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At the Jewish Enrichment Center, children involve their whole selves in Jewish learning: they dive into a Jewish text with peers, and wrestle, refine, and recreate their own personalized meaning through creative, in-depth projects which unfold over several months. The teaching modality we use is called integrated learning, in which children grapple with a complex question or idea for an extended period. As they work, children explore text and their relationship with text, wrestle with peers’ varied responses and our tradition, while practicing essential life skills, such as cooperation, engagement with diverse perspectives, and resilience. The projects are not supplemental to the learning, but the projects are the path through which children learn. This article will describe our third through fifth children’s exploration of the driving question, “What is berakhah?,” with insight into how the project process builds children’s Jewish knowledge as well as social-emotional skills.
Updated: Mar. 01, 2017