Our Stories

Furry Friends Join Students for Hebrew Oral Presentations

June 15, 2017 by Tirza Kramer (Faculty and Staff)

It can be challenging to maintain a high level of motivation in a classroom of sixth graders in the final months leading up to graduation and summer vacation. We knew that we needed to identify a culminating Hebrew project that would be engaging, dynamic, and a way for the students to express themselves in a meaningful and relevant way. We also needed to keep the learning going strong and continue to be joyful in this last phase of their JPDS-NC career.

I presented the students with the challenge to create an end of year project that would motivate and excite them to continue their learning of Hebrew. In our brainstorming session, it became clear that all the students were connected to their pets and special family members. Within moments, ideas were flying, and excitement was in the air as the students shared how this project would be enhanced if they could bring their special guests to school. For each of them, this would be a perfect culmination of their time at our school.

First, the students mapped out the narratives for their Hebrew oral presentations. They wrote descriptions of their pet or person, adding unique details. Soon enough, there were final drafts highlighting their connections to their special friends in addition to descriptive information. Students also created beautiful collages and in one case a video presentation. The highlight for each student was a visit from furry friends of various sizes – we even got to meet a cousin through a video. Parents also attended and were able to personally see the hard work of their children.

As the students reflected on their culminating Hebrew project, they noted that they enjoyed seeing the fruit of their labor after working hard for many weeks. They recognized and appreciated that their engagement in their learning was sustained throughout the project because they delved into an area of personal interest, had an opportunity to share something meaningful, and of course, introduce their beloved pets and family members. Kol Hakavod Oranim!