4th Grade: Kelsey’s Update

Dear Parents,

The Explorer’s Bible

This month’s learning objectives were:

-Provide examples that demonstrate Solomon’s extraordinary wisdom.

-Compare and contrast the Holy Temple with today’s synagogues.

-Explain why, like Solomon, we should value wisdom and use it for good causes.

-Describe the role of a prophet based on the accounts of Elijah and Elisha.

-Distinguish between the kingdom of Israel and the kingdom of Judah.

-Explain how the account of Elijah and the prophets of Baal demonstrates that we must not turn to the false idols of today.  

This month students finished the chapters, “Solomon Chooses Wisdom” and “Elijah’s Challenge.”  In “Solomon Chooses Wisdom,” Solomon becomes king after David dies. G-d tells Solomon that he will have wisdom, riches, and honor.  Solomon is able to use his wisdom to help people with decisions and people come from all over the world to hear it. The core concept of the story is for people to use wisdom and make wise choices.  In Elijah’s Challenge, Solomon has just died and his son Rehoboam becomes king. Rehoboam is not wise and the Israelites rebel. The kingdom splits into two and the kingdom of Israel in the north and the kingdom of Judah in the south are created.  The kingdom of Israel goes through many kings, but the story takes place during the time of Ahab. Ahab worships the Canaanite G-d, Baal, and Elijah challenges him to prove who the true G-d is. Elijah defeats him and G-d makes him a prophet.  

Jewish Holidays, Jewish Values

This month’s learning goals were:

-Explain the connection between Tu BiShevat and the cycles of growth on earth.

-Examine ways in which our Jewish heritage and texts can teach us lessons today about protecting natural resources.

-Discuss the Jewish value of seeing oneself as a guardian of our natural world. 

-Define the value of bal tashchit as the idea of limiting excess waste and not using materials carelessly.

-Explain how Tu Bishevat reminds us that our actions have consequences.

-Understand the main practices and traditions of Purim.

-Explain the commandment to give tzedakahmatanot la’evyonim – to the poor, on Purim.

Students wrapped up learning about Tu Bishevat, which took place on February 9th and 10th. They concluded the chapter by learning about the coordinating Jewish value, Bal tashchit, which means, “do not destroy.”  Students were given a commandment from the Torah and needed to write it in their own words so that it made more sense to them.  They also needed to consider why such an ancient commandment is still so important in our world today. Students also started to learn about Purim. Students discussed how it feels to make a difference in the world. The story of Purim was reviewed and students talked about how Esther and Mordecai stood up to Haman, despite risking their lives. Students were asked to think about a time they made a difference by standing up for something they believed in or helped a person in need.  

Please let me know if you have any questions or comments.

Thank you!

Kelsey Toetschinger