for the link exercise. Hand out link word activity (page 153). After it has been corrected, it can be placed in the pupil’s portfolio.

 

Title: This is my land.

Level: Grade 5.

Materials: Copy of poem, map of Israel.

Aims:

-to revise geographical place names related to Israel.

-to review the function of capital letters for place names.

-to practise listening skills (listening for particular items).

Description:

Have the pupils take out their notebooks. Read the poem to the pupils and have them write down the names they hear. Write the four names on the blackboard. Using the map ask pupils to point out these places. Ask the question “Which land is being talked about?”  Hand out the poem and allow 5 minutes for the pupils to work in pairs reading the poem to each other. Call on volunteers to read the poem to the whole class.  Give the students some questions based on the poem and the map. Correct student work and then give the pupils a list of words they need to learn how to spell.

 

Activity

 

This is my land

 

This is my land,

This is your land,

From the Sinai desert

To the Hermon Mountain,

From the Mediterranean

To the Jordan River,

This land is made

For you and me.

 

 

Questions:  

1.      What land is “my land”?

 

2.      Is the Sinai desert in the south or the north of the country?

 

3.      Is Mount Hermon in the desert?

 

4.      What is the Mediterranean?

 

5.      Is the Jordan River to the east or west of Tel Aviv?

 

6.      List the things which make Israel special for you.

 

 

 

Spelling list: desert, mountain, river, north, east, west, south, Israel

[ Bonus words to learn – Mediterranean, Sinai, Hermon, Jordan ]

 

LINK WORD ACTIVITY.

 

Complete the link words by filling in the sentences below.

 

 

 

 

1.

   I

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   N

 

 

 

2.D

 

 

 

 

3.

 

 

   E

 

 

4.P

 

 

 

 

 

9.

   E

 

 

 

   N

5.

 

 

 

   D

 

 

 

6.

 

 

 

   E

 

 

 

 

 

 

   N

 

   C

7.

 

 

   E

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

   D

 

 

8.

   A

 

 

 

 

   Y

 

 

1.      Every year there is a  ______________  on Independence Day.

2.      The flag has a Star of _____________ in the middle.

3.      It is ________ and white.

4.      People go on ____________.

5.      Israel’s _______ is blue and white with a Star of David.

6.      People like to eat meat from the ____________.

7.      At night there are ____________.

8.      People like to __________.

9.      It is the birthday of the ___________ of Israel.

 

 

 

 

 

Answers: 1. Bible Quiz. 2. David. 3. blue. 4. picnics. 5. flag. 6. barbecue. 7. fireworks. 8. dance. 9. state.

 

Title: Israeli ID.

Level: Grade 5/6.

Materials: Activity (My Country).

Aims:

-to revise basic knowledge about Israel.

-to use lexical items related to describing a country.

Description:

Introduce the topic of “Israeli Independence Day” (hangman, ask a leading question, simply put on blackboard).

Then ask pupils how much do they really know about their country. Hand out worksheet and give them a set time (about 20 minutes) to fill in the identifying factors. Correct together as a class and put completed sheet into portfolio.

Optional activity – choose one of the identifying factors and find out more information to present to the class. This optional activity could be the basis of a wall display, and pupils could present their extra information in word and/or pictures.

 

Activity                     My Country’s ID.

 

1. My country is called_________________

2. What are the people called? _________________

3. Date of Independence _________________

4. What is/are the official language/s? __________________________

5. Location a) Which countries are to the north?  ____________________

                   b) Which country is to the south? ________________________

                   c) Which country is to the east? _________________________

                   d) What is to the west? ___________________________

6. Give an important historical date and say why this date is important.

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

7. The capital city is ____________________ and two other cities are _____________ and ________________ .

8. A mountain is ___________________ and a river is ____________________.

9. The national anthem is _____________________

10. Describe the flag. __________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

__________________________________________________________

Title:  Cities and towns.

Level: Grade 5/6.

Materials: Reading sheet (Places in Israel), blank map of Israel (optional).

Aims:

-to revise basic knowledge about Israel.

-to practise reading skills.

Description:

Introduce the topic of “Israeli Independence Day” (hangman, ask a leading question, simply put on blackboard).

Then ask pupils to list different cities and towns in Israel.

Hand out reading sheet about cities and have them guess which place is which.

 

Activity        Places in Israel.

1.      This town is in the north of Israel. Part of its name is the number eight. Not far from the town is a mountain (called Mt. Hermon )where snow falls in winter.  What is the name of the town?

2.      This city is Israel’s biggest port city. It is on Mount Carmel. It has Israel’s only underground train. What is the name of this city?

3.      This is the second largest city in the country. This city has a river where you can rent a rowboat. You can go to the beach here. What is the name of the city? What is the name of its river?

4.      This is the capital city of Israel. There are many interesting places to visit. What is the name of this city?

5.      This is the most important city in the Negev. Part of the name is the number of the days in the week.  What is the name of the city?

6.      This city is Israel’s most southern city. It has an airport and a seaport. The name of the sea here is a colour. A lot of tourists come to this place. What is the name of the city and what is the name of the sea?

 

Write your answers here and arrange them in alphabetical order. Open an atlas and find each place.   If you have a blank map, mark the cities.

Answers to "Places in Israel." 1. Kiryat Shmona 2. Haifa 3. Tel Aviv / Yarkon River 4. Jerusalem 5. Beersheba (Beersheva) 6. Eilat / Red Sea

 

Title: Symbols.

Level: Grade 5/6.

Materials: Sentence strips, an Israeli flag (can be a picture).

Aims:

-to practise listening skills (listening in order to follow directions).

Description:

Have the pupils take out their notebooks. Challenge the pupils to draw a Star of David (Magen David) with six and or ten lines. When somebody succeeds or they give up demonstrate how it is done.

 

* Have pupils follow directions to draw a Magen David with only 6 lines.

 

1.      Draw a triangle with a point to the top of the page. (3 lines)

2.      Draw a second triangle, exactly the same size, over the first but with its point to the bottom of the page.

 

* Have pupils follow directions to draw a Magen David with 10 lines.

 

1. Draw the letter X (2 lines).

2. Draw a second letter X next to the first.  Leave a space between the two. (2 more lines).

3. Add a line on top and a line on the bottom. (Another 2 lines. 6 lines altogether.)

4. With 2 more lines draw a triangle on top. (Another 2 lines. 8 lines altogether.)

 5. Finally add another 2 lines and draw a triangle on the bottom. (You have now used 10 lines)

 

Lead a discussion about the Star of David. Where does it appear? When you have elicited that it appears on the flag ask the pupils to describe the Israeli flag.

Have them draw a flag in their notebooks and write 2-3 sentences describing the flag. Stick on the blackboard a picture of a flag and the following sentence strips. Read them with the pupils and let them check their own work.

Sentence strips:      This is the Israeli flag.

                                  It is blue and white.

                                 There is a Star of David in the middle.

                                  A flag is a symbol of a country.

 

Elicit from the pupils that a national anthem is also a symbol.  Have the pupils sing the “Hatikvah” and then read them the translation. (See songs above .)

 

Title: Likes and dislikes.

Level: Grade 6.

Materials: Worksheet (Activity -   Israel Independence Day), flashcards.

Aims:

-to practise speaking skills.

-to revise and use verb phrases related to likes and dislikes.

-to practise writing skills.

Description:

Introduce the topic of “Israeli Independence Day” (hangman, ask a leading question, simply put on blackboard).

Brainstorm different ways of celebrating this holiday.  Write key terms on blackboard.

Hold up flashcards of verbs of likes and dislikes and have pupils complete sentences. (E.g. I like going to a party, I detest dancing in the street).

Then hand out the activity sheet and allow the pupils to work.

 

Materials for grade 6 likes and dislikes activity.

 

Flashcards: (Photocopy and enlarge or make your own.)

like, enjoy, love, dislike, hate, detest, loathe 

 

 

 

 

 

Activity -   Israel Independence Day

 

This year ISRAELI INDEPENDENCE DAY  is on ____________________.

 

Make a list of the things you are planning to do to celebrate.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Write at least 5 sentences about things you like and things you dislike about Independence Day.  Use these verbs to vary your sentences.

 

 

like,   enjoy,   love,   dislike,   hate,   detest,   loathe

 

 

Title: Writing activity.

Level: Grade 6.

Materials: Pen and paper.

Aims:

-to practise speaking skills.

-to practise writing skills.

Description: Introduce the topic of “Israeli Independence Day” (hangman, ask a leading question, simply put on blackboard).

Tell the pupils that they have to explain this holiday to a foreigner. Lead a discussion as to what you would say. Write key terms on blackboard.

Have pupils write up an explanation.

Let them exchange work and comment on each others work. (If you have trained your pupils to do peer editing this could be done here.) 

After their work has been corrected it can be placed in their portfolios.

 

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