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Creating games – is it the ultimate way to learn in Jewish Studies?

By Chana Kanzen | Ji Tap | 0 Comments | 06 November, 2017

“Want to really learn something – in depth? Then teach it to someone else…” It is a well known statement that is true. The best form of learning is to give over what you have learnt to another – and yet how often do we allow our students the time to teach others?At Ji we experimented with giving students this power to enhance their Jewish studies, by allowing them access to the Ji Tap Creation Tool. Did you know that kids love drawing tools? We had some kids who drew every color of the rainbow in every pen type and, while they produced stunning pieces of art, their creations did not really demonstrate higher learning!

So in the  next session we focused them a bit more. They worked in pairs, as collaboration works so well in this area. We told them that they have two  lessons to design a game about Israel’s 70th birthday.

We showed the students this game as an example:

Learning in israel.jpg

We reviewed with the students all the information they had already learnt already in class about the topic and some safe research tools –and then asked them  to create a game about Israel@70. They could then share their game with others, like family, and friends.

We also added the incentive that kids lower down the school will play the games they create, giving them an authentic audience.

And then we watched the magic...

What we saw was 30 kids who were super engaged and producing brilliant content. This was definitely a win in terms of getting students excited about their Jewish Studies. 

Now while my colleagues are marking their students' books and taking home stacks of papers to mark, I'm in the corner of the staff room, on the bus or at home, with my headphones on, playing games to assess my students' knowledge.

Super cool.

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Chana Kanzen

Written by Chana Kanzen

Chana Kanzen B.Ed(hons) QTS. Dip.Ed now CEO of Jewish Interactive. In 2013 she set up Jewish Interactive in the UK, now a thriving NGO. She currently still directs the UK’s expanding team and sits on their Board of Directors. She has helped to write and develop integrated curricula, established community programmes and regularly lectures to parents and teachers on a variety of educational topics. She has spoken at Google HQ in London and Tel Aviv, Apple HQ London and NYC and at Oxford University’s Department for Education. Before joining Jewish Interactive, Chana was a teacher mentor at the Jewish Curriculum Partnership, Head of Jewish studies at Morasha Jewish Primary school in London, England. Chana is passionate about innovative kodesh teaching and enjoys nothing more than watching children’s faces light up as they experience Judaism through JI.

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