The Kohelet Prize Database
Awarded for excellence in integrating multiple disciplines in a single multi-week unit. Preference will be given to units which incorporate Judaic Studies and General Studies and involve multiple faculty members.
Explore the Kohelet Prize Database
- Interdisciplinary Integration (79)
- Real-World Learning (105)
- Learning Environment (30)
- Differentiated Instruction (45)
- Development of Critical and / or Creative Thinking (56)
- Risk Taking and Failure (12)
- Blended Learning (112)
- Constructivist (195)
- Design Thinking (41)
- Experiential Education (65)
- Flipped Learning (13)
- Gamification (6)
- Hevruta (31)
- IBL - Inquiry Based Learning (135)
- Language Immersion (13)
- Montessori (21)
- PBL - Project Based Learning (238)
- Social Emotional Learning (54)
- Socratic Method (10)
- Soulful Education (17)
- Whole Brain Teaching (27)
- UBD - Understanding By Design (105)
- 21st Century Skills (273)
- Art (149)
- Computer Science (73)
- Economics (8)
- Engineering (28)
- English/ Writing/ Language Arts (181)
- Gemara (65)
- Halacha (104)
- History (173)
- Ivrit (118)
- Literature (159)
- Math (102)
- Mishnah (73)
- Music (56)
- Philosophy (46)
- Physical Education/ Health (11)
- Science (151)
- Social Emotional Learning (53)
- Social Studies (44)
- Tanach (177)
- Technology (40)
- Tefila (19)
Yearlong program integrates Jewish life of young children with their developing scientific minds; connects Jewish learning relevant to the child at that time: holidays, Parshah, blessings, Mitzvot; inspires in children love of science & spiritual awe of the world around them; fosters creative, critical thinking, teamwork & empathic problem solving.
The students learned a section of the Talmud that deals left over wheat that was left by an owner. The Talmud calculates if the owner would bother and come back for his wheat. We must consider the effort and value before taking someone else's wheat.
Students collaborate to design/build a modern, personal Mishkan & furnishings, incorporating motifs, imagery from the ancient Mishkan, and applying wisdom gained from interviews with senior citizens, exploring: "What makes a quality life, and how can we make life better?" Students then return to Senior Center, using their completed designs as springboard for deeper reflection on how to heal after trauma and how to reach our deepest Human potential.
A curriculum on the 39 melachot of Shabbat that connects how life was in the past before the advent of electricity to modern times that we live in, with an emphasis on the hands-on and practical understanding of science and engineering and how that affects Shabbat observance. The students are fascinated to see how science plays a role in their everyday life and this heightens their motivation for learning and creates a plethora of practical questions which we examine and research.
A year-long project designed to foster long-term retention of technology skills, develop reading comprehension and direction-following skills, and encourage independent thinking and collaborative learning. Includes images for beginning of project. Use of JI Tap Pro not required but allows for privacy of students’ work.
Through an interdisciplinary integrated PBL on amusement parks, our 4th graders gain real world experience by
participating in a program to increase their understanding of economics and money systems and applied their knowledge
about supply and demand as well as profit and loss and related it to the project. In all the different subject areas students
experience and participate in different lessons all related to the amusement park. The project presents an opportunity to
build and enhance our students' cooperative learning skills.
This project simulates a real world experience, in the context of an interdisciplinary approach, and helps students finance their 8th grade Israel trip. They are exposed to the basic of money management and investments and learn about different types of investment vehicles and create an investment portfolio. This entrepreneurial program builds the middle school students' critical thinking skills and advanced communication skills, while building creativity.
The Integrated Project (IP) is a year-long study that spans the curriculum and represents the culmination of the students' K - 8th Grade studies at Mandel JDS. Students choose a theme or topic they want to study and integrate it into each subject within each of the disciplines throughout the year. Through the visual and dramatic arts, and often the performing arts and technology, students bring their fully integrated topics to life in an evening program.
The Akiva Broadcasting Network (ABN) is an interactive, team-oriented program of study where students develop communications skills; broadcast technology and technical skills; and critical life skills, integrating Jewish and Secular Studies across the curriculum.
ABN is part of the Kid TV program developed by Professor Larry Katz with the objective to teach cross curricular skills to students through the creation of TV newscasts that are shared with other members of their school community via an internal broadcast network and are also shared on the school website. Student select the news items, prepare the D’vray Torah, and stories on famous Jewish personalities, write the scripts, shoot and edit the stories, do the interviews, take on the roles of anchors and reporters, manage the broadcasts and handle all of the technical jobs
Every student in our school reads the same book, author or Jewish value-themed text. Working across grades and disciplines, students develop projects synthesizing ideas related to these texts from Art, Music, Judaic studies, Language Arts, Science and Social Studies. Most years we have found a partner school to widen our students' horizons and deepen their understanding of the theme or value being studied.
This integrated writing and science unit focuses on energy, and asks the driving question “How and why should we use energy wisely?” Students investigate what energy is, where it comes from, and how we use it. They conduct research on sustainable fuels, write persuasive essays advocating for the use of a particular source of energy, design billboard advertisements for their chosen energy source, and participate in a debate judged by industry experts on different forms of sustainable energy. Finally, students design and create their own tikkun olam service-learning projects to make a positive difference in our community’s use of energy.
The program is designed to integrate the Anatomy and Physiology class taken by several 11th and 12th grade girls at Valley Torah High School with the halachic components of taharat hamishpacha.
When beginning the study of parshat Shmot, students recall that by the end of sefer Breisheet the Hebrews dwelled in Egypt. We are reminded in the first few verses of Shmot that Jacob and his family made their way to Egypt and that Joseph already resided there. As the story unfolds, a rich understanding text can be gained from learning about ancient Egypt and seeing how its culture and environment impacted the Hebrews.
This is an interdisciplinary unit, teaching the history of festivals and religions involving light across many cultures. Students were exposed to the symbolism of light in literature and Torah as well as the science of light in creating day and night, seasons and electricity with the creation of lamps in the school's pottery labs. Students learned Tfillot and added the Hallel for Hanukkah the festival of light, as well as created a book demonstrating of all of their learning.
Middle schoolers become researchers, artists, historians, and storytellers, exploring memorials and monuments through an integrated year-long study in Judaism, Fine Arts, and Humanities. This project-focused learning fosters deep understanding and engagement about the Holocaust on a personal level as well as within a deeper global context.
Benainu is Beth Tfiloh Dahan Community Day School’s holistic and comprehensive health and wellness program. Led by internal staff, with a strong home-school connection, Benainu considers the wellbeing of the whole child—the physical, spiritual, moral, social, and emotional parts that form the students we love. Through this program, we equip our middle school students with the knowledge, skills, and guidance they need to effectively navigate the complexities of adolescent life and provide them with the foundation from which they can continue to have private, personal and meaningful conversations with trusted adults throughout their years at Beth Tfiloh and beyond.
Going back to the primary source- Teaching TaNaKh from TaNaKh using the B*E*S*T method. Enabling students to 'own' the text making their learning limitless- not confined to instructional teaching.
Beth Tfiloh Lower School students participated in a multi-week and school-wide interdisciplinary learning experience about various landmarks in Israel. Students (K-4th grade) conceived of, developed, and created fifteen hands-on exhibits to share their learning with the broader student and family community.
Book Day is an authentic learning experience that starts with a book. Students connect to literature through a full day of extended interdisciplinary activities including literacy, Hebrew, Israel and/or Judaic studies, social studies, math, science, art and music, technology, physical activity, sound, and taste.
The basic foundation of everything is the creation of the world, or as we Jews know it: Briat haolam. In my Kindergarten class, Briat haolam is not taught in the mere few days before Parshat B’reisheet, but rather over the course of two to three weeks, depending on the calendar of that specific year. The reason that we take this long in teaching our students about Briat haolam is because we are not just imparting information to them about what was created on each day, but rather, we are allowing our students to experience creation in many different ways: through Science, Literacy, Art and Math. By integrating so many different aspects of the world into the creation unit, we are sending our students an extremely important lesson: Everything is from Hashem!
For centuries, Jews have used the best scientific principles of the day to form the Jewish Law that they practice and keep. This series of interdisciplinary units uses the physical science skills and content that the students are learning in science, in service of deepening their understanding of the Jewish Law they study in Talmud classes.
Imagine you’re an 8 year old student at Carmel Academy. You, along with your third grade classmates, are in a toy store, each with $50 in your pocket, money you worked so heard to earn through a class-wide reading challenge. You can spend the money on anything you like, but you cannot spend one penny more than you have. You use your best judgement to choose wisely, you use your estimating skills to make sure you will have enough money when you go to pay, and you carefully count your change from the cashier to make sure it is correct. You board the bus back to school with bags and bags of toys. What happens next exemplifies the true meaning of tzedakah...
Teachers at the Maimonides School integrated students’ knowledge of computer coding with their Judaic Studies content to help students connect with Jewish practice and texts. Students in 2nd-4th grade used Scratchjr, KIBO robots, and the engineering design process to demonstrate their learning in Judaic Studies.
In a ground-breaking incorporation of collaborative technology in the classroom, fourth grade boys and seventh grade girls piloted an integrated multi-week project in language arts and history respectively. Students were provided with project guidelines and a bank of iPads and worked in teams to share their findings in an original video using script writing, costuming, set design, acting, videography, and audio-video editing.
Technology today pervades every facet of life, from the refrigerator to the cell phone. In order, then, to prepare our students for well-integrated lives in the modern world, we must provide them with the psychosocial and emotional vocabulary and awareness to value, build and sustain healthy relationships; the technological skills to choose and use tools responsibly and effectively; and the Torah and Mussar (Jewish tools for self-development) skills to guide and shape their lives in accordance with their Jewish principles. We have developed an expanded, multi-year, cross-departmental curriculum based upon the most up-to-date research and most classical of Torah ethics, that reaches into every part of our educational process, teaching students directly and also via continuing education for staff and parents.
In the 2015-16 academic year we rolled out an interdisciplinary project designed to inspire an integrated approach to the multiple disciplines that are part of our school's dual curriculum. Please enjoy our Keynote presentation that will walk you through the vision, implementation, and impact of our project.
DASH is a comprehensive school wide study of a topic that is carried out in every classroom, Judaic and secular, as well as in the arts. It is cross grade, cross curricular and integrated. The school has now done two DASH units, one last spring and one in November 2017. This fall's topic, "Water: Source of Life" was engaging and exciting.
At Oakland Hebrew Day School, the middle school Hebrew and Humanities teachers co-planned and co-taught a unit that combined constructing evidence-based arguments using current events, and crafting arguments, counterarguments, and rebuttals in Hebrew in preparation for a debate.
Dreaming with Yaakov takes learners on a journey through bibliodrama, geography, social studies, journal writing, archaeology, and art history, visual art, Tanach and Rabbinics, in order to explore what the story of Yaakov has meant to readers over the ages. The ultimate goal of which is to prepare students to see themselves as participants in the Jewish tradition of meaning making.
In the 2017/2018 school year, all of grade 9 and 10 students will create insightful divrei Torah that have been crafted using the skills learned in Tanach and English classes.
These Divrei Torah will demonstrate an ability to clearly describe the context, frame the Dvar Torah on a meaningful and engaging idea, quote and use פסוקים effectively,
Working backwards from the physical and topographical design of Israel, the connection between Israel, Earth Science and Halacha, and the consideration of our (Fuchs Mizrachi Lower School’s) physical location in the world; this unit was designed to ask and answer six essential questions that take the students on a journey across many disciplines.
During the 2016 election season, every member of the student body was involved in a mock election. The election was completely student-run and developmentally appropriate for elementary school students. The fifth grade students took the reins on the campaign for a school dugmah(leader/example).
The Entrepreneurship and Tzedaka Project was completed by all 5th grade students at HAFTR, and taught students the collaborative and creative skills of today's startup world, while solidifying the concept of giving back to the community through the power of Tzedaka.
I created a series of week long escape rooms, to teach different topics in Halacha. I used Google Classroom and other apps/websites to transform my class into an exciting Escape the Room for the week. In this new iteration of my previous submission, I have extended the games to include a summative assessment that replaced a final test.
The 9th grade EVERlab unit focuses on the integration of the concepts, themes and structures from two different courses: Tanach I and Ancient World Civilizations. The unit begins with students brainstorming the overlapping content from eachcourse and moves through scaffolded design, collaboration, and critical thinking exercises in order for students to refine and deepen integrated topics they have chosen themselves. Students ultimately develop projects that demonstrate this integrated thinking.
Student teams research the life history of an individual outside our school community and interview him/her for both educational and personal growth.
Students research the genealogy of their families and present the stories of their ancestors within the historical and cultural context of the Jewish communities they came from.
Karen Hidalgo has developed a project-based unit on sustainability that has become the hallmark of Austin Jewish Academy’s fifth grade program. It has evolved over the past three years culminating in a service-learning project meaningfully integrated with Jewish studies presenting unique opportunities for students to become real world problem solvers.
Please begin with Text Introduction and proceed to Curriculum Outline.pdf
We launched an initiative in our Lower School where the General Studies teachers collaborated with their Judaic Studies counterparts to help students make meaningful connections between themes that were being studied across both disciplines in the second and fourth grades and themes that emerge throughout their daily Tefilla.
In this three week "Integrated Creative Judaics" unit,11th grade students delved into the roots of Midrash Rabbah Bemidbar 2.7 in an exploration of the tribal flags of the Israelites and identity. They then drew upon their wisdom to create "fruits of the soul" by designing and animating flags based upon their learning.
In this unit, we learned how forces cause movement in both physical and social environments. The Ontario Science Curriculum talks about direct and indirect forces (e.g. gravity, magnetism, static electricity), but we took this concept to the next level by analyzing direct and indirect forces that have an ability to cause real world movement. To do so, we integrated our Science learning with Reading, Writing, Drama, Art, Jewish Studies, Technology, and Media Literacy.
In 2nd grade at Yeshivat Noam our students begin learning Chumash. In addition to building foundation skills and content knowledge, we have found it very important to integrate the learning and form connections with the text. In this presentation, I demonstrate how we have integrated our Chumash learning into Tefillah, science, math and art.
An innovative program in our middle school: a multi-disciplinary. multi-grade curriculum that will help our students understand the meaning of Holocaust. We currently are implement a new curriculum for each grade of middle school includes projects, meaningful first-person accounts and personal student reflections.
From Landfill To Life Filled – Applying Israeli innovation to an interdisciplinary project-based learning experience
Hebrew Academy Miami RASG middle school students participated in a interdisciplinary project based learning experience with a global component. They integrated math and entrepreneurial skills, environmental science, tech tools and Hebrew language in order to design a solution for a global environmental issue and do Tikun Olam.
Stop. Push your mental reset button. You might think this entry will be about a unit plan, an initiative or a school program with a real-world application. But actually, this entry is school as the real world application. Students and teachers at Lamplighters Mesivta are founding school together. Read about why and how...
To make the study of the Book of Deuteronomy more exciting and relatable to students, this entry integrates the book of Deuteronomy to the book of Kings over the span of the year thereby merging the students’ Chumash and Navi (Prophets) curricula. Through “Mental Velcro” students see how the theoretical messages of Deuteronomy come to life.
With the goal of designing a habitat for an animal on the endangered species list, the students utilized their knowledge of area and perimeter to create a habitat enclosure to scale, research the taxonomy of their chosen animal, and explore our Jewish duty to care for and protect animals. The unit is infused with Hebrew text and vocabulary.
This course addresses the driving question: “How might we improve our school's daily mincha experience through creating an originally drawn, translated, and annotated school siddur?” In this project-driven, team-taught, and inter-disciplinary senior Art/Judaics course, students respond to a very familiar text--the mincha siddur--through contemplative, artistic, and written avenues. Through studying the text in both a critical and soulful manner, and by creating and crafting their own translations, illuminations, commentaries, and illustrations, students are in the process of jointly building a siddur that will be used as the school community's daily mincha text.
The Prezi I have prepared will guide you through the different components of the grammar program that I have developed for Yeshivat Netivot Montessori, using Montessori methodology. This is innovative in Jewish education and brings English, Hebrew and Biblical Hebrew language to life for the children. All the components are taught simultaneously throughout the school year, enriching a student's understanding and appreciation of the function of language across multiple disciplines.
The Haggadah Companion was a collaborative, cumulative project among the Judaic, language arts, art, and technology disciplines. It was designed as a supplement to any Haggadah.
Our senior elective, Merging Halachic Judaism with Modern Life, combines the study of and appreciation of Jewish law with the study of engineering and its principles. In the first half of the year, students learn Hilchot Shabbat and how these laws manifest in modern life. In the second half the year, students work in groups to identify and create a working prototype that merges both Halachic implications and modern technology to enhance the Shabbat experience. Students, thereby, learn to view the latest technological innovations through the prism of a religious perspective.
After learning about the climate in Israel and their hydroponics projects, students with teacher built a hydroponics tank and also each student created his or her own hydroponic system.
This unit highlights the skeletal-muscular system. Incorporating science, math, writing, reading, and art, students learned about the bones, joints, and muscles and how they work together as a system. They also visited with an expert in the field who was able to provide them with real life connections to what they learned in the classroom.
I teach the same students 4th grade Texas History and then 5th grade US History the following year. We put on an Immigration Fair for 2-5th grades using what we learned about Immigration into both Galveston and Ellis Island.
This interdisciplinary unit on water and tashlich integrates Judaic studies, physical science, ecology, and Language Arts through text analysis and critical thinking exercises. Fourth grade students connect Judaism and general studies through Torah, mitzvot, scientific method, creative thinking, and problem solving.
The attached curriculum is part of a project in our school to integrate our Humanities and Navi curricula at the high school level. Our curriculum spans Grades 10, 11, and 12 – and focuses on different areas of integration at different grades. The attached curriculum focuses on the grade 10 portion of the project.
Gesher is a revolutionary model of transition education for children with mild learning differences who struggle in the typical classroom setting. By employing certified Special Educators, and collaborating with high quality related service providers, the Gesher staff is able to individualize the learning environment for its students while maintaining the social and emotional experience that is found in the typical yeshiva day school program. Therapists are encouraged to push into the classroom, rather than pull out, and their techniques and suggestions are incorporated into the curriculum planning.
Integrated Creative Judaics (ICJ) was a new initiative for interdisciplinary education at de Toledo High School in West Hills, CA. During the 2014-2015 school year, a Media Arts 2 class was paired with a dedicated Judaic Studies class for the entire year. During the second semester, the Media Arts/Judaic Studies joint class entered into a multi-week collaboration with an Honors English 11 class to explore themes of transcendentalism through the lens of the Hebrew prophets and bring learning to life through the Media Arts.
My 12th grade AP Language and Composition students read The Immortal Life of Henrietta Lacks, a non-fiction text which explores the intersection of race, American history, and medical ethics through the lens of the discovery of an immortal cell line tied to an African-American woman named Henrietta Lacks. My students’ final project was to examine these intersections through a project that blended independent research with multi-media content. Of particular interest to this category is the student project that tackled the ethical questions raised in the text through the lens of Judaic studies; students who completed this project consulted primary sources as well as experts in Jewish medical ethics to create a presentation they later delivered to the entire student body.
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.
Classroom instruction focuses on the sources and then the development of Jewish law. It is then taken out of the classroom weekly so that students have the opportunity to put the lessons into practice. Lessons and projects incorporate language arts and math skills, torah, art, technology, science, and health.
Examine scientific data regarding the early stages of the universe. Identify 7 recent scientific discoveries. Show how these scientific discoveries are contained in the first 3 verses of the Torah, as interpreted by Ramban, Rambam, and Chazal.
For millennia Jews did little to return home. After its creation, Israel became central to Jewish Schools; yet, most lack an Israel Curriculum. Striving to create pride in Medinat Yisrael and a sense of Jewish Identity in its accomplishments, our interdisciplinary grade 6-9 curriculum teaches the creation and evolution of the State in Hebrew including the songs of the Aliyot and the wars.
Our multi-modal arts program offers an innovative approach to Jewish arts education which includes our Israeli Art Masters Program. The goal of this program is to weave together the study of fine arts with learning about the Land and history of Israel, appreciation of the Israeli landscape, exploration of Jewish artistic inspiration, the study of Hebrew vocabulary and Positive Discipline Social Emotional Learning. Through this program students have studied various artists from Israel as well as the inspirations and techniques used in their art. In parallel the students compare the color wheel to the Positive Discipline "wheel of choice" which relates the processes of an individual's problem solving decisions to an individual artist's thoughtful artistic choices.
The JanTerm Integrative Reseach Project is a month-long (in January) intensive project where students learn and practice research and writing skills across content areas. By reconfiguring the students' schedule, students are allowed longer blocks of time to conduct research, write a formal research paper, meet and edit with a mentor-teacher, as well as work on hands-on projects. In this time, our Judaic Studies curriculum works in tandem, guiding the students to study the same theme from a Jewish lens. The students also work on creating a final project that reflects their learning of the Jewish texts and principles related to the overall theme.
JEHMS Program- Jewish Education for the Humanities, Math, and Science. Does your Jewish Education Sparkle? Rigorous Middle School Fusion Program to enhance Secular Studies with Jewish Concepts
JEHMS is a middle school fusion program (adaptable for K-12) which employs original, distinctly Jewish lesson plans to communicate required secular concepts, thereby blending secular and Jewish education to better streamline, unify, and integrate Jewish Day School dual curricula. JEHMS is multidisciplinary and interdisciplinary curricula in math, science, social studies and English Language Arts, aligned with the Common Core Curriculum, to teach secular skills and knowledge by employing Jewish concepts. JEHMS does not replace Judaic studies, rather is revolutionizes the content of secular classes to seamlessly include Jewish learning as it explicates secular concepts.
Our team integrated the theme of reflection across all grades as well as across all subjects. Reflection is an overall strategy and theme for the school. Laying the groundwork in our first unit is key to a successful year of reflection and revision.
The folktale unit is a culminating cross-curricular project for students in fifth grade, integrating Jewish Studies, reading, writing, and public speaking. Students read a variety of Jewish folktales and choose one to study in depth. We strengthened this project by partnering with a local theater company, Wolf Performing Arts Center, to work with the students to present it effectively, analyze the setting and values, and reflect on the morals of the tale.
This curriculum introduces students to an academic approach to Jewish history with the intention of enriching their study of traditional Jewish texts like the Tanakh and Talmud by offering context and background to these sources. Additionally, this curriculum will expose students to academic concepts and methods regarding Jewish studies that often come up in university courses. If done in a thoughtful way, this can blunt any potential surprises or discomfort students may have when these ideas come up on a secular campus.
The class explores the complex development of Jewish identity through the analysis of novels, short stories, poems and graphic novels written by European, American and Israeli authors. It also brings Torah, Talmud and religion into these conversations to help students reflect on and shape their own Jewish identities.
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.
In this high school Judaic elective class, students learned spatially-related Jewish law while concurrently learning 3D design software. The combination of these two disciplines allowed students to explore difficult Jewish concepts often skipped in day schools, as well as master the incredibly marketable 21st Century skill of 3D design. In this one-year curriculum, 3D software became a powerful tool for empowering students in their Judaic Studies.
Our big idea is that: in order to be empathetic, we need to be able to understand others’ perspectives. Through experiences with text (Hebrew, Judaic and otherwise), music, visual arts, and drama, students explore what shapes perspective, how perspective changes over time, and how understanding others' perspectives helps us interact effectively.
LaHaV Learning provides content, technology, and training to transform Jewish learning and teaching in schools and communities throughout the world. LaHaV was founded to transform students from spectators to participants and to enable worldwide educational collaboration across disciplines, because Jewish ideas and values matter now more than ever.
The project involves students researching their family’s past by interviewing family members. Following the interviews, the students compile biographies, stories, artifacts, maps, recipes, family trees, traditions and photographs into family websites. A culminating museum exhibition enables students to present websites and family artifacts.
L’Dor V’Dor provides deep one-on-one encounters between students K-6 from Columbus Jewish Day School and Jewish and non-Jewish elders around lifecycle and holiday events. Through carefully planned and facilitated exercises, simulations, and activities, the intergenerational wisdom of elders interacts with the joy of youth among participants aged 6-106, through the use of art, music, text study, guided interactions, prayer, and more.
The grade 5 students study the Exodus narrative through the lens of the Big Idea topic: “Who goes out from slavery to freedom? One who understands the meaning of a miracle and responds to its call.” This unit involves study in many disciplines, including Chumash (Torah) study, Hebrew language, Visual Arts, Music, Dance, Language Arts, and Social Sciences. Learning in all disciplines contributes to the final project, the Dramatized Haggadah performance, which is written and performed by the students.
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!
Over the course of last school year first graders learned the basics of coding using Scratch Jr. Each lesson in Scratch Jr. also included concepts that were taught elsewhere in the curriculum. The first graders extended their coding skills late last spring by programming our resident robots to travel to a designated spot and ask and answer the Mah Nishtana in the correct order as we had studied in class in preparation for Pesach.
At Arthur I. Meyer Academy, Jocelyn Weiner used a student driven and created curricular integrative process, inspired by UbD, to create a unit to explore, research, solve, and write informational books about issues of importance in the upcoming presidential election with 18 third graders. The teacher began the unit by using Judaic and Secular text to help guide students to critically think about issues in our country and community.
By using students’ questions, wonderings, and misconceptions, the students and teacher were able to create the unit and lessons needed to solve the problem. The goal was achieved by creating individual books that provided ways to solve the issue, what Jewish text and scholars say about the problem the community was faced with, and a detailed description of the topic (according to credible, secular, age appropriate text).Jenna Sherwood, the other third grade teacher at Meyer Academy, built upon the research students did in reading in order to give a better understanding of timelines in math class
Fourth Grade students were challenged to transform the school's maker space into a full-scale Mishkan. Students self-organized to design and build the various components of the Mishkan using limited materials, tools, and resources. These constraints intentionally mimicked the design challenges faced by the Israelites.
A Medical-Based approach to ecology. Ecology is an important branch of biology, and has led to many important discoveries and developments in healthcare, agriculture, genetics, and anthropology. However, for elementary school students, this information can be made more relevant to their everyday lives by making the connection to, and describing the significant impact ecology has in, modern day medicine.
Over the course of Megillat Esther, we learned about how psychology, history, and political theory can change how we read the story. With basic information from a political theorist, some analysis of fascist leaders, and some basic principles of psychology, we tried to understand the motivations of the characters in Megillat Esther.
In our “Mishkan meets Makerspace” unit of study, we integrated skills from all S.T.E.A.M. disciplines, Science, Technology, Engineering, Arts, and Mathematics and enhanced our studies of Parshat Trumah by creating our own three dimensional model Mishkan. Using the chumash text as a foundation for purposeful learning, students worked collaboratively to bring the complex details of the Mishkan to life with excitement and passion. The final product incorporated all four learning modalities and six of Gardner’s multiple intelligences enabling each student to experience, engage and conceptualize ideas according to individual learning style and interest.
Heather Kantrowitz has developed a project based unit on Mishnah Sukkah that has become an integral part of Austin Jewish Academy’s seventh grade program. Students learn Mishnah Sukkah and then build model-size sukkot based on the descriptions in the Mishna, and it has evolved to include a design challenge and writing component.
M3a is a stand- alone or supplemental curriculum for teaching character development. It consists of process and value concepts attached to musical anchors impacting class behavior.
“My Family Story” was a collaborative unit between my 8th grade history students at Beth Tfiloh, their art classes, the Jewish Museum of Maryland and the Diaspora Museum (Beit Hatfusot) in Tel Aviv. As the opening unit of my ancient history course, students delved deeply into their personal histories and identities, conducted genealogy research, interviewed family members, researched immigration stories, and created family trees; they then chose one aspect of their family history to depict artistically and worked with the guidance of their art teachers to create visual representations of their unique family stories. The “My Family Story” unit culminated in an evening event that began with a multi-generational prayer service at one of Baltimore’s oldest synagogues and featured an art exhibition at the adjacent Jewish Museum of Maryland, where the students showcased their work to siblings, parents, grandparents and community members.
The N.E. Miles Jewish Day School social justice and leadership initiative is guided by the core beliefs and values on which our school is based. To that end, we provide real-life experiences for the students to participate actively in three of the guiding Jewish values- Menschlichkeit, Tikkun Olam, and Torah Study.
The course is a combination of business, marketing and leadership classed and concepts of Navi. The students start with learning the topic in Navi in depth. We then take out connected business concepts, while making it relevant and practical.
Hillel Day School eighth grade students experience an integrated Judaic Studies learning opportunity as part of their final year at Hillel. Instead of separate Rabbinics and TaNaKh classes, students are guided through classic and modern texts of many genres to explore, thematically, our Hillel Day School core Jewish values. The students are encouraged to explore deeply, and to begin asking the many great questions that arise as they synthesize their developing Jewish identities with our modern world.
Middle School learned about Pesach from a multiplicity of perspectives and incorporated their learning into a usable Haggada scrapbook.
We are delighted to share our entry in the Interdisciplinary Integration category: the “Philosophical Ethics” unit of our junior year Integrated American Literature, Jewish and Western Philosophy course, affectionately referred to as “Tikvah. The unit culminates with the Meeting of Minds project.
Inspired by the “Poetry in Motion” campaign on New York City subway cars, three teachers looked for ways to help students discover poetry outside of English literature textbooks: art, Hebrew, Judaics, and our school’s mission trip to Israel.
Project GO FORTH: Lech L’Cha is a multi-faceted, interdisciplinary approach to understanding the immigrant experience in America. Project GO FORTH: Lech L’Cha integrates seventh grade Social Studies, in which students study the history of American immigration, with Language Arts, in which student examine creative writing and sensory language, with Judaic Studies, in which students specifically explore the parsha Lech L’Cha as a lens through which they can understand the spiral of Jewish History with the originating immigrant experience of Avraham.
In this year-long elective for seniors, we study the basic topics of psychology as any college-level introduction to psychology course might. On an almost daily basis, we provide lesson extensions (class discussions, opportunities for student reflection, and direct instruction) about how these lessons integrate with the discussions found in the discipline of Jewish Thought.
Our students adapted a recently translated Yiddish short story for performance as a puppet show. They wrote the script, built the puppets and stage and performed the puppets. The show was performed for local Jewish elementary schools as well as for the rest of the student body at the Weber School
Why are trees important in our world and what is our role in taking care of trees? Our kindergarten students learned about the importance of trees in our world while studying about the the rain forest and the holiday of Tu Beshvat. Our learning concluding with performance of the Great Kapok Tree by Lynne Cherry.
Students, draw from talmudic, rabbinic literature and historical sources, to create a dialogue between two 16th century rabbinic figures. Their debate touches on the centrality of rabbinic ordination to the Jewish legal system. Is there a possibility of its restoration and what meaningful ramifications can its return have in the modern day world.
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.
The Rosh Chodesh Calendar project is a two year multiweek integration program which has been successfully incorporated into our school for the past four years. Year one involves integration between the science, technology, art, Ivrit/Hebrew language and Judaic teachers for grade five; year two integrates Humanities, physical education, math/engineering, art and Judaic instruction for grade six/Middle School. Each of the multiweek learning units culminates in a presentation showcasing student individual and class research projects for parents, and occasionally the greater Indianapolis Jewish community
Taking advantage of the learning about Pesach throughout the school, I invite my students to travel back in time when Jews risked their lives to fulfill the mitzvah of having a Seder (among other holidays) during the Spanish Inquisition. My Spanish classes apply relevant Spanish vocabulary and grammar that they currently learning to the mock seder scenarios I create for them in a dark, candle lit room with the windows blocked and rotating students on guard for any visitors.
Students study topics in psychology and integrate new concepts with an analysis of the characters and plot from a Biblical text to write a modern, psychological Midrash. Students use social media to contact experts in the field, then work in teams to deploy new understanding to construct and refine “interventions” for the Biblical character.
This curriculum uses the Exodus story as the foundation for the students to research and execute the making of bricks. The Pesach narrative is then used to expose the students to child labor throughout history. The bricks are used to build a working oven upon which the students baked matza and then taught the rest of the school the matza-making process.
In this entry you will read about a teaching method that came out of real needs seen in my classroom. The first need was to bring to life the Hebrew language as a medium for expression and communication inside and outside of the classroom. The second need was to create a safe and comfortable environment for students to express feelings and thoughts
Environmentalism and sustainability are topics rooted in Jewish values and very relevant in today’s world. Through exploration, collaboration, research, field trips, and learning from guest professionals, students understand the struggles we face, the steps being taken to develop more sustainable practices, and recognize that they too can help.
The Charles E. Smith Jewish Day School has developed a model of STEM integration with general and Judaic studies using the Next Generation Science Standard's Crosscutting Concepts (CCC). This model of integration is the only one in the nation and is the subject of research and collaboration with The George Washington University.
In the spring of 2015, ASHAR students presented their projects in a school wide fair culminating a year long focus on combining the learning of science, math, and Torah.
Based on the premise that everything secular can be found in the Torah, our students in first through eighth grade explored the connections between kodesh, holy, and chol, secular.
16 seventh grade students were presented with a real problem -- that MJDS has no Sukkah. Their challenge was to design, prototype, build and decorate a kosher Sukkah in time for Sukkot. The results were stunning; but the process was even more so.
1st graders learned about trees through literacy, science, math, Ivrit, art, movement and by working in cooperative groups. The unit included studying the parts of trees in Hebrew and English, the impact of trees on the environment and its natural resources. We emphasized the mitzvah of tzedakah and of planting trees in Israel for Tu B'Shvat.
This project was planned for grades TK-8 to participate in a school-wide STEAM project to learn about Rosh Hashana, Tikkun Olan, Teshuvah, and Tashlich. The project included integration of Science, Technology, Engineering, Art and Math into Judaic Studies.
the challenges of teaching Talmud in a postmodern age and my attitude for dealing with them using art, particularly literature, as an entry point.
The Adelson Educational Campus has constructed a 5000 square feet, state-of-the-art, invention and entrepreneurial workshop: the Startup Incubator. In this space, teachers and mentors work collaboratively with students to employ the design cycle in identifying and tackling real-world challenges, prototyping a wide range of products via coding, digital media, and 3D fabrication. This innovative, interdisciplinary learning environment, paired with school wide one-to-world device deployment and extensive technology professional development, is providing our community a relevant and progressive “Education for Life.”
A 4-6 week long interdisciplinary unit, which ties together research and presentation skills, Chanukah, Israel, New Jersey History, the science of electricity, and the use of light as a medium in art.
How do words have the power to create? Through writing in both Hebrew and English, drawing, practicing calligraphy, making ink and writing implements, singing, choreographing, and dancing, the children explored in great depth the meaning of Hebrew letters, including their relationship to creation.
This project tasked the students to create a scale model of the mishkan using 3D modeling and printing. Attached to the submission is a google doc with a full explanation with additional materials and references hyperlinked to the doc itself.
To access Torah’s rich narratives, students require solidified language skills and strategies. At Shefa, reading comprehension and writing strategies explicitly taught in ELA classes provide a springboard to dive into Torah. This Judaic Studies curriculum created for Shefa is a replicable model for cross-curricular integration and differentiation.
Cultivating positive associations with Tefillah in our time is a formidable challenge that every day school faces. A response to this universal issue, our Shtender Project fostered an excitement for Tefillah and an opportunity to personalize one's Tefillah experience while building confidence and pride through hard work. While so much of our shcolastic lives are spent fulfilling cognitive goals, this project honed the psychomotor skills of the students, in addition to stimulating the mind, heart and soul. It was a memorable project, and it left each student with something that they can hold onto for years to come.
This interdisciplinary unit explores cultures around the world. It aims to teach students that where one lives affects how they live. We use this big idea to examine Jewish traditions, food, arts, day to day life and more.
Students contrast Mystical Judaism with Rational Judaism. Topics include: Sorcery, Witches, Amulets, Evil Eye, Chamsa, Lilith, Star of David, Mezuzah, Golem, Demon, Incubus, and Dybbuk. Students integrate Jewish Studies with Art, by creating art projects that are message-driven by the associated Jewish Studies topics.
Every year, the FMS Lower School embarks on an 8 week intensive learning journey in preparation for our annual STE(A)M fair. This journey encompasses so much, but at its core, this experience lays the foundation for life-long learners and information seekers; involvement in this process remains the most valuable lesson for our students in the LS.
"The Torah Times" presents Torah events as "Breaking news" Happening right now! All the text and presentation are developed by Maimonides students, blending Torah knowledge with creativity, humor, writing, and graphic design.
Highly creative, The Torah Times engages students to find the soul /essential messages of the Torah that connects to life & current events today. Protagonists such as Abraham/Lot, Moses/Pharoh, or Aaron/Korach shed their ancient robes and venues to address current issues; Midrash/commentaries become our news outlets with the inside scoop. This personifies Rashi's Translation of the Shma: "Hayom Al Levaech" -not as an old chronicle, but as actual, new, and current.
Live coverage of the breaking news stories of the Torah as it unfolds minute by minute. Narrate the weekly Torah portion as a news script and film the students acting as news anchors, reporters, meteorologist, etc. then edit into a short video to share with other schools and public viewers.
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.
In honour of our school's 18th anniversary and its initial visionaries, we launched a school-wide initiative looking at how to turn dreams into reality. Each grade integrated this theme with a core curricular unit. A detailed description of each grade's project as well as work samples are included with this submission.
Jewish Day Schools often face a dichotomy between the Judaic and General Studies Departments. The Jewish Academy is making a priority of tackling this challenge through innovative means. Our goal is to create a seamless curriculum.
Using the bracha Mashiv HaRuach and Parshat Noach, this unit investigates water on a deep level. It includes many types of instruction so that all students can access the learning.
Through observation, students explore the beauty of Jewish ritual objects. Through creation, students can make these objects their own, a true reflection of the beauty and power within themselves. In this lesson, students create mixed-media Yad sculptures for ritual use.
Jeremiah Chapters 18-19 explore the interplay between God and His people as the fashioner of Jewish destiny through the agency of a potter. Jeremiah’s symbolic action comes to life as each student experiences "becoming" the potter, realizing the challenges of imprinting one’s vision on another. This project enhances the tefilla experience for our students as they explore the Yom Kippur piyyut - KaChomer BeYad HaYotzer, Like Clay in the Hands of the Potter - and helps shape their understanding of the roles of fate and free-will, both in the history of the Jewish people and in their own lives.
Yeshivat Noam: Connecting the Past to the Present and Making it Relevant to Middle School Students Using the Arts and Technology
Our unit of study explores the Immigrant Experience of 1880-1924 and the Holocaust to guide students to connect to the past which will broaden the students' understanding of his/her role in the present and his/her place in the future. Through the lens of individuals (Holocaust Survivors and New-Immigrants), students will be able to connect, appreciate, and apply key moments in history.