so i figured chana would tell me she just wants me to rewrite it. which she sort of did, but i felt like she might have been joking, so i just smiled and waited. and she did it very interestingly.
first, she recited the last phrase we did: "and he breathed in his nose." she did that from memory. then she looked at the pasuk and remembered what it was: "and hashem created adam." i was pretty impressed that she remembered that when that was all the way back last week.
she didn't remember the middle phrase, but i pointed to מן האדמה which she translated easily, and then she remembered that it was... dirt? i wrote dust. pretty close. then she said, "and hashem created adam from dust?" yep. good, she's putting together the puzzle. it's great how the white board keeps track of everything.
then we went on to the next part. i knew it would be tricky. it was "nishmas chayim." first, for chayim, i did the pantomime i always do. i said "maves" and collapsed, then perked up and said "chayim." she knew that was alive. i wrote that down. then i knew there was no way she would remember that the suffix תmeans "... of." i wrote down
and made two arrows. one said "נשמה" and the arrow from the ת said "של"
then i wanted her to look up neshama, which was obviously too much. so i opened it to the page, and she spent quite a while looking in the column i pointed out, missing it the first time. i reminded myself of all the skills it takes to look something up while she did this. finally she found it and saw it was soul. and she said "soul of alive??" so i said that actually it was a noun, life. so i changed "alive" to "life."
after those 2 words (which were quite a workout) she wanted to stop. i knew she would. she said we hit the asnachta, so that was half of the pasuk. i said she did only 2 words, and could she do the rest of the line like she had been doing?
as i asked this, i wondered if i should have stopped. after all, she had to reconstruct the previous work (after which she requested to stop, but i gently urged her to continue because i sensed that she felt that she hadn't actually done chumash and would be receptive to doing a new piece). and now she wanted to stop again, and looking up a word is draining for her. but i asked, and i didn't have investment in the outcome. i figured if she wanted to stop, i would. but she agreed to do more (and i knew that she knew all of the words left on the line: "and adam was").
actually, at this point i should note that there has been nice progress. the word "ויהי" which used to be a challenge for her, even though she knew the word היה, and which showed up SO many times during creation (and each time i wondered to myself why if it's showing up so much she doesn't know it) , she actually has grasped. i guess if it shows up enough times, she will learn it. naturally and painlessly.
the next phrase, "nefesh chaya" (which by the way was on the next line, but chana zipped right into it because it was only 2 words til the end of the pasuk) i did the pantomime of dead and alive. and nefesh was actually a word she had looked up and written in her personal dictionary, back in the day when she was writing all the new words. i admit that a small part of me hoped that she would see how fabulous it was to have the word in her own personal dictionary, and she'd be motivated to continue. but i also knew that was unlikely. i showed it to her, and she used it, but wasn't thusly motivated.
she had trouble untangling the phrase. nefesh chaya. part that is alive alive. i said like the spirit. she said, "i thought there were no such thing as spirits." (i guess she meant ghosts?). i said the part of us that makes us alive.
then, with no prompting whatsoever, she looked at everything we had written down on the white board so that she could get a sense of the pasuk as a whole. as she started, she adjured me to please not get involved and not interrupt her and to let her read and review it her own way. she read it and understood it. it was lovely.
on a sidenote, i read an article today about the silberman method (though the article was vague about what exactly is the method). one part that was intriguing to me was a) they do the pasuk with trup (i don't know how to lain) and b) somehow, over the course of reading, translating, and reviewing, they read the pasuk over 20x. this causes familiarity with the hebrew.
i would like to know more about this.