As the events of our Pesach Seders become fond memories, students in the 6th grade Design-Based Learning program are rapidly progressing in their study of ancient empires. We have moved from the investigation of whether or not Sumer was an advanced civilization to an in-depth look at the daily lives of ancient Egyptians. Through the creation of charts, small skits, and open-ended questions, students will discover key details that distinguish the ancient Egyptians from other empires of the time. From there, students will continue their study through civilization’s evolutionary line, setting their sights towards parallel ancient civilizations, Greece and Rome. Throughout this learning, students have the opportunity to engage in many styles of writing, including short response, reflection, and formal expository essay. Additionally, they are afforded the opportunity to yet again incorporate aspects of Judaic studies with the social studies curriculum. As we know, enslaved Hebrews in Egypt marked a major Judaic Period in history. From there, we will follow Moses’ path out of Egypt, onto continued perseverance through hardships that shaped the Jewish people.
This time of year takes the universal theme “Change” to a new level in the 6th grade science curriculum. Teacher-centered instruction gives way to total student-led investigation, marking the onset of science fair projects. 34 pairs of students, through online surveys and discussion, have selected 34 unique experiments, ranging from “chromo-ology” of candy, the science behind optical illusions, and the physics of basketball. In this science fair process, students will engage in research, experimentation, data collection, and the entire progression of the scientific process. Pictures, graphs, charts, and written reflection will showcase the fruits of their personal inquiries in about a month from now, at Open House.
In Guided Reading, the highlighted literature is becoming more aligned with upcoming social studies content. In one class, Julius Caesar is coming to a close, and will be followed by another novel of similar historical significance. With the conclusion of The Outsiders, other classes have continued the theme of internal conflicts; they have began the end-of-the-year study of mythical creatures and origins of legends with Greek Myths, a collection of tales and stories that will deepen our study of ancient Greek culture. In another class, Report to the Principal’s Office proved a low-stress, highly entertaining way to hone inference skills, summarize, and build a larger vocabulary repertoire.
In Hebrew, the 6th grade students are singing Yom Ha’atzmaut songs, learning facts about Israel, and discussing the importance of Israel to all Jews. In Mrs. Miodovsky’s class, the Ulpan students are working in Chaverim B’Ivrit book 1. They are reading stories about birthday parties and are connecting it to Israel’s 64th birthday. The enrichment class students are getting ready to read a book about the rescue in Entebbe. In Mrs. Fridman’s class, the students are learning about Theodor Herzl; they have also started Chaverim Be’ivrit book 6 and are reading about food, and are about ready to practice ordering food in a restaurant. In Mrs. Hadad’s class, students are “going on a trip and are discussing things that are forbidden and allowed to do on the bus.” In Mrs. Ben Ami’s class, students are learning about afterschool activities; they are currently learning about how to play a musical instrument. In Mrs. Orevi’s class, the students continue to learn about unique and special objects. In addition, they are discovering a tale about Elijah the prophet and “his Passover visit” with a kind rich family who lost everything materialistic in a fire.