While learning about immigration, BT third grade students explore their families' immigration journeys while building 21st century technology skills.
Every year, our third grade students learn about immigration. “It’s a wonderful unit, because not only do we learn about general immigration and the main reasons that people immigrated, but we also discuss the Jewish people’s immigration story throughout history,” explained Morah Nina Cusner. She noted that one of the most special parts of the unit is that each student explores their families’ personal immigration stories.
Throughout their journey, the students also developed 21st century technology skills. Students learned how to code a robot so it travels from Europe to America on the classroom map , then they learned how to use Google Maps to track an immigrant’s journey. The unit concluded with “an amazing virtual tour of Ellis Island, where we learned the process that an immigrant went through once they arrived by boat,” said Morah Cusner.
This year, the third grade students had a special guest speaker — Mr. Nissim Dahan, grandfather of two third grade students — who shared his father’s immigration story. His father is Mr. Aharon (Haron) Dahan, one of Beth Tfiloh School’s founders and its most generous benefactor. Morah Cusner recounted that “Aharon Dahan’s immigration led him to America and eventually to Baltimore. From Israel to Baltimore, he always remembered the Jewish value of giving tzedakah, and we at Beth Tfiloh are the beneficiaries of his generosity.”
Morah Cusner observed that the greatest lesson of this unit, which is so rich with information and experiences, is that it “taught the students to appreciate the past generation’s immigration stories and how blessed we are to live in a free country where we can attend a Jewish day school and have religious freedom.”