ISRAEL Unit Study – Build a “Wailing Wall” Out of Sugar Cubes

I am a kinetic learner – meaning I learn best by physically doing something. I suspect my daughter is very similar, as she loves to “do it herself!” We are having a blast learning about Israel as we come up with fun activities that allow us to learn while having fun.

I wanted to somehow create the Western Wall, also known as the “Wailing Wall” in Jerusalem as part of our study of Israel. This ancient limestone wall is part of the Old City of Jerusalem, a segment of a far longer ancient retaining wall. The wall was originally by Herod the Great as part of an expansion of the Second Jewish Temple, and resulted in the encasement of the natural, steep hill known to Jews and Christians as the Temple Mount. The Western Wall is considered holy due to its connection to the Temple Mount. Because of the Temple Mount entry restrictions, the Wall is the holiest place where Jews are permitted to pray, though the holiest site for Jews lies behind it.


I decided sugar cubes would work well as my “bricks” and used a foam plate that originally had food on it from the grocery store (well scrubbed, lol).


I used glue to hold the “bricks” together – I recommend to be very generous with the glue as the sugar soaks in the glue.


I did a simple perpendicular design similar to what is pictured above. My daughter was very determined to build the whole thing herself, so I just straighten each layer as she applied the glue and laid the “bricks”


I did consider having the cubes overlay on each other, but since they are so small, it was hard to balance them, therefore we just built straight up.


After several layers we called it quits. It looked pretty good so we set it aside to dry overnight. The next morning I glued a few pieces of moss to resemble the tuffs of grasses growing out of the wall as you can see in the picture.


As we built our wall, we discussed how this was considered a holy place for both the Jewish and Muslim people. My preschooler couldn’t quite grasp by everybody couldn’t take turns, so I explained how she didn’t always want to share her things with her sister because they are “hers” and that is really the issue. I think she sorta got the picture.

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