Sixth Graders Create Dramas about Ancient Jewish History
Ancient history is a core part of the sixth grade curriculum and studying ancient Israel—from its beginnings through the Tannaim (rabbinic sages) period—has always been central to sixth grade Judaic studies. “Learning about the history of ancient Israel really helps students to understand the stories of the Tanach (the Hebrew Bible) in a deeper way and helps them to gain a greater appreciation for what life was like when the Temple existed,” says teacher Jennifer Baumer.
To enhance the students’ understanding of ancient Israel, they have been assigned different historical periods: the era of the patriarchs (1850–1000 BCE); the period of judges and settlement in Canaan (1200–1000 BCE); the united kingdom (1000–922 BCE); and the divided kingdom (922–721 BCE). Using green-screen technology, the students have been producing videos of scripts they have created.
“By completing a project as opposed to just reading about history,” says Ms. Baumer, “students are able to absorb the information better."