Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane
Resources to help you teach the book in middle schools and high schools

Chapters 1–3

Classroom Video:
A First Impression of Judaism

The Children of Willesden Lane opens a window onto Jewish religion, culture, and history, which may be unfamiliar to students. Teachers who want to help students understand more about Judaism can use the glossaries on this Web site and in the curriculum guide (page 23), and some of the additional resources available from this page. In addition, inviting a Jewish member of the community to talk about his or her religion is an excellent way to give students a more personal and nuanced perspective.

In the video, teacher Sheila Huntley invites Rabbi Meir Feldman to share some background on Judaism with her sixth-grade students before they begin reading The Children of Willesden Lane. Prior to this session students had learned about the Holocaust and its roots, but few had ever met a Jewish person. In the session:

  • Rabbi Feldman uses singing and stories to help students appreciate both Judaism’s distinctiveness and its similarity to other religions
  • students have the opportunity to ask questions about Jewish culture and practices
  • students come away with some basic knowledge about Jewish life and the understanding that they have much in common with people who are Jewish.

Questions for Reflection

  • In introducing students to an unfamiliar culture or religion, how does a teacher convey that it consists of more than just food, clothing, and customs?
  • Where in your community can you find Jewish people who might be willing to share their religion and culture with students? How would you prepare students for such a visit so they could benefit from it?
Sheila Huntley and Rabbi Feldment in class with students

AT A GLANCE

Teachers: Sheila Huntley with Rabbi Meir Feldman
Grade: 6
Subject: Social studies
Location: Memphis, TN

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