The reading for the Four Questions, or Mah Nishtanah, is an important part of the Passover Seder. Help your child learn these prior to the big night by creating a Four Questions Book complete with words and illustrations! Traditionally, the job of reading the four questions is given to the youngest child. While your preschooler may not have mastered the skills to read and write sentences on his own, this bookmaking activity will help him memorize and understand these significant Passover words.
What You Need:
- Card stock or other thin paper (6 pieces)
- Hole punch
- Yarn or ribbon
What You Do:
- Cut the card stock in a rectangle or square book shape. Make sure that each piece is equal in size. She'll need six pieces: one for the cover, one for the back, and one for each of the four questions.
- Use the hole punch to create two holes on the left side of each piece of card stock. These will be used to bind the book together. Line the holes up so that they match in spacing.
- Ask your child to draw a Passover-themed picture with markers on the cover. This can be from the story of Passover, a picture of what the Seder will look like, the Seder plate, or another relevant image. Help him to write words such as, “My Passover Book”, “Why is this night different from all other nights?” or, “The Four Questions”.
- Help your child write out the words for each question on each page of the book, using one piece of cardstock for each page. It may be helpful to write the letters first in pencil, and then have him trace over with markers. Point out each letter and the sound it makes. For those who are fluent in Hebrew, write the Hebrew words along with the English ones. The four questions are:
- Why is it that on all other nights during the year we eat either bread or matzoh, but on this night we only eat matzoh?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat all kinds of herbs, but on this night we eat only bitter herbs?
- Why is it that on all other nights we do not dip our herbs even once, but on this night we dip them twice?
- Why is it that on all other nights we eat either sitting or reclining, but on this night we eat in a reclining position?
- Using markers, your child can now draw a picture to match each question.
- Have him stack the pages of the book together in order and place the last piece of cardstock on the back.
- Cut two pieces of ribbon or yarn, and help your child to "sew" the book together using the holes on the left side of the pages.
Once your child has finished making his Four Questions Book, review the questions togethert until he feels comfortable reciting them.