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 “Can Students Generate Essential Questions that Relate to Jewish Knowledge that is Enduring? “ Since there are 13 elements in each lesson plan we will divide this lesson plan into four parts. Here are the first part and second parts of this lesson on empowering students to generate questions relating to enduring Jewish knowledge. The third part of this lesson follows:
The mentor teacher presents the sample team web of Israel displayed at the top of this post. He or she then notes how these student-generated questions and ideas on that web are related to the body of enduring Jewish knowledge about Israel that an educated student is expected to understand. Accordingly, the mentor teacher refers to this statement of aims developed by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Commission on Jewish Education.
Statement VI: (Enduring Jewish) Knowledge About and Concern for Israel means:
· Being familiar with the importance of Israel in the Tanach (Bible) and tefilah (prayer)
· Knowing that Jews have lived in, and identified with the land of Israel for 4,000 years
· Being aware of the commitments expressed in establishing the State of Israel, and a sense of the drama of establishing the State
· This includes some key events in modern Israel history before and since the establishment of the State. This includes some knowledge of present-day Israel including:
· Having a continuing interest in Israel
· Being concerned for the State of Israel
· Understanding the importance of the State of Israel and being able to articulate reasons for concern and support
· Being aware that aliyah is an option in the lives of Jews in North America and elsewhere.
· Showing a desire to visit Israel.
On the next post we will share the fourth part of this four part lesson on how students can generate essential questions relating to enduring Jewish knowledge.
 The Statement of Aims of the Conservative Synagogue School was developed by the United Synagogue of Conservative Judaism Commission on Jewish Education in 1996. It articulates the aims of Conservative Jewish education for K through high school. See http://www.uscj.org/Blue_Ribbon_Report6668.html Retrieved January 30, 2009.