Writing a Chumash curriculum? Points to ponder…

Also see this article at Lookstein.org:
Formulating a Curriculum Framework for Torah Study



  1. What are my learning goals and how will I achieve them?
    Do I have any goals outside my basic learning outcomes?  e.g. motivating, exciting the children, imbuing Yirat Hashem and Ahavat haTorah?
  2. How do I intend to achieve these?
  3. What balance do I want between covering breadth and depth, respectively?
  4. How do I want to teach Dikduk (Grammar)?  ‘Text out’ or ‘Dikduk in’?  (‘Text out’ refers to approaches which primarily draw grammatical lessons out of the text, as the text is studied; ‘Dikduk in’ refers to where Dikduk is taught in the abstract, with workbooks, etc., with links then made back to the text.)  You may prefer a mix of the two approaches.
    The next question is most relevant for those teaching primarily ‘Dikduk in.’
  5. How am I going to teach Dikduk so that it supports and enhances my teaching of text, rather than it seeming to be a separate and abstract discipline?
  6. How am I going to assess the pupils’ learning?
  7. Am I going to mix formative assessment, e.g. daily, during lessons, and summative assessment, e.g. at the end of a block of text / period of time?
  8. Do I want to employ conventional methods of assessment, e.g. oral / written tests and / or less conventional methods, e.g. monitoring and noting pupil participation in group work, using iPads to video children working or performing sketches, class critiques of pupil presentations, pupil self-assessments, peer assessments, parental assessments of home review tasks, etc.
  9. Can I make effective traditional learning styles even more effective by combining them with fresh approaches?
  10. How will I balance:
  • textual and contextual
  • oral and written
  • instructional and pupil directed
  • new and review
  • text and peirush
  • peshat and drash
  • conventional and creative styles
  • ‘inside‘ (focusing directly on the Chumash text) andoutside‘  (anything that supports the ‘inside’)


  • How will I challenge the stronger pupils and support the less strong pupils?
  • How will I elicit pupils’ own ideas and draw on their personal experience in order to make Chumash meaningful and relevant to them?
  • What resources are available to support the kind of learning that I want to achieve?
  • Can I use any technologies (Interactive Whiteboard, iPads, etc.) to support my teaching?  [   the examples here were originally: OHP, PC, audio cassettes, etc.  🙂   ]
  • Do I want pupils to do any work at home?  What kind of work?  Will it require parental support and is such available in this area?
  • How will I employ AfL (Assessment for Learning) effectively (see here)

*  *  *

%d bloggers like this: