Living Israeli History: Underground Bullet Factory

By: Rabbi Emily Meyer
from Seattle Jewish Community School

Interdisciplinary Integration

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

Experiential Education, PBL - project based learning, 21st Century Skills

Grade(s) to which this was taught:
5, Elementary school

Grade(s) for which this will be useful:
4, 5, 6, 7, Elementary school, Middle school

Putting themselves in the shoes of teenagers building a new life in the land (and budding State) of Israel, students become historians. Partnership and perseverance are needed as students work together to overcome challenges of immigrants and pioneers in the most perilous of predicaments - living and working in an underground bullet factory!

Entry Narrative

Students connect with the past when they imagine themselves in history. In this unit, students become historians by imagining themselves as players in the creation of the state of Israel, taking on the personas of young people challenged to be part of a dangerous and foreboding mission. Putting themselves in the shoes of members of the Haganah resistance, students explore life as chalutzim and reflect on the perseverance and partnership needed to create change in the world.

This unit represents a month-long integrated learning opportunity for students to build their empathy skills, hone their historical knowledge, and deepen their connection to the State of Israel. Students take on roles of members of Kibbutz Ayalon, who need to decide if they will accept the challenge of building an underground bullet factory to supply ammunition to the resistance against the British. Once they accept the mission, more problems arise! How will they keep their secret?  The following skills are developed through this unit:

As part of a multi-discipline unit, this lesson bridges Israel education with philosophy, art, and drama in order to grow student’s social-emotional skills. This multi-faceted approach to education engages students on multiple levels and helps them take ownership of their learning while gaining measurable skills and mastering content. Our students thrive when they connect with history in a personal and meaningful way.

Entrant Bio(s)

Rabbi Emily Meyer grew up outside Boston, MA, studied Classics at Connecticut College, and became a rabbi in 2010 at the Hebrew Union College - Jewish Institute of Religion in Cincinnati, OH. She lives in Seattle, WA where, for the past five years, she have been teaching Jewish Studies at the Seattle Jewish Community School. She also serves as the rabbi of Bet Chaverim in Des Moines, WA. Her favorite hobbies are kayaking, cooking, and going for walks with her poodle.