TEACHING TORAH to YOUNG CHILDREN: Creating a Community of Torah Learners

Shira Horowitz • South Area Solomon Schechter Day School •

Telling & Retelling Acting Torah Talk Torah Journals

school & classroom

Torah in the classroom

about Shira

origins of this work
The development of this case was supported by the Mandel Center for Studies in Jewish Education at Brandeis University
Why a consistent structure?

I believe that much of the power in the methods that I use to teach Torah lies in the consistent, predictable structure. Just like a writing workshop or a reading workshop in which children come to expect certain beginnings, time to do certain kinds of work, and certain kinds of endings, Torah time in my classroom is based on a particular structure with four major components. While the conversation, the acting, and the writing may all look different from the beginning of the year to the end, it is the very predictability of the structure that allows the students to evolve in this way. Rather than being confining, as I once worried it might be, I have come to see the predictable structure of Torah lessons in my classroom as a scaffold to help students succeed, be creative, and interact with the difficult work of Torah study.