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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.
One of Rashi’s concerns was to determine in what way the first of the Ten Commandments is a commandment since it is an affirmative statement rather than a command. Furthermore, Rashi is interested in explaining why the phrase “who brought you out of the land of Egypt” appears here. Here, Rashi explains that the purpose of God taking the Israelites out of slavery and giving them commandments was to establish a covenantal relationship with them, whereby God, in loving the Israelites would give them commandments to enhance their life. The obligation of the Israelites, in turn, was to be God’s servants and fulfill these commandments.
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