Grade 5: Life and Times of Jesus


The overarching questions of the IFFP 5th grade year are:  “Who was Jesus?”  And, “If you had met him in 1st century Palestine, how would you have responded to him?”  

Class Sequence:

  1. The class begins with an exploration of Hebrew history up until the birth of Jesus so that students will better understand the common historical roots of Judaism and Christianity.
  2. The students learn about the life that Jesus, as a Jew, would have lived 2000 years ago. They take a look at Jesus in his contemporary setting to learn about the political and religious environment in which he lived.
  3. After that, the class reads stories about Hillel, another Jewish teacher, to discuss the similarities between his teachings and the teachings of Jesus.

Nativity Play: Consistent with the theme of the class, the fifth grade class is responsible for putting on a fun nativity play at the IFFP Holiday Party.

Bronze Bow: To further their understanding of life in 1st century Palestine, the students read the Newberry award-winning novel, The Bronze Bow.

Goal: By the end of the year, students are able to discuss the ways in which Jesus’ teachings are both completely Jewish and a critique of the mainstream Judaism of his life and times.

Hebrew: The fifth grade class continues to learn Hebrew words and phrases.