Grade 1: Godly Play
The IFFP 1st Grade Class uses the Montessori-based Godly Play curriculum developed by Rev. Jerome Berryman and used by many congregations across the country.
Method: This curriculum invites children to enter stories from both the Hebrew Bible and New Testament and find their own wonder and meaning in them.
- The teacher first presents the story using special props such as a “desert box.”
- Students then respond to open-ended questions from the teacher by discussing their individual ideas about the story with the rest of the group.
- Finally, each student creates an “art response” to the story or plays with the story figures from this or another story.
Hebrew Bible Content: Stories presented from the Hebrew Scriptures are those that tell how God made God’s presence known to the Hebrew people. These may include: Creation, Noah’s Ark, Abraham and Sarah, the Exodus, the Giving of the Law, the Ark, and the Tabernacle.
New Testament Content: Stories from the New Testament include the Advent Cycle, the Parable of the Good Shepherd, and the life of Jesus, emphasizing his faith as a devout Jew and his work as teacher and healer.
Hebrew and Music: The first grade class regularly has music time and learns some basic Hebrew.
Resurrection: When the story of Jesus’ death and resurrection is told, it is presented as a mystery, an end that is also a beginning.
Grade 2: Community & Religion
After much discussion in 1st Grade about the relationship between humans and God, the primary focus in 2nd Grade is on our relationship with one another.
Students in the second grade learn:
- What religion is (relating to God and one to another)
- How every religion is a community
- What comprises community in both the Jewish and Christian traditions.
- Some of the life cycle rituals (birth, coming of age, marriage and death) important to Christian and Jewish religious communities
- What Jewish and Christian Communities have in common
- What it means to be part of an interfaith community
Field Trips: To learn more about the Christian community (the church) and the Jewish community (the synagogue), our second graders attend both a Christian Worship Service and a Jewish Shabbat Service.
Music and Hebrew: The second grade class continues exploring music and movement and learning basic Hebrew.