Subject: Integrate Family and Religious School through Teeks
Target: Religious School Students Grades K-3
Time Frame: Ongoing throughout School Year
Congregation: Temple Israel
Contributor: Deborah Morosohk, Reform Jewish Educator
A Teek is a bag filled with Resources/Activities for families to use which tie into the child’s grade level curriculum in Religious School. Each student gets to take home the Teek and use it at home with their families for 1-2 weeks and then brings it back so other students can take it home.
The primary goal of the Teeks program is to promote Jewish learning at home which complements what the students are learning in Religious School. The hope is to include the whole family.
- Family members become familiar with some of the content that students are learning in Religious School.
- Students enjoy sharing what they have learned in class with their families.
- Students bring back something they did with their families to share with their class.
- Parents feel empowered to participate in their children’s Jewish education.
Teeks go home with all Religious School students in grades K-3.
In the home and at Religious School
Staff and Specialists
One person, for example, the Resource Center Director stocks the Teeks and makes sure they are ready to be distributed.
Classroom teachers and assistant teachers distribute the Teeks, keep track of when they come back, and encourage children to share with the class what they did with their Teek.
Supplies and Program Activities
a) Music CD – My Newish Jewish Discovery by Craig Taubman
b) Craft – “Look Who’s Jewish!”
A picture frame is made using an Ellison die-cutter.
Families mount a photograph of their kindergartener in the frame with Jewish stickers. They can decorate the frame as well.
c) Board Game – “Being Jewish” (This game was created at Temple Israel.)
Students roll die and as they move around the board and land on different symbols of being Jewish they color in those symbols on their playing page. The first to color in all the symbols wins. The symbols are:
- Praying – hands over face for Shema
- Learning Hebrew
- Becoming a Mensch – (picture of tzedakah)
- Loving God – Heart
- Learning Torah
- Celebrating Holidays – Hanukiah
- Life Cycle Events – Yad for Bar and Batmitzvah Mitzvah
d) Book – The Jewish Child’s First Book of Why by Alfred Kolatch
Families are given instructions encouraging them to read the book together. They are given a card to return with their family’s own question about Judaism that begins with “Why”. When children return the Teek, their question card goes up on the Kindergarten Teek bulletin board.
e) Resource List for Families
f) Evaluation Form
1st Grade Teek
a) Video – Aleph Bet Blast Off! You’ve Come to the Right Place!
b) Music CD – Amazing Songs for Amazing Jewish Kids by Judy Caplan Ginsburg
c) Craft – Foam Door hanger with Jewish foam shapes and instructions for families to make and keep.
d) Symbols Report – Each 1st grade Teek goes home with a photograph of a different Jewish symbol. All these symbols are found in the temple. Instructions include a few suggested web sites and a request that the family research their symbol and write a report (2-3 sentences) about their symbol on the card provided. When students return the Teek, their report goes up on the 1st grade Teek bulletin board along with the photograph of their symbol.
e) 1st Grade Teek Bulletin Board
f) Evaluation Form
2nd Grade Teek
a) Music CD – Kol Bamidbar by Sam Glaser
b) Craft – Torah key chain This can be ordered from www.kosherkrafts.com
c) Book – Classic Bible Stories for Jewish Children by Alfred Kolatch
Families are given instructions encouraging them to read the book together. They are given a card in the shape of a Torah (cut from the Ellison die-cutter) to return completing the sentences, “Our family’s favorite Bible story was…” and “A lesson we learned from it was…” When children return the Teek, their Torah card goes up on the 2nd Grade Teek bulletin board.
d) Resource Sheet with web sites and books for families about Bible study and a list of useful Bible terms with definitions.
e) 2nd Grade Teek Bulletin Board
f) Evaluation Form
3rd Grade Teek
a) Music CD – Celebrate Kids by Craig Taubman
b) Video – Alef Bet Blast Off! Fixing the World.
c) Craft – Tzedakah Jar
d) Rambam’s Rungs introduces students to Rambam’s eight rungs of giving (www.torahaura.com)
e) Resource List of Materials Relating to Tzedakah
f) Resource Sheet – Ideas for Tzedakah Organizations (list of organizations with web sites)
Sheet to return with family’s name, their favorite tzedakah organizations and comments about why this organization is important. When children return the Teek, this card goes up on the 3rd Grade Teek bulletin board.
g) Evaluation Form
- Initial costs included paying a staff person to develop the contents of each Teek in consultation with the teachers.
- Costs also included the screenprinting of the tote bags.
- Ongoing costs include the cost of supplies to restock the bags for each student who takes it home. Each class has two bags to circulate.
References and Resources
There are a number of websites for the CDs, videos and books used in the Teeks.
Websites for CDs
Alef Bet Blast-off series
For family fun