Recently, in JGU Creative Online Camp, girls learned about the Aishes Chayil’s (Woman of Valor) quality of resourcefulness. After making a garment, we are taught, she doesn’t cast away the excess fabric, but gives a new life to the material, creating a beautiful sash from it with which she supplies the merchant. She recognizes value in all her materials, and brings it out through creative repurposing. Afterwards, for a themed writing activity, girls trained their brains to solve problems creatively. They were timed, first given an interesting prompt or scenario to develop, and a short list of random objects that they were required to include in their story but especially as their tools to resolve the conflict!
Prompt #1: You’re chatting on your front lawn with a friend when suddenly, a girl whom you’ve never seen pedals by on her bike, skids, and is cast off onto the pavement! You have sandwiches, gauze, a cell phone, and a(n empty) wine bottle.
Prompt #2: You’ve been deserted on a tropical island and a storm is coming! Quick, do something! You will need to include a palm tree with coconuts; swimming goggles; an umbrella; and a can opener.
Prompt #3: You’re alone at home on Friday and your mother entrusted you with cooking for Shabbos – and you have two guests coming also! You have all the typical ingredients and utensils you would always have in the kitchen, but Ima said you MUST include blueberries, 2-week-old challah, lox, avocado, and chili pepper.
Prompt #4: Ms. Weiss glides out of your classroom to retrieve something from the library. Jenna springs to the front and announces to the class, “I just found out that it’s Ms. Weiss’s birthday today – let’s throw her a party, now!” You look around; you find colored chalk, candy wrappers, a notebook, a bag of popcorn, a radio, and a mop.
“An Unknown Friend In Need” by Chani Baum 😉 A.K.A: Elka Szilagyi (Prompt #1)
By Chaya Mushka Bialo (Prompt #4)
By Maital Ledder (Prompt #4)
Ms. Weiss glided out of your classroom to retrieve something from the library. Jenna sprung to the front and announced to the class, “I just found out that it’s Ms. Weiss’s birthday today – let’s throw her a party, now!” We looked around and found colored chalk, candy wrappers, a notebook, a bag of popcorn, a radio-boombox, and a mop. We all looked at her in total shock.
“What are you talking about? Ms. Weiss is due back any minute!” Sarah looked at Jenna like she had fallen from the moon.
“Don’t worry, girlies, I’ve got it all planned out,” Jenna said gleefully.
“You have?” asked Sarah.
“I have. It’s going to be totally fun, and…” she paused. “We will miss class time!”
Aha! That was a clincher. We were all ready to begin now!
“Uh, Jenna,” I piped up. “We don’t exactly have party supplies,” I said timidly.
Jenna surveyed the room frowned momentarily, but then a big grin spread across her face. “Ok, we will make do with what we have! Here-” She thrust a bag of popcorn on my lap.
“Jenna, the bag is empty,” I informed her.
“I know! That’s the whole point!”
“Oh, don’t ask questions. You see-”
“Ms. Weiss is coming!” the shout coursed around the room.
“We’ll continue this at recess!” Jenna shouted, and leaped into her seat. That girl was funny.
None of us could concentrate during the lesson. We kept on shooting glances at Jenna, who had a
mysterious look on her face. Ms. Weiss was exasperated.
“What happened girls? Today I was expecting amazing behaviour! You might not know it, but today
“Teacher can I go to the bathroom?” Jenna shouted frantically.
I understood what she was trying to do. If the teacher told us that it was her birthday, it wouldn’t be
as much of a surprise when we did the party.
I could tell Ms. Weiss was a bit confused, but she let Jenna go.
When recess finally arrived, some girls started to leave the classroom.
“No no no!” shouted Jenna. “We need complete and total class participation. Now, we are lucky that Ms. Weiss is teaching us next lesson too, because if not, well, we can’t do our party. Ok, so we will turn on the boombox to the loudest setting-”
“Uh Jenna, I think the other classes wouldn’t exactly like that,” said Estie.
“Fine, so the next to loudest setting, whatever. Anyway, guess what I did?” Jenna looked smug.
“What?” I asked timidly. Jenna’s harebrained schemes could be a bit much sometimes.
“I ordered pizza!”
“You heard me. When I was supposed to go to the bathroom, I went to the office instead, borrowed
the phone, and quietly ordered pizza. We are ready to go!” Jenna looked positively ecstatic.
“But, shouldn’t someone go wait down by the office for it?” asked Rena.
“Yeah, hmm, that might arouse the suspicion of the office staff, but…” I think it was my first time
seeing Jenna at a loss for words.
“Don’t worry, I’ll go, and I’ll bring a huge bag to put the pizza in,” Sarah said.
“Great! Here, you tear out papers from this notebook and start writing signs, here, use this chalk to
write ‘em! And you take the popcorn and candy wrappers and stuff them with pieces of paper- we
can throw it on Ms. Weiss like confetti, see?” That girl was really on a roll.
“And here we have a mop; we can put an old sweatshirt on it, transform it into a girl, and stick
another sign on it!”
When everything was finally ready, Sarah came staggering in with the pizza.
“I managed… to… bring it without… anyone… seeing!” she huffed. The bell rang.
“Shhh!” everyone said. We all crowded around next to the door. Suddenly the door opened.
“Now!” shouted Jenna.
“Happy birthday to you!” we shouted throwing the “confetti” at her. Boy, was she surprised. Boy, were we surprised. Because in had walked, none other than… the principal.
When we could all laugh about it later on, laugh we did. Jenna had apologized to the principal, and after the principal had realized exactly what had occurred, she had a good laugh about it too. When Ms. Weiss came she thought it was the funniest of all. We all sat around eating pizza, yes, even the principal, and that was that! Oh, but the principal told to ask before we ordered pizza next time.