The Gamalim Explore the White House

By Shayna Tivona, teacher, Gamalim class (2 ½ year olds)

Our White House exploration began with an interest in the American flag. The Gamalim noticed that the DCJCC has a very large flag in front of it, and they excitedly pointed out the American flag whenever we walked to and from Stead Park. Soon they began to notice other flags as well. The Gamalim teachers found books on flags and on DC, since many books on DC have American flags in them.

Gamalim at the White House

The Gamalim walked to the White House

One of the DC sights featuring a flag is the White House, and when the Gamalim discovered that the J is on the same street as the White House, they decided we should visit! We walked a mile to the White House on the walking rope.  The Gamalim were disappointed we could not go through the gate, but they decided that they wanted to know more about what was on the grounds.

To continue our ongoing exploration, we have added more books on the White House and other DC icons. We have sketched the White House and learned all about the different rooms and who works in them. On Tuesday, we had a fancy White House lunch in the classroom, using a tablecloth and our very best table manners. One friend brought in photos of her experience at the White House Easter Egg Roll, and another friend brought in her book about the Obama’s dog, Bo.  One parent is going to help us get a tour.

The Gamalim also worked hard to craft a letter to President Obama, asking him if we could go inside the White House to see more. We wrote several drafts and spent a lot of time thinking of good questions to ask. All of the Gamalim signed their names at the bottom of the letter. We are anxiously awaiting the President’s reply!

Here is the finished letter:

November 3, 2011

The President of the United States
The White House
1600 Pennsylvania Ave NW
Washington, DC  20500

Dear President Obama,

We are the Gamalim class of the Jewish Community Center (JCC) in Washington, DC. We are two years old. We walked to the White House last week, but we couldn’t go in. We’d really like to go inside. We want to visit the Blue Room, the Gold Room, the Yellow Room, and the Red Room. We want to see the Oval Office, and all the other rooms. Please can we go in the White House?

Here are some questions we have:

  • President Obama, why do you work?
  • What do you do all day?
  • Do you have trucks?

 We have been reading lots of books about the White House, your family, and Bo, too! We made pictures of what we saw at the White House, and now we’d like to go inside. Please? We will say “thank you!”

The Gamalim

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