Activate Learning with Alef-Bet Flash Cards
Alef-bet flash cards are a simple yet versatile learning tool—especially to get children out of their seats and actively engaged in Hebrew learning. Some educators find it helpful to give each student a pack of their own cards.
Here are energizing ways to use the cards when each child has a set:
MOVEMENT & MELODY
Name That Picture
Post ten or more pictures of people, objects, or cultural items around the room. For example, you might post pictures of a king (melech), a tzedakah box (tzedakah), a candle (ner), or a fish (dag). While pointing to a picture, call out its name in Hebrew. Repeat the Hebrew word several times. Have students repeat the word after you. Allow a minute or two for students to identify the initial letter then look through their pack of cards to find it. When you say “Go!” students run (or walk) to the picture while holding high the card with the initial letter.
In an open space have students place their cards (or selected cards) on the floor around themselves. Call out a Hebrew letter or vowel. Students jump on one foot to stand next to the correct card.
Hebrew Letter Yoga
Ask students to pull a letter from their pack of flash cards. One at a time, without showing the card to the rest of the group, students make the shape of the letter using their bodies. The others guess the letter by holding up the correct card. Variation 1: Students can collaborate. For example, for hay, one child can be the rounded part of the letter and another can be the short leg. Variation 2: If it’s easier, students can create the yoga letter sitting or lying on the floor.
Have students combine letters and vowels to create syllables or even short words. They sing out their syllable and others in their group (or the whole class) join in. For example, a student may combine dalet (d) and kamatz (ah) to form "dah" and then dance, strum, or beat out the syllable on a table (dah, dah, dah-dah, dah).
Label objects in the room, for example, delet (door), chalon (window), kiseh (chair), mezuzah. You can make your own labels or buy a set of word cards, for example, the word cards for Shalom Ivrit 1 (which include many common objects). Ask students to say the Hebrew words as they walk to the object or point to it. Repeat the words several times. Then ask students to find the initial letter in their sets of flash cards.
Hold It Up!
Have students lay out their cards in front of them, Hebrew facing up. Call out a letter name or sound and students hold up that card. Variation: Ask for volunteers to be the leader and call out the names or sounds.
Select, or have students select, ten or twelve cards and play a matching (memory) game with a partner.
One student displays several cards to a partner, then takes one away. The other student guesses which letter is missing. Switch roles.
Climb the Ladder
In small groups each learner creates a column of at least six cards (letter-vowel combinations). Other group members “climb the ladder” by sounding out the syllables in that student’s column.
Send home a set of flash cards for parents to review with their child. You can also recommend Shalom Hebrew app for online reading decoding practice. Parents can try out five free lessons.