Video: Introduction by Elizabeth Sharkey

CHALLENGING STUDENT IDENTITY: INTEGRATING JEWISH STUDIES INTO THE HISTORY CLASSROOM

Case developed by Judy Shulman in collaboration with Elizabeth Sharkey

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 prepares her students for the school visit, and how she integrates a Jewish Studies class, art and technology into the unit. The Web site also captures a visit to a Muslim school, the culmination of the next unit on the rise of Islam. To appreciate the richness and complexity of this case, please read the teaching note first. Click here to download the Quicktime Player plugin.


Learning about Oneself through Writing about a Family Ritual Object 

Drawing from the previous day's introduction, students describe the ritual objects they will explain in their essays. Toward the end of class, E reviews how the essay should be written.

Also:Student Reflections On Assignment; Ritual Object Essays (MS Word document)


Integrating Technology into the Curriculum 

After hearing how to format their essays on the computer, students begin to prepare them for illumination in the tech lab.


This case was developed by WestEd with support from the Mandel Foundation


Introduction to the Christian Bible 

Reading how the Christan Bible traces the genealogy of Jesus back to the House of David, students generate questions based on their learning.

Also: Questions for Catholic Students (MS Word .doc); Student Reflections on Learning Community


Integrating Art into the Curriculum/Preparing for Church Visit 

Students illuminate their essays after listening to E's introduction, and then explore questions about Judaism from the Catholic students.

Also: Sudent work: Illuminated Manuscripts; Questions from Catholic Students (MS Word document)


This case was developed by WestEd wth support from the Mandel Foundation.


Collaborating with the Jewish Studies Teacher 

Students select one of four topics--History, Legend, Light, or Practice/Personal Story--and begin to write their essay in the Jewish Studies Class.After his initial instruction, Aviv helps individual students.


Learning about Oneself through Understanding the Other: Visit to St Christophers 

After sharing ritual objects and Hanukah essays in small groups, a few students volunteer to make presentations to the whole group. E also leads the students in singing the Shema.

Also:Student Reflections on Visit; Agenda for St. Christophers (MS Word .doc), Student Written Reflections (MS Word.doc





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Knowledge Media Lab of The Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching.
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