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Jerusalem: History of the Holy Land
Grade level: 9-12 Subject: World History Duration: Two to three class periods
 


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Jerusalem: History of the Holy Land


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Objectives
Students will
  • Review Jerusalem's long and vital history.
  • Stage a 10-minute newscast based on a pre-1950 event in Jerusalem.
Materials
Procedures
  1. Have students view Jerusalem: History of the Holy Land. Tell them that to portray Jerusalem's compelling history as a site of crucial importance to Jews, Christians, and Muslims, they will select a major event from the city's past and present it as breaking news. The event they choose must have occurred before 1950, before the increasing popularization of television and its news shows.
  2. Ask students if they are familiar with newscasts about current events, and engage them in a discussion to try to capture past events as if television had always been an option for disseminating news.
  3. Assign students to television news production teams, which include director, writers, news anchors, field reporters, producers, news readers, and fact checkers.
  4. Have each team choose a pre-1950 event in Jerusalem as the basis for a 10-minute newscast. Direct students to the timeline at the Web sitewww.centuryone.com/hstjrslm.htmlto review significant events in the city's history. The events can focus on Jews, Christians, Muslims, other groups in the city, or all of the above. Regardless of the focus, remind students that they must present the news in a journalistic impartial manner, especially when covering responses to the event by religious or secular groups.
  5. When student groups have chosen events for their news programs, have them research the events to supplement what they learned from the video.
  6. Arrange for the student teams to use the school's audiovisual or theater facilities to create sets in which to videotape their newscast. Or you can set up one part of your classroom as an anchor desk and designate other parts as locations in Jerusalem using posters or other student-made scenery. Have the students' newscasts include anchors in the studio and reporters at the scene.
  7. In addition to researching the event they are reporting, the groups will need time to outline, write, and practice their newscast. During each group's final live or taped practice newscast, encourage members of the audience (the other students) to take notes. Have the audience comment and offer constructive feedback on some or all of the following points:
    • Did the newscast present complete and accurate coverage of the event?
    • Was there a good balance between anchor and field reporters?
    • Did the newscasters speak slowly and loudly enough?
    • Were any parts of the newscast particularly strong or weak?
  8. Have each group make a final presentation, and videotape each newscast if possible. After all groups have presented, have the students discuss what they have learned about producing a live newscast and about the history of Jerusalem. Use parts of the videotaped newscasts to highlight the discussion.
Evaluation
Use the following three-point rubric to evaluate students' work during this lesson.
  • Three points:Students worked cooperatively in their groups to choose a pre-1950 news event in Jerusalem's history and develop a balanced newscast; offered constructive feedback to other groups about their presentations; and actively participated in the group discussion at the end of the newscasts.
  • Two points:Students worked cooperatively in their groups to choose a pre-1950 news event from Jerusalem's history and develop a balanced newscast; offered some constructive feedback to other groups about their presentations; and participated in the group discussion at the end of the newscasts.
  • One point:Students had difficulty working cooperatively in their groups to choose a pre-1950 news event from Jerusalem's history and develop a balanced newscast; offered little or no constructive feedback to other groups about their presentations; and did not participate in the group discussion at the end of the newscasts.

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Vocabulary
mosque
Definition:A Muslim holy place of worship
Context:More than a dozen mosques are inside the walls of Jerusalem's Old City.

orthodox
Definition:In religion, a word that describes any group that claims to be the official group or have the most correct doctrine for believing in God or engaging in other religious practices.
Context:Jerusalem is a city of crucial importance to the Orthodox Jews, as well as to other religious groups.

secular
Definition:Describing Jews who do not hold to the letter of Jewish law, and are thus less outwardly religious than their orthodox counterparts
Context:Many secular Jews drive on the Sabbath, the day of the week noted by followers of Judaism as a day of rest.

sepulcher
Definition:A burial vault or tomb
Context:Christians worship at the Church of the Holy Sepulcher, located in Jerusalem.

Zionism
Definition:The ideology that Israel should be the homeland for the world's Jews, where they can live free of anti-Semitism and discrimination
Context:Zionism grew from the Jews' search for a homeland that would allow them to escape the anti-Semitism of Europe.

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Academic Standards

Mid-continent Research for Education and Learning (McREL)
McREL's Content Knowledge: A Compendium of Standards and Benchmarks for K-12 Education addresses 14 content areas. To view the standards and benchmarks, visit link:http://www.mcrel.org/compendium/browse.asp

This lesson plan addresses the following national standards:

  • History?World History: Understands long-term changes and recurring patterns in world history
  • Language Arts?Reading: Uses reading skills and strategies to understand and interpret a variety of informational texts; Media: Understands the characteristics and components of the media

The National Council for the Social Studies (NCSS)
NCSS has developed national guidelines for teaching social studies. To become a member of NCSS, or to view the standards online, go tohttp://www.socialstudies.org

This lesson plan addresses the following thematic standards:

  • Time, Continuity, and Change
  • Individuals, Groups, and Institutions

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Credits
Rhonda Lucas Donald, curriculum writer, editor, and consultant

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