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: The class begins with an exploration of Hebrew history up until the birth of Jesus to better understand the common historical roots of Judaism and Christianity. They learn about the life that Jesus, as a Jew, would have lived 2000 years ago and consider Jesus in his contemporary setting to learn about the political and religious environment in which he lived. Next, 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 the much celebrated nativity play at the IFFP Holiday Party.
Bronze Bow: To further their understanding of life in first-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.
Grade 6: Exploring Our Traditions
Prayer is the underlying theme for the IFFP 6th Graders, who visit a variety of churches and synagogues during this field trip-oriented year.
Religious Backgrounds: Students begin by examining their own religious backgrounds. This includes asking parents, grandparents and other relatives about the different types of Judaism and Christianity practiced in their families.
Exploring Judaism and Christianity: After discussing these findings, the class begins to learn about the four main branches of Judaism (Orthodox, Conservative, Reform and Reconstructionist) and some of the many different Christian denominations (with an understanding that there are three main branches of Christianity—Orthodox, Catholic and Protestant).
Visiting Worship Services: As part of this learning process, the students (and many of their parents) attend worship services at five or six different churches or synagogues during the year.
Projects: In addition, each student chooses a branch of Judaism, a Christian denomination or another religion. After researching the topic, student give presentations to the rest of the class.
Leading a Worship Service: The students conclude the year by creating and leading their own worship service—for the entire IFFP Community!
Hebrew: The 6th Grade Hebrew program concentrates on learning several Hebrew prayers.