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Grades: 4-6 Though its usage may well be broader, this material was specifically designed to be used in fourth to sixth grade as a personality centered introduction to Jewish history. We know that many schools struggle with a problem of (a) knowing that research suggests that sequential history cannot really be studied until seventh or eighth grade, but (b) also knowing that if history is not taught in the fourth to the sixth-grade slot, many students will never have an opportunity to study it.
Therefore, what we have created is a series of “biographies” that tell individual stories in the context of background, that can be mastered during this period. Each of these units is designed to:
The individual biographies can be considered “quilting squares” and can be assembled in any fashion that the teacher or curriculum designer desires. They can be clustered within a historical period, gathered by theme, or sequenced o demonstrate a historical flow.
Heschel believed that technical civilization stems primarily from the desire of people to conquer and manage the forces of nature. Thus the manufacture of tools and the building of houses go on in people’s spatial surroundings. However, the Bible he asserts is more concerned with time than space. It sees the world in the dimension of time, paying more attention to generations, to events, than to countries and things. For Heschel, Jewish ritual is characterized as the art of significant forms in time. The Sabbath, Rosh Hodesh, the festivals all depend on a certain hour of the day or season of the year. The first thing ever created that was holy was the Sabbath, when God blessed the seventh day and made it holy. Refraining from work on the Sabbath, lighting two Shabbat candles, having a festive Shabbat meal are ways that a Jews can sanctify time.
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