Project-Based Learning in the Judaic Studies Classroom
Studies show that project-based learning increases retention of content, develops problem-solving skills, improves students’ attitudes toward learning and helps non-traditional learners perform well.
Educators around the United States have successfully implemented project-based learning (PBL) in their classrooms with Torah Live. We share their lesson plans here so you can implement them in your own classroom.
Checking the School’s Mezuzahs
A teacher from Queens shared with us that he showed his students the Mezuzah topic with a special focus on the “Position on the Doorpost” video. After the students watched the video, they walked around the school and wrote up a short report on each mezuzah’s placement. Sure enough, they located a number of mezuzahs which needed to be adjusted. The students then created a “mezuzah report” for the school administration with a list of mezuzahs which needed to be placed correctly on the doorposts.
Monitoring Anger Levels
A teacher from Philadelphia initiated a PBL program on the topic of controlling anger. At the end of each week, he showed a video from the Anger topic. He asked the students to monitor their anger levels at home over Shabbos and Sunday. The students then wrote reports and gave presentations, in front of the class, on the situations which came up over the weekend and how they responded to them.
Telling the Purim Story with Art
A teacher in Baltimore, whose students face learning challenges, utilized the Torah Live illustrated Megillah presentation to teach the Purim story. Her students followed the same model and each created their own comic strip of the Purim story in their own words, using their singular artistic talents.
Creating Shabbos Models
The Shabbos videos are packed with halachic details which can be hard to remember. Students can create models of what they learned from each video, to help them internalize the halachos. For example, after watching the video on “Sowing,” they can create a model of a field which would showcase the melacha of Sowing on Shabbos. Or, after watching the Tochein video, they can hold cooking demonstrations (live or on video) showing which types of chopping are allowed and which are not.
Since Torah Live’s multimedia presentations relate so strongly to daily life, it’s easy to get students involved in projects which help them internalize the halachos.
If you’ve implemented PBL in your classroom, we would love to hear from you. Email [email protected] to let us know.
Click here for more ideas on integrating Torah Live into your curriculum.