Articles from Pardes Jewish Day School
There is no better time to explore the history that is all around us than over the summer! With so much time for adventures, it might be hard to fit in time to study history and geography. But using the world around you can be an easy way to keep your kid sharp, and maybe even teach you something new.
History is right around the corner and experiencing it could be as easy as getting ice cream. Old Town Scottsdale is full of historic buildings like the Sugar Bowl, Cavalliere's Blacksmith Shop, Farmer’s State Bank of Scottsdale (otherwise known as the Rusty Spur Saloon). You could always take a car ride through the many sites in Scottsdale or Phoenix. Learn about the history of these places together then experience the place where the stories took place!
One of the best ways to encourage your kids to learn how to read a map is a treasure hunt. Who in the world wants to spend time hiding treasure for said treasure hunt? Not me! Good thing some people have already done that for you. This Geocaching app can help your child learn to read maps and find interesting historical places right in their own neighborhood, all while hunting for hidden treasure. Another great way to learn history and geography is researching your family’s history together.
On A Trip
You don’t have to go far to find intriguing sites. Just slather on some sunscreen and head off to some of the nearby historic places. A few of the most interesting nearby sights to see are the Hieroglyphic Trail, Goldfield Ghost Town, Rawhide, and The Tovrea Castle. All of these and plenty more are just a short day trip away!
Before heading out on your big summer vacation, read up on the history of your destination. Pick up a great historical fiction or non-fiction book for your child to read. While you’re there, visit a museum or two. Connect to curriculum topics that were covered in school the past year or preview upcoming history lessons.
Let your child help navigate the route to help practice map skills. Track your summer travels on a paper or electronic map to help your child learn geography.
Here are some free online map sites to get you started:
This summer could be one for the history books!
During the month of February, our eighth graders were involved in an in-depth study of the early history of the United States. With the theme of America, the Story of Us, students used skills of historical and geographical analysis to understand ideas and events that have strengthened the country. The eighth-grade class has continued to reference and celebrate our Constitution! The emphasis on democratic ideals, immigration and migration, citizenship and the personal character traits of each president have made their way into many class discussions. Recent discussions have focused on the role of Jews in the Civil War and how they were able to maintain their Jewish identity. Students debated the issue of slavery from a northern and southern Jewish perspective, citing Jewish texts. Students also created special seders on the battlefield through a journal entry where they had to describe in great detail how they would scavenge for the main elements of the holiday.
Even writing from an 1862 perspective, many students were able to share much of their personal connections to Judaism. They wrote about how they would simply be able to recite the seder from memory, not having a Haggadah while away from home. Others remembered how to shoo a mother bird away to take an egg from its nest, and still others took risks and used plants/shrubbery as a substitute for the bitter herbs. Students were a bit surprised to learn that six recipients of the Congressional Medal of Honor were Jewish and even more impressed to know the telegrapher who was responsible for sending Lincoln’s Emancipation Proclamation was also Jewish! We will soon trace our roots to America through a unique ancestral history project.
We are so proud of our eighth-grade class and how far they have come during their time at Pardes! We are excited to see where each student ends up and the successes that lie ahead.