Torah School Electives 2012-13
Students in grades 4-7 are able to choose an elective from the list below. Please
note that some electives are offered in either term 1 (Sept.-Dec.), term 2 (Jan.-
May), or full year (Sept.-May).
A. Judaism Rocks/ Jewishizing Pop Songs and Drama/Purim Spiel ( Full
Students will be introduced to various pop songs which were rewritten to describe a variety of Jewish themes. Students will learn to sing some of these songs for a Chanukah, or Passover performance. Students will also work together on writing their own “Jewishized” pop songs based on the holiday during which they will be performing.
The drama portion of this elective uses interactive games and text study to create an original dramatic piece that will be performed at Purim for Torah School parents and the Temple community. Some sessions will focus on learning improvisation techniques and performance as well as reviewing the story of Purim.
Children will work together learning the rules of improvisation and practicing various games to internalize the values of improvisation and cooperative performance. Students will also study the text of the story and look for basic understanding and connections to their own lives. During the second session, students will begin sharing ideas for an original play including setting, time period, characters, and morals of the story. The educator will compile all the students’ ideas together into an original piece that the students will rehearse, modify, and eventually perform.
B. Jewish Traditions Through Art (Term 1 and Term 2)
In order to give our students a lifelong love of Jewish learning and practice, we would like to provide creative, substantive Jewish experiences that encourage students to stretch their imaginations, explore personally relevant ideas, and discover powerful, new connections in their own Jewish lives.
Art fosters creative expression, builds critical thinking skills, and provides a range of ways for students to access content. Using the arts to teach Jewish subject matter enables students to engage with ideas in a personal and compelling way. The artistic process allows students an alternative way of exploring Jewish identity.
In this class, students will tap into their expressive impulses, create new artistic traditions, and tell their own stories through creating works of art. Examples of art projects include creating a Clay mezuzah, Shabbat Candlesticks, Challah Covers, a Chanukiah, and a Kiddush Cup.
C. Jewish Eats and Treats (Term 1 and Term 2)
If they cook it, they will eat it! In this class, students will learn to prepare delicious traditional Jewish dishes, share stories, and explore Jewish culture and traditions through recipes and tasty dishes. Students will learn how to peel, whisk, grate and slice while experiencing a variety of healthful, fresh ingredients and learning about the stories and traditions behind each dish.
There is much more to Jewish food than matzo balls and gefilte fish. Students will learn about Jewish communities and Jewish cultures around the world by cooking their food. From Ethiopia to Iraq to Argentina, Jewish cooking reflects a remarkable blend of local culinary traditions and Jewish cooking techniques that have been passed down for centuries. As we sharpen our skills in the kitchen, we will learn about the network of Jews around the world and how we are connected through the food we eat.
Tikkun Olam (Acts of Loving Kindness)
D. Tikkun Olam Through the Senses (Term1)
Students learn to connect their 5 senses to Tikkun Olam
in ways that can
positively impact others. The first session introduces the idea of Tikkun Olam
Students brainstorm ways they can
• Sight: Students will examine the following questions: “How important is it to
have something beautiful to look at when you can’t go outside? Can seeing beautiful things make someone feel better or brighten their day?” Students will decorate sun-catchers for children in the hospital.
• Touch: Ho Students will examine the following questions “How can a
blanket and pillow help someone? (E.g. provide a good night’s sleep, puts you in a good mood for the next day, better sleep so you can perform better in school, comfort items for young children-think about a “blankey” you had as a baby etc. )” Students will assemble blankets and pillows for adults and children living in shelters.
• Smell: Students will examine the following questions: “How does it make
you feel when you smell home-baked cookies, challah for Shabbat or flowers? Does it make you think of other things you enjoy?” Students will decorate flower pots and assemble tissue paper flowers for senior citizens
• Taste: Students will examine the following questions: “How do you feel
when you are hungry? Does it affect your mood, how you treat others, etc.?” Students will prepare sandwiches for a homeless shelter.
• Sound: Students will examine the following questions: “How do you feel
when your friend calls you when you are home sick from school?” Students will create and decorate “smile bags” for hospitalized children, including a “get well card” (on a CD)
E. Saving the Rainforest and the Torah School Students Book Project (Term
is defined as "repairing the world" through human actions. It implies that each person has a hand in working towards the betterment of his or her own existence as well as the lives of future generations. Tikkun Olam
forces us to take ownership of our world.
“Dream the Forest Wild” is the remarkable and true story of a beautiful rainforest and its wildlife and of children in over 40 countries who save a forest they have never seen. To honour the children, the forest is named El Bosque Eterno de los Niños, which means, The Children’s Eternal Rainforest.
Today, after 25 years, the Dream of the Forest Wild continues to inspire children everywhere. Now, it’s Torah School turn to join the Dream. In this class, students will create illustrations for the story “Dream the Forest Wild: How children saved a Rainforest
”, which will be compiled into a storybook. Students will create their own illustrations for the story. Learning about the forest, and the amazingof how it was first saved, will remind students that we are all interconnected and the future of rainforests, and our planet, depends on everyone.
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