I love the many ways that Sefaria's visualizations can help learners see patterns and gain new insights into texts. Here are a few discussion questions and activities around our Tractate Rosh HaShanah Visualization that you can adapt to your setting and your students' abilities and preferences:
What do you notice about the patterns of connections between Tanakh (or a particular book) and Tractate Rosh Hashanah?
What have you learned about Tanakh (or a particular book) that might help you understand these patterns?
What questions do you have?
What are the pesukim in the Tanakh that are core to teaching us about Rosh Hashanah? Select a particular book or section of Tanakh, perhaps the book that students will be learning this year, or one that they have learned previously, and use the links in the visualization to create a sheet that gathers the verses in the section that you have chosen that are most quoted by Masekhet Rosh Hashanah. Alternatively, ask your students to gather these sources. Students can work on understanding and analyzing these verses and/or their context, and and on relating them to the broader themes of the holiday.
For example, here's an activity that was designed for 4th grade students at a community day school who learned sections of the book of Genesis in 3rd grade. This conversation encourages students to build on their past learning about the holiday of Rosh Hashanah, to connect it to some of the themes and texts they learned in their Torah class, and to think about what else they would like to know about Rosh Hashanah.
The teacher displays the link explorer, and explains what it is and how it works, reinforcing and expanding the students' understanding of the written and oral Torah.
The students will see that Masekhet Rosh Hashanah quotes and discusses several verses from the first two chapters of Sefer Bereishit.
- Do you remember what the first two chapters of Sefer Bereishit are about?
- Look up these verses. Read and translate them. What are they about?
- What do you remember about the holiday of Rosh Hashanah?
- Why do you think that a book about this holiday would quote and discuss these verses? What might this conversation be about?
- What else do you think a book about Rosh Hashanah might discuss? What questions do you have about Rosh Hashanah?
- What other verses in the Torah do you think this tractate might quote and why?