It's been a while since I have posted (sorry - I was going to do it around Thanksgiving :( but I got super busy) so now I have a lot to share. I finished a webquest with my 8th grade that took about three months to do in all - some was done in school, and some at home. This webquest helped to prepare my 8th graders for their trip to Israel in March. They had to research the different cities and places that we will be visiting, in a very, "outside the box" kind of way. Have a look at the webquest at: http://moaty.ghaonline.org/IsraelWebquest/ . You can view pictures of the 3 dimensional maps at: http://moaty.ghaonline.org/8hoi/photo_gallery.htm
Aside from the completion of that project, we also completed another webquest about Jews in the diaspora. The students researched Jewish communities, foods and dress in different countries around the world. They also learned about responsa, and sent their own modern day responsa out to various Rabbis in the community. Some got responses, and some didn't. The kids charted the differences in the responses, and the time it took to get them. They also noted that some Rabbis never sent responses. They compared the similarites and differences in communication between the Middle Ages and modern times. To see this webquest, click on the following link: http://moaty.ghaonline.org/JewishDiaspora/ .
We have just completed units on Islam and Jewish and Christian relationships in the Middle Ages. We covered the Crusades and learned about blood libels. We also discussed the various expulsions, and Anti - Semitism. We've been comparing episodes of Anti - Semitism throughout the ages, which has led us up to the Holocaust, and the subsequent Aliyot. Have a look at our 8th grade blog to see what the kids are thinking and the issues we are dealing with. Incredible! http://ghahoi.blogspot.com/
Before Chanukah, my 5th grade classes worked on their Chanukah wiki. They managed to complete a good part of it, and it will be continued and expanded upon in future years. Have a look: http://5thgradeghajudaicstudies.wikispaces.com/%D7%97%D7%A0%D7%95%D7%9B%D7%94
I have been filming my 8th grade lessons, and projects that they are doing throughout the year. At the end of the Israel trip, I will be compiling and creating a movie of the 8th Grade year and Israel experience with student help. They will find the music, edit the pictures, create the commercials, etc. I'm very much looking forward to this new adventure!