3rd & 4th Grades

Grade 3: Heroes and Saints

The IFFP 3rd Grade class explores what it means to be a “hero” or a “saint,” and the students learn about both heroic and/or saintly individuals and qualities. Students discuss what it meant for individuals or groups to be “called by God.” They begin to discover the complexity of “saintly” and “heroic” figures (no one is perfect!).

The heroes and saints might include some or all of the following: Abraham, Miriam and Moses, the Maccabees, St. Francis, David, Esther, John the Baptist, Jesus, Mary, the Disciples and modern saints like Martin Luther King, Ghandi or Mother Teresa

Methods: Teachers use stories, plays and class projects to relate these figures and their qualities to the students’ own characteristics and beliefs.

Purim Play: For many students, the highlight of the year is the class Purimspiel. After learning about the heroine, Esther, the third graders star in their own version of the Purim Story, which they act out for the rest of the IFFP Community at our annual Purim Carnival.

Hebrew: The third grade class continues to learn very basic Hebrew.

Grade 4: Justice and the Prophetic Voice

IFFP Fourth Graders spend the year focused on the social justice aspect of the both the Jewish and Christian traditions.

Prophets: The students explore the idea of what it means to be a prophet—in both ancient and contemporary times—and they read stories, work on projects, and enact plays about the importance of the prophetic voice.

Literature: In addition to reading Bible stories about the Hebrew prophets and Jesus’ prophetic ministry, students also read two age-appropriate, real life 20th century stories of individuals willing to take a prophetic stand for justice:

  • Number the Stars, the Newbery award-winning novel about the Danish resistance during the Holocaust
  • The Christmas Menorahs, a picture book about a town in Montana that stood up against hate

Justice: The theme of justice will also include fairness, kindness, and the concept of tolerance.

Hebrew: The fourth grade class continues to learn basic Hebrew.