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Social Studies Archives - Kohelet Prize

The Kohelet Prize Database

Database Entries Tagged with: Social Studies

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/ English, Geography, Social Studies

Pedagogy: Montessorri

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

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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/ English, Science, Tanach, Social Studies

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

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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

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

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

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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

Subject(s) of entry: Social Studies

Pedagogy: PBL - project based learning

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