Pillars of History - Hebrew Nation Part I
Hands-on Bible history. It doesn‘t get more hands-on than this book – nor more “Bible” either, for that matter. The textual information for this study of Jewish history IS the Bible. Each of the 24 lessons starts with a Scripture passage – or, more often, passages, and concludes with a memory verse(s) that vary with the age/grade of the student(s). Then it‘s time for little hands to get busy. The book says it features “graphic organizers” and that‘s as good a description as any but you might be more familiar with some of what‘s being offered here if you think mini-books (lapbook style). However, the graphic organizer concept allows for more breadth than just mini-books or lapbooks. It includes things like a 3D model of the Tabernacle or a complete Hebrew village. All of which are part of this clever study.
So, for a closer look. The 24 lessons – each of which will take 1-5 days – start with Creation and proceed through biblical history until the Sun Stands Still. All the familiar stories are covered – Adam & Eve, Noah, Job, Abraham and sons, Joseph, Moses, Rahab, Joshua and more. The “pillars” of history include Politics, People, Places, and Pursuits and the hands-on reinforcement activities cover these aspects of each story. This book is actually a reference for the teacher and a provider of masters for the activities. The first part provides background info for the study – how to use each element of the program, a list of timeline figures (and dates), mini-book construction instructions, and specific info on the larger projects. The Teacher‘s Section includes a two-page lesson plan for each story. These pages list the scripture passages, memory work, suggested activities, and information for this story‘s portion of ongoing projects – a Timeline Book, Map Books, Passport Book (to collect and display the books from the lessons), and Keys to the Past (a series of small books). The last portion of each lesson plan is creative suggestions for related “experiences, investigations, and research.” The Graphics Pages comprise at least half the book and are reproducible for purchasing families. These pages include pictures and graphics to use with the activities. The Appendices include material for the ongoing projects – again reproducible for purchasing families. Here you‘ll find masters for the Hebrew Village, the model Tabernacle, and the Keys to the Past books as well as plans for a Palestine Party.
To give you an idea of how this all comes together, let‘s look at Lesson 8, Abraham, Man of Faith. There are three Bible passages for this lesson, all from Genesis. The activity is making a tab book on the life of Abraham, which the authors label as “detailed” perhaps requiring one day per tab. The tabs? The Journey, The Visitors, Abraham, Man of Faith, and God‘s Covenant. There are three levels of material that can be included under the tab allowing for book completion by youngers as well as olders. For instance, under the Abraham, Man of Faith tab the youngest (K-2) students are asked to draw a stone altar and write Father of a Multitude; middling (grades 2-3) students copy Gen. 12:1 and illustrate as desired; and oldest (grades 4-8) students are expected to summarize the Bible passage and illustrate. The Map Book, Timeline Book and Passport Book are all added to as part of the lesson. Suggestions for further research and investigations include researching the Bedouin people and looking in the encyclopedia for “evidence” that Abraham actually existed. The memory verse for the lesson is Genesis 12:2 for youngers and middlings; Genesis 12:2-3 for olders.
A versatile study that can be used with a variety of learning styles and ages, the whole family will enjoy getting actively involved in learning. ~ Janice