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Jews in Mississippi lesson paln

OVERVIEW

Over three centuries, European Jews immigrated to Mississippi. Upon settling in the state, many Jews found prosperity through their previous experience in business. Success in business allowed Jews to achieve the visibility needed to be integrated into southern society.  With this social acceptance, Jews managed to retain their own cultural heritage.  Even though the Jewish population has been on the decline over the years, Jews in Mississippi still continue to make their place in the history of their state.

CURRICULAR CONNECTIONS

Mississippi Studies Framework:  Competencies 1, 3 and 4. 

TEACHING LEVELS

Grades 7 through 12.

MATERIALS AND EQUIPMENT

Mississippi History Now article

Overhead

Chalkboard

Notebook paper

Unlined paper

Pen or pencil

OBJECTIVES

The student will:

Create a timeline of significant events about Jewish history in Mississippi.

Categorize the experiences of Jews in Mississippi. 

Determine the contributions made by Jews to their local communities as well as the state.

OPENING THE LESSON

The teacher will write the word culture on the board and ask for student volunteers to define the term. The teacher will ask students what cultural groups are present today in Mississippi. If the students do not suggest Jews, the teacher will include this group in the list of cultural groups found in Mississippi.  The teacher will explain to students that each group in Mississippi has contributed to the history of the state and continues to make contributions to their Mississippi communities today.  The teacher will tell the students that they will learn about one of the smallest Mississippi cultural groups in class today – the Jews.  (As the teacher leads the class discussion in opening the lesson, a Mississippi map can be used to pinpoint locations where Jewish communities existed and where Jews continue to flourish in the state). 

DEVELOPING THE LESSON

1.

Allow students to work with a partner in order to create a timeline about Jewish history in Mississippi. Instruct the students to use the Mississippi History Now article to find ten significant events about Jews in Mississippi. Have the students plot the years and events on a timeline.

2.

After students have completed their timelines, ask student volunteers to share the events they chose to list on their timelines. The teacher can record the events on an overhead transparency or chalkboard. 

3.

Instruct the students to copy the web found at the end of this lesson.

4.

The following titles should be listed in each one of the circles found on the web: Prosperity; Acceptance; Challenges; Discrimination; and Decline.  As students read the Mississippi History Now article, “Jews in Mississippi,” they should list three examples for each one of the categories.  Students can work alone on this part of the assignment or they can work with a partner.

5.

If students worked independently, allow them to share their charts with a classmate upon completion of the assignment. After the students have shared charts with a peer, lead a class discussion about the experiences of Jews in Mississippi by asking student volunteers to share examples from their charts.  The teacher can create the web on an overhead transparency or the chalkboard in order to record student responses.

6.

The teacher will ask each student to write a paragraph about the contributions Jews have made to their local communities and to the history of the state. The students can use the Mississippi History Now article as reference, books, and other websites to complete their paragraph.

CONCLUDING THE LESSON

The teacher will ask for student volunteers to share information from their paragraphs with the class.

ASSESSING STUDENT LEARNING

1.

Class participation

2.

Timelines 

3.

Webs

4.

Paragraphs 

EXTENDING THE LESSON

1.

Allow students to research Judaism.

2.

Invite a member of the Jewish community to class to talk about the religion and the culture of Jewish Americans.

3.

Create a map of the Jewish population centers throughout the state and the country. 

4.

Take students on a field trip to the Museum of the Southern Jewish Experience at the Utica or Natchez site.

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