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Makom Curriculum at a Glance

Makom’s curriculum is rooted in Project Based Learning. This is a teaching method in which students learn by actively engaging in real-world and personally meaningful projects. Another important aspect of Makom’s curriculum is how we begin by focusing on the needs and experiences of the individual and gradually, over time, expand how our students understand and see themselves as part of a larger community and world. 

 To that end,during K-2nd grade, Makom students focus on how Judaism might look in their own home and their own lives. Then in 3rd-5th grade the students start to focus on their community, followed by 6th and 7th grade when the students start to think beyond their immediate community and to the larger Jewish Peoplehood. 

Each Grade will cover: 

Kindergarten and 1st graders will learn about Jewish traditions at home and how different people may celebrate Jewish holidays at home.

The 2nd graders will actively engage with the Torah stories, specifically the book of Genesis, using ANDiDREW comic books (click here) and Sedra Scene plays. They will also build on their Jewish holiday knowledge.

The 3rd graders will focus on the different life cycle events a Jewish child or adult goes through. They will learn about naming, bris, B’nei Mitzvah, Confirmation, Weddings, conversion, and the ritual of sitting shiva. The 3rd graders will join the main sanctuary anytime there is a new simcha to witness, like naming or an aufruf, to get a fuller picture of a year in the synagogue.

The 4th graders will dive into Israel education, traveling to a new city in Israel for each unit. They will learn how Israeli holidays are celebrated and overall culture in Israel. The big project in 4th grade is putting on the Israel Fair in the Spring, which the entire school and parents are invited to.

The 5th graders will focus on learning more about the people of the Torah.  Diving into how the different characters are connected by blood or marriage. Putting on the persona of a biblical character and thinking about how the character might have felt or thought. A large aspect of 5th grade is their Torah service in the Spring. 5th graders begin to learn Torah Trope, and then chant a verse or two of Torah, in a private Torah service for their friends and family.

The 6th graders will take a step outside of Pennsylvania and learn about the global Jewish community through history. Returning to the beginning of Rabbinic Judaism and following how American Jews got to be where we are now. A large aspect of the 6th grade year is their Torah service in the Spring. 6th graders continue to learn Torah trope and then learn 2-3 verses of Torah to chant in the main sanctuary with their classmates and the Adath Israel community.

The 7th grade will focus the first half of the year on thinking about their place in the Jewish community while also preparing for their B’nei Mitzvah. The second half of the year will be spent learning more about the Holocaust. There are two 7th grade projects: the first is leading the Yom HaShoah ceremony for the 3rd through 6th graders, and the second is the B’nei Mitzvah Project fair at the end of the school year to showcase their B’nai Mitzvah Projects to the wider Makom community. 

Hebrew at Makom: 

Kindergarten through 2nd Graders focus on learning the Hebrew alphabet, the names and sounds of all the letters and vowels. The kindergarten through 2nd Graders use the curriculum “Hebrew through Movement,” a language acquisition strategy in which students learn Hebrew by hearing and responding to Hebrew commands. Hebrew through Movement is an adaptation of James J. Asher’s Total Physical Response (TPR). Using our bodies to learn and internalize the Hebrew language. 

Our 3rd through 6th graders use a multi-media Hebrew curriculum called Hebrew through Harmony. Our students focus on learning the different prayers that make up our services to better understand not only the Hebrew but also the meaning of each prayer. This curriculum allows our students to become comfortable with the general service that way they feel confident in any Jewish setting. 

Fri, July 12 2024 6 Tammuz 5784