The Kohelet Prize Database

Database Entries Tagged with: Social Studies

Why do we research and look for alternatives?

Why should Kitah Dalet learn about alternative energy? What do our Jewish Texts teach us about G-d’s creation, Earth? How can children begin to research, build, and educate other students about alternative sources? The Alternative Energy Project is an interactive and engaging curriculum that focus on both responsibility and abstract thinking.

By: Renee Fine, Vanina Sandel from Yavneh Day School

Grade(s): 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Philosophy/ Values/ Ethics/ Hashkafa, Science, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Hevruta Learning, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Socratic Method, Soulful Education, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

An Interdisciplinary Study of the Lenape People

SW’s aim is for students to cultivate their identity as global citizens who recognize and respect cultural similarities and differences among kol yoshvei tevel (all who dwell on Earth). Our third-grade study of the Lenape tribe showcases that effort through an integrated curriculum incorporating hands-on, project-based learning and exploration.

By: Elise Goldman, Alyssa Gioio, Sara Herbrand, Denise McGinnity, Glenn Simonelli from Schechter Westchester

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Math, Science, Social Studies, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Canada 150 School-Wide Inquiry Project

The Hamilton Hebrew Academy set out to provide our students with an outstanding learning experience in celebration of Canada 150. Every student conducted an inquiry project, which facilitated the development of their critical and creative thinking skills. The event culminated in a community wide learning showcase at a Canadian historical site.

By: Goldie Weiser, Rebecca Shapiro, Ali Ostrowski, Bob Childs, Ryan Kraftcheck, James Potter, Gila Mesusany, Heather Wilson from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Experiential Education, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

4th Grade Business Plan

We introduce students to Tikkun Olam through development of nonprofit business plans. Students work collaboratively to create plans and make presentations. Once presentations are completed, students present plans to judges who help students think critically about plans. Then classes run businesses and help charitable organizations.

By: Rachel Korman, Stephanie Hosansky from Perelman Jewish Day School - Stern Center

Grade(s): 4, 5, Elementary school, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Economics/ Business, Math, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

ART LAB

Today art rooms have become hubs that dynamically enrich students’ lives in multiple ways. The art room at MJGDS uses traditional materials in addition to modern technologies and the infusion of Judaism, Math, Science, Engineering, Language Arts, and Social Studies make it a high tech space for student creativity and innovation.

By: Shana Gutterman from Martin J. Gottlieb Day School

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Computer Science, Engineering, English/ Writing/ Language Arts, Foreign Language, History, Math, Science, Social and Emotional Learning, Social Studies, Tanach, Technology, literature

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Design-Thinking Model, Gamification, PBL - project based learning, Social and Emotional Learning, Wholebrain Teaching, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Student Feedback

Students reflected on their past year of study in the Advanced Placement Human Geography course. The Student Feedback assignment was simple enough, but the results surpassed my expectations. The insight & the comprehensive explanation of experiences, successes, and failures that the students shared will prepare incoming freshman for years to come.

By: David Ohring from Katz Yeshiva High School

Grade(s): 9, 10, 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies, Technology

Pedagogy: Experiential Education

View complete entry »

Lower Elementary Country Project

Our Lower Elementary Country Project was the culminating project at the end of our spring semester of the 2015-16 school year. First, second and third graders completed this project in mixed-age groups, at the research and writing level that was developmentally appropriate for them. The students learned about the Fundamental Needs of Humans and how those needs differ depending in which country a person lives in. Each student completed a written report on one of five countries, prepared a creative visual aid on a Fundamental Need of his or her choice and participated in a group presentation to their classmates and parents on everything they had learned about the country they had studied.

This research project, including the activities that my students completed, is an example of a unit of study that could be applied to any elementary classroom, traditional or Montessori. Being mindful of your students’ strengths and weaknesses and selecting appropriate materials for their use will help them succeed and to take pride in their work. At the end of the day, that is the goal of the teacher; encourage the child to feel proud of the accomplishments that he or she makes during the time they are in your classroom.

The beauty of teaching in a mixed aged Montessori classroom comes with being able to simultaneously teach a group of students across three grade levels, but at a curriculum level that is age and developmentally appropriate for the students. In our classroom, we have first graders who read at a second or third grade level and it is wonderful to be able to offer them the writing assignments that are being offered to their older classmates. Additionally, we also have weaker second and third grade students, who feel very comfortable being paired with a first grade classmate to work on an assignment that might be the appropriate level for them, despite being something that was assigned to someone a full grade lower than they are. In order to best need the needs of all of my students, and to set them up for success, I am always differentiating our general studies curriculum and adapting our assignments appropriately.

By: Mrs. Alexandra Cooper from Netivot The Montessori Yeshiva

Grade(s): 1, 2, 3, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Literature, Geography, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Montessorri

View complete entry »

Moot Beit Din

As a summative capstone to my student’s learning of the Jewish applied science of Torah, I decided to create a Moot Beit Din project in the eighth grade, in which student would learn about current controversial issues and make a judgement based on sources. They would research halachah, science and other relevant information, then debate their topic and the other students would form the court, passing judgement and justifying their decision based on the information presented.

By: Rabbi Ben Shlimovitz from Gross Schechter Day School

Grade(s): 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, Middle school, High school

Subject(s) of entry: Gemara, Halacha, Mishnah, Science, social studies

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, UBD - understanding by design

View complete entry »

Tu’Beshvat School wide Real World Unit

For Tu’Beshvat 2016 the Hamilton Hebrew Academy decided to create a school wide initiative that integrated science, biology, the arts, Ivrit and Judaic Studies. Our vision was to create a real world, interdisciplinary experience that would engage all learners.

By: Mrs. Goldie Weiser, Mrs. Rebecca Shapiro from Hamilton Hebrew Academy

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, Gemara, Halacha, Ivrit, Literature, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

Pedagogy: IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning

View complete entry »

The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital’s (JPDS-NC) Election Project 2016: Kid’s Voices Count

The Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation’s Capital’s (JPDS-NC) Election Project 2016: Kid’s Voices Count was an interdisciplinary, school-wide project that required the participation of every student and teacher at JPDS-NC. Students from Pre-Kindergarten through Sixth Grade delved into a variety of election issues, met with experts to deepen their understanding, met with and listened to other students in area schools to broaden their perspectives, and reflected on Jewish teachings that relate to the issues in the election. Each grade focused on a different election-related issue connected to their core curriculum, culminating in a Voter’s Guide distributed throughout our community and beyond.

By: Ms. Mindy Hirsch, Ms. Melissa Rickabaugh, Ms. Devora Yeganeh, Ms. Kelly McAllister, Ms. Vanessa Prell, Ms. Hanina Goldstein from Jewish Primary Day School of the Nation's Capital

Grade(s): K, 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, Elementary school, Middle school

Subject(s) of entry: Art, History, Literature, Tanach, Current Events, Social Studies, Jewish Text

Pedagogy: Constructivist, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »

Project Based Learning: How to Build a Functioning Society

“We shall be as a city upon a hill. The eyes of all the people are upon us." Using this quote by John Winthrop, the founder of the Massachusetts Bay Colony, as inspiration, my 5th grade students at Yeshivat Noam research and discover, through project based learning, what it takes to create a successful colony during early Colonial Times. Students are split into groups of Pilgrims and Puritans. Each group member is responsible for researching an important role : Leadership/Government, Trade, Food Provider, Shelter Provider, or Family Roles. Throughout the process students research a guiding question, make classroom presentations and together plan a Pilgrims and Puritans Fair teaching people that creating a successful colony is not so different from keeping a society successful today!"

By: Mrs. Heather Brukner from Yeshivat Noam

Grade(s): 5, Elementary school

Subject(s) of entry: Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

View complete entry »

Israeli Knesset Simulation

The Israeli Knesset Simulation is a combination of live role-playing and online virtual world interaction in which high school seniors immerse themselves in Israeli politics by becoming members of Knesset. By playing a specific character, learning the party platform, and drafting legislation through committee work, the seniors engage in Israel from the inside-out, breaking down the barriers between their education and the real world.

By: Rabbi Natan Kapustin from Abraham Joshua Heschel High School

Grade(s): 11, 12, High school

Subject(s) of entry: History, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Blended Learning, Constructivist, IBL - inquiry based learning, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

View complete entry »