Thursday, September 18, 2008

A Lesson on When the Shark Met the Fish

As part of our efforts to raise awareness among the 7th grade students about the plight of Gilad Shalit, an Israeli soldier who is being held captive by the Hamas, we decided to introduce a book that he wrote when he was 11 years old and that his parents had published in Israel. Without telling the students why, we had them write dialogues in Hebrew between and a shark and a fish. The students worked in pairs to create their skits. They performed the dialogues and we videotaped them. Since the students knew ahead of time that they would be videotaped, they were highly motivated to do the best job possible.

The next step is for the class to watch the videotapes and the students will self-evaluate their own Hebrew writing and speaking skills through the content and performance of the dialogues that they wrote. We prepared a rubric to facilitate the students' evaluation. After the self-evaluation, we will use the same rubric to give our own feedback to the students.

We used the SmartBoard in class to show the class how non-Jewish students in the Bronx in New York were reading Gilad Shalit's book When the Shark Met the Fish. We also connected to other sources that gave information about Gilad and the negotiations for his release from captivity by the Hamas. The students logged into a website where they could voice their own opinions and feelings about what they had learned that day. They wrote on the website in both Hebrew and English.

Our use of the video cameras to tape the class, along with the SmartBoard internet connections to both the class in the Bronx and the website on Gilad's captivity, added so much to the lesson. The kids went home over the weekend and could talk about little else at the Shabbat table.

--The 7th Grade Hebrew Teachers

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