Ariel Horn Levenson
Ariel is a humanities teacher at a Modern Orthodox middle school. Her lesson plan introduces students to Jewish voices from Colonial America through a teacher role play and encourages students to hone critical analysis skills.
Jewish Life in Colonial and Post-Colonial America
Through primary source analysis, students examine the experience of being a Jew in colonial and post-colonial American history.
- By engaging with primary sources, we can gain insight into what life was like for people in the past, and into how they thought about the world around them.
- It is important for us to record our own experiences so that people in the future can learn about us, just as we learn about people in the past.
- Why is it important to study primary sources?
- Why is it important for us to record the events of our own lives?
- Teacher costumes/props for teacher-in-role (optional)
- Some kind of container to function as a time capsule for the student’s letters
Notes to Teacher
For the first part of the lesson, I use the teaching strategy of “teacher in role” to acquaint the students with the primary sources presented during this class period. I post short bios of the authors of the primary sources behind me on the SmartBoard, and present excerpts from these colonial figures. I present AS these people in role, in costume, reading these figures' own words as if they were my own. Students read along and familiarize themselves with the texts before they jump into textual analysis