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CHALLENGING STUDENT IDENTITY: INTEGRATING JEWISH STUDIES INTO THE HISTORY CLASSROOM

Elizabeth Sharkey with Judy Shulman, Secondary Social Studies
Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School, Palo Alto, CA


Judy Shulman

This website was developed by Judy Shulman and Elizabeth Sharkey, and can be accessed at the following URL:

Enter Site

(this link was valid on 9/20/06)

Excerpt:
Elizabeth is a middle school Language Arts/History teacher at the Gideon Hausner Jewish Day School in Palo Alto, CA. She integrates Jewish Studies into her curriculum and and encourages her students to question and shape their Jewish identity. On this Web site, we see how Elizabeth adapts the Roman Empire and Civilizations of Islam standards from the California Grade 7 History Standards to her instruction. Between units on the early development of Christianity and Islam, Elizabeth planned a visit to a Catholic school before the Christmas/Hanukah season, in collaboration with the 7th grade teacher at the Catholic school. Her goal was to connect the study of Christianity to the real world of her students, and to facilitate their understanding of themselves through understanding the other. Video clips, commentary,snapshots of the school visit, student reflections and samples of student work document this unit. We see how she prepares her students to write about and explain Jewish ritual objects and Hanukah to the Catholic students, how she uses text study of the Christian Bible to introduce concepts in Christianity, and how she integrates a Jewish Studies class, art and the technology laboratory into the unit.