Tuesday, March 17, 2009

Creating Fruit Commercials for Tu Bishvat

When planning a unit in Hebrew, I try to think about the skill I want my students to know. The next holiday serves as the end point for the lesson and context to use for assessing the learned skills.

Recently, I wanted to teach my students simple sentence construction and new adjectives. Initially, students worked on sentences without verbs. Then students focused on matching subjects and adjective phrases. Lastly, they wrote a complex sentence which included a simple verb and “because statement.”

These skills helped students write commercials for fruit grown in Israel, which were videotaped and aired on Tu Bishvat. Students were proud of the slogans they created to promote their fruit and presented their commercials to their classmates with enthusiasm.

Videotaping the commercials allowed for an authentic performance assessment that was fun for the kids. In the future, the video will serve as a record of student accomplishment.

At the close of the unit students read short books about the fruit trees. Their comfort with the books sentence structure and subject was motivating. Students requested a second book to read over vacation.

Collaborating with another Hebrew teacher made this project fun to create and implement. We were in touch and supported each other’s ideas and efforts. We were able to visit each other’s classes and see the lessons as they unfolded in different classes at different age levels.

--Miriam Klausner

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