With the Book of Bereishit upon us, I want to share with you a website called: ClassTools. Classtools has a bunch of games that you can create for your classes to provide a unique type of assignment. When I first searched through the website, three jumped out at me. Twister (a mock Twitter account), SMS (a mock text message exchange), and Fakebook (a mock Facebook account).
I first began with a simple assignment. After learning a few perakim, I asked my students to create a mock Twitter account, Facebook account, or texting exchange between characters of their choice. I assigned a rubric to go with the assignment, and was very pleased with the results. My students loved having the ability to show their creativity and knowledge of the material in a fun and new way. After they completed their work, they presented it to the class and explained how and why they made their projects.
About a week later, my class and I decided to create a yearlong Fakebook on the entire Sefer Bereishit that we were learning in Chumash class. Our goal was to pretend we were the characters in the Chumash and create a Fakebook account that would retell the stories through personal perspective, pictures, and graphics. We have a very demanding curriculum at school so it was often tough to find time to work on it, but between mishmar, a Friday period every so often, and at-home student work, we completed it.
Just as in Facebook, the status updates are in chronological order starting from the bottom of the page (Note: you will have to scroll down a LOT). We made characters as the “friends” and tried to portray the stories with selected Rashis and p’shat. When applicable, we had back and forth commenting to portray the conversations they had in the pessukim.
Aside from the Classtools page we also used the following resources:
- Google Bible Maps
- Google images
- Google Translate
I am very proud to present my 7/8B Chumash class’s project to you. Any and all feedback would be appreciated!
Rabbi Zach Swigard teaches 6th, 7th, and 8th grade students at Harkham Hillel Hebrew Academy and is the administrative director for Beth Jacob Congregation’s innovative high school program, BILU, both in Beverly Hills, California. Rabbi Swigard also teaches a college level, Touro accredited class at BILU titled, “Modern Jewish Questions”.