Free Blended Learning Resources for the Holiday of Freedom

| By Yonah Kirschner, Program Manager, DigitalJLearning Network

Passover is certainly a holiday with a lot of teaching potential. There’s the Exodus story, the Haggadah, the seder, and much more. With all that material and so many ways of teaching about Passover, you might be overwhelmed with how much there is to cover, but fear not! With these (free!) blended learning resources, your students will be able to learn about the holiday independently on a computer or tablet, leaving you free to work with students who need more personalized instruction individually or in small groups.

 

Escape from Egypt - The Interactive Exodus by the Fountainheads of Ein Prat Academy in Israel
This video lets your students participate in all the action with periodic pop-up questions on how the characters and story should proceed. Each viewing of the video can, therefore, provide a unique take on the Exodus story. As such, this resource will be a great tool to start a conversation in your classroom about interpretation and how we derive meaning from the foundational Passover story. (Bonus: Don’t miss the awesome dance sequences at the end!)

 

Google Exodus - Passover Movie from Aish
Wondered what the Exodus would have looked like in the digital age? It’s right here in this video! Your students will love watching events unfold, such as Moses emailing Pharaoh and purchasing 50 million frogs on Amazon. Once they’ve watched the video, then you can help them choose what tool they want to use to create their own digital age Passover story. Perhaps the 10 plagues in tweets? To see an example of how to teach with tweets, check out our latest Educator Spotlight with Martin Plunkett!

 

Haggadot.com
This website provides an incredible number of ways for anyone to personalize their own Haggadah. Once your students make a free account, they’ll be able to search and choose from dozens of Haggadah sections, themes (such as social justice, culture & history, food & environment, and more), and media type (including text, image, audio, and video). In addition to this huge “clip library,” students can create their own original Haggadah clips. The interface is very user-friendly and the possibilities are limitless. If you think younger students might become overwhelmed, you could direct them to do certain searches to narrow the choices, or have them create their own clips for just a few Haggadah sections. We imagine this website being part of blended learning rotation groups, so that students can apply what they’re learning elsewhere about Passover and the Haggadah into their creation. Another great idea is having groups of students collaboratively build Haggadot and then share them with the class. Once your students are finished, they can download their Haggadah for free! (One last thought: Though the download is free, the website relies on donations, so giving a class donation to the site could be a great way of demonstrating tzedakah!)

 

”I Left with Moses” from the Jewish Education Center of Cleveland
Created for grades 4 through 7, this website focuses on helping students to explore the meaning behind the Haggadah text, “In every generation we have to see ourselves as if we left Egypt.” In the “Let’s Do!” and “Let’s Practice!” sections your students will be able to watch a number of videos, compose original writing, and learn how the Passover seder provides an opportunity to “live” through the experiences of the Israelites in Egypt. The “Let’s Learn!” Section is designed to be a resource for teachers and parents, but could also be useful for students.

 

Passover Playlist from BimBam (formerly G-dcast)
These fun, short animated videos have a good chance of keeping your students attention, so why not use them for some flipped classroom learning? Topics covered include the Four Sons, the 10 Plagues, and other parshiot connected to the Exodus story. You could assign a few videos for groups of students to watch at home, and then they could teach their peers what they learned in class the next day. Another approach would be for teachers to challenge older students to watch these videos and then use them as a model for creating their own. To find the right video creation tool for your students, head over to our blog post from Purim.

BimBam Bonus: For even more fun Passover learning in your classroom, have students check out this Exodus story photo scavenger hunt app to learn Jewish values and this getting ready for Passover app to learn about Bedikat Chametz, the ritual search for chametz.

 

Passover Resources from Chinuch.org
This website has another extensive collection of resources on Passover topics for students from PreK to 12. Though many of the materials are printables, teachers could download and save the documents into an LMS and then distribute them digitally for students to read, take notes on, discuss, and much more. *Note: To find what you need, you might need to use a Hebrew search term, so for example, if you wanted materials about the plagues, you would type in makkot or makkos.

 

Pesach Resource Pack from the National Library of Israel
Here you’ll find primary sources for teaching about Passover, including advertisements, artwork, photographs, Haggadot from around the world, and more. Each primary source has discussion questions that go along with it.  The site also includes a video of a teacher speaking about the value of primary sources and an activity for learning about the Four Sons. Teachers might want to integrate the primary sources and discussion questions into the classroom LMS.

 

Seder Song Karaoke
Created by our very own Les Skolnik, Communal Education Networker and Project Manager focusing on Teen Engagement at The Jewish Education Project, this karaoke song to the tune of Billy Joel’s “We Didn’t Start the Fire” will teach your students about the Passover seder. It’s so much fun that it’ll have your students singing the order of the seder until they know it by heart, and then they’ll even want to sing it after Passover is over! We recommend giving younger students the lyrics to read in advance, since they go by pretty quickly in certain parts of the video.

 

Sefaria.org
So you’ve used Sefaria for teaching Tanakh, but did you know it’s also an amazing Passover resource?! With just a few clicks, students can study specific parts of the Haggadah, view dozens of rabbinic commentaries alongside the Haggadah text, and even create their own personalized Haggadah. There are also hundreds of public source sheets with the “Passover” and “Pesach” tags as well as a source sheet containing the entire text of the Haggadah that can be customized to fit learning needs. Teachers who use blended learning at the middle school and high school level will love challenging students to dig deeper into the Haggadah and holiday with this simple, yet powerful resource.

 

Still need more resources for Passover? Take a look at the two lists below, which have tons of links to many more educational resources that you can use to supplement your Passover curriculum.

Over 400 Passover Videos Collected by Jacob Richman
If you’re a fan of flipped classroom, this collection of Passover videos will be your new favorite resource! There is a whole gamut of videos, ranging from music parodies and seder how-tos to topics like the Four Sons and the 10 Plagues. You could assign students to watch videos on a particular topic at home, and then have them demonstrate their learning with a project or assignment in class the next day.

Pesach Resource Page from The Tribal Resource
If you want high school students to practice doing online research, this is a great place for them to start. Most of the resources listed are geared towards enhancing the seder experience, so students could research and then design their own personalized seder based on what they discover here. As an element of authentic assessment, they could pick a favorite part of their original seder, and then submit it to the crowdsourced Creative Seders Google Doc that is also a part of this resource page.

 

Thank you to JEDLAB members Susanne Goldstone Rosenhouse, Anne Noble, Sara Wolkenfeld, Sarah Lefton, Lillian Feldman-Hill, Sara Shapiro-Plevan, Nachama Skolnik Moskowitz, and Michal Cher-Lashansky, for recommending resources for this post.

 

Want ideas for using these resources in the classroom? Submit a question to Ask DJLN, our free EdTech help desk!

 

Thumbnail image via Wikimedia Commons. Banner image via Ben Freedman/Flickr.