We all know that the best way to give students a sense of empowerment is by allowing them to create and demonstrate their version of understanding. This involves reframing and putting into practice what they know.

We have already demonstrated several activities in which students are actively involved and at the center of the learning process. (See Bloom's Taxonomy page) In this section, you will find several other examples of student-based organizing activities within the constraints of the Smart curriculum. In the following examples, students study a passage, either in text or audio formats and then use it to create a visual map.

Content of this section:

1. Visual Mapping Activities
2. Mapping Activities
3. Sorting Activities

1. Visual Mappping Activities:

The Layout of the Tribes in their Desert Camping: The students studied Sefer Bamidbar in a 6th grade Tanach class about the camping of the tribes in the desert. I had prepared this simple file before the class, placing the name of each tribe in a purple box, and the map orientations in yellow boxes. The rest of the symbols were left empty, available to the students. Their task was to study the text and transfer their understanding by placing each tribe in its proper location. The students were very enthusiastic about this activity; they went beyond the required assignment by adding the tribal colors and symbols to the map. Below are the screenshots of the activity before and after the task was completed.

beginning file Seder Machanot

Completed Seder Machanot

Click here to download the notebook starter file: seder machanot.notebook

2. Mapping Activities

Mapping A Trip in Israel: This activity was created to strengthen auditory skills in Hebrew Language students. In this activity, I prepared a podcast auditoryfile for the students. The podcast was created using a Mac application- Garage Band, but can also be created using Audacity, a free podcasting application for Windows. The students listened to the podcast, and then, using the free mapping application Google Earth on the Smart Board, mapped out the details of the trip as presented on the podcast.

To download and view the Google Earth file, click here: tiyul.kmz. You will need to download the Google Earth application in order to view it.

C. Sorting Activities

Designing Your Dinner: Images can be easily dragged from the web directly into the Smartboard Application. In the following activity, students of a 5th grade Jewish Law (Halacha) class learned about blessings on food. They dragged the food from the linked web page to the dinner plate, and then labelled the food with the appropriate blessing. Microsoft Clip art Gallery offers thousands of free images, which can be sorted using keyword searches.
Brachot Activity
Food Clipart

Similar tasks can easily be created ahead of class with minimum preparation time using the Notebook software. Activities can be used to reinforce student learning at many different levels. Some examples include: sorting animals into Kosher and Non-kosher groups, matching vocabulary words to images, etc.