When mentoring our pre-service and in-service teachers we need to describe and model both research-based and clinically tested best practices. This is one of many lessons we will be sharing on teaching Judaic content, lesson planning, models of teaching, differentiated and individualized instruction and learning activities designed to transform the classroom into a Jewish community of cooperative learners. The title of this lesson is “What Does G-d Ask of You?”. Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan we will divide this lesson plan into two parts. Here is the first part of this lesson on the question: “What does G-d Ask of You?” The second part of this lesson follows.
Developmental Activity: (Set of procedures or steps to reach the objective/learning outcome)
1. Invite your students to think about and record their answers to these two questions: (1) What does G-d ask of you? (2) What does this statement mean? “That you have awe of the L-rd your G-d, and walk in all of G-d's ways and love G-d, and serve the L-rd your G-d with all your heart and with all your soul."
2. Direct your students to discuss their answers to the above two questions with a random learning partner for a designated period of time. Here is one way to create random learning pairs.
Count the number of students in class and divide that number in half. Then gather index cards equal to the number of students in class. Thus, if there are 20 students in class, prepare 20 index cards. Then write one number on each card from 1 to 10 twice. Thus you will have two cards with the number 1 on it, two cards with the number 2, etc. If you have an odd number of students, add a third index card with the number 1 written on it. Place all the index cards in a hat or box, and invite each student to close his/her eyes and select one card. The two (or three) students with the same number are new learning pairs/partners. In lieu of using numbered cards, you can prepare cards with matching colors, animals, songs, television shows, athletes, entertainers, etc.
Guided Practice: (Students apply new skill/s or strengthen previously learned skills during classroom instruction.)
1. Ask your students to return their cards to the hat or box, and invite them to select new cards. This process of using matching cards to create new learning partners and to discuss the essential questions of this lesson can continue several times.
2. Conduct a classroom discussion on what G-d expects of us.
Independent Activities: (Students practice new skill/s or strengthen previously learned skills outside of the class.)
1. Students can ask their parents, grandparents, or another person to answer these two questions: (1) What does V'atah, Yisrael, mah Adonai sho'eil mei'imach (And now, Israel, what does G-d ask of you) mean? (2) What does G-d expect of us?
2. Students then record the responses of the person they interviewed in their notebooks.
3. Students should be prepared to share what they had learned during the interview with their classmates.
Closure: (Activity that summarizes and ends the lesson)
The teachers summarizes the students answers and indicates that which HaShem expects of us signifies what is enduring Jewish knowledge. Then indicates that we will continue our investigation of enduring Jewish knowledge in the next lesson.
On the next post we will begin sharing a lesson entitled, “ What is Enduring Jewish Knowledge?"