6th and 7th Grade Update
Posted on December 20, 2017
Happy Hanukkah from the 6th and 7th grade class! We hope that your Hanukkah was filled with light, laughter, and wonderful time with your family.
This past week at Temple Israel was extremely busy for the 6th/7th grade classes.
On Sunday, the 6th grade participated in Temple Israel’s first Boston-Haifa Expo. For the past couple of months, we’ve been working on researching a topic related to Haifa, Boston’s sister-city in Israel. In groups, we prepared the topic, developed a project, and rehearsed our presentations. Topics ranged from Sports to Arts to Climate Change in Haifa, and included ways in which the topic can be found in Boston, 3 relevant words in Hebrew, and much more.
We were grateful to be joined by many parents, parts of the Temple Israel community, Bar (Temple Israel’s Shinshin)’s mom, a representative from the CJP, and many more community members, to honor our students’ work and learn from their projects. Our students worked extremely hard, and I’m so proud of their work! Thank you to everyone that came to support us on Sunday–we hope you enjoyed the expo!
On Tuesday and Wednesday, the 6th and 7th grade had busy classes as well. On Tuesday, we began by welcoming the last night of Hanukkah, through song and the lighting of the Hannukiah in our classroom. We then continued our B’nai Telem Inclusion unit, by discussing ways that a physical space can be “inclusive” or “exclusive.”
To start, we began by watching a short clip from a movie called “Arranged,” during which a Jewish grade-school teacher leads her students in a “unity circle.” She challenges students to come up with one word that describes them, and hold up this word on a paper. Through various exercises, the class is taught that they can choose whether or not to include people in their “circle,” representing the way that they can interact and include all peoples in their class. We then discussed how this clip was relevant to the topic we’ve been discussing in our classroom, and explored how we too can be inclusive for all peoples.
We then brainstormed a list of examples from ways that space can be inclusive, for people of all physical abilities, socioeconomic backgrounds, educational needs, and more. These included: ramps in a central location, elevators, allowance for service pets, automatic doors, braille on books and signs, multiple gendered bathrooms, as well as accessible bathrooms, monitors, food drives and fundraisers, and many, many more. We then took a field trip around the Temple Israel building, recording ways that the building both succeeds and struggles in achieving this inclusive space.
Finally, for the last half hour, the 6th graders continued to practice troupe with Cantor Ken, and the 7th graders chose to practice modern Hebrew by learning words relevant to food and eating.
We’re really excited to continue this curriculum after Winter Break, and to continue learning together!