by Dasi Sessel
The 10th graders of Rohr Bais Chaya Academy in Coral Springs, Florida recently completed studying the Maamar of Ner Chanukah in Torah Or and followed up by creating projects to illustrate its perspective on fundamental aspects of creation and our mission in the world.
At first, approaching the Maamar was a scary thought. With complex ideas and difficult concepts, the Maamar presents the modes Hashem employed to create the world, explains why He chose those methods, and most importantly, highlights how this awareness should impact our lives.
To tackle these concepts, Rohr Bais Chaya Academy principal and teacher, Mrs. Malkie Janowski, assigned a project where the girls would be able to combine their creative and artistic skill with the intellectual concepts of Chassidus.
She believes that “having to creatively portray a process or concept is often much more effective in making it real and relevant than just answering questions about it.”
Taking this approach to the Maamar allowed all the girls to shine in their unique ways. Each project incorporated different art media to explain similar ideas. The girls took out pastels, paints, markers, and utilized their creative minds to complete the assignment. When the day came, the girls presented beautifully constructed projects, each one a true masterpiece both artistically and conceptually.
All the girls enjoyed the project. To many it showed that difficult concepts can be learned and applied to their lives when they take a hands-on approach to learning.
Student Esti Vogel said, “This project showed me that anyone who wants to can learn and understand Chassidus and figure out how to apply it to their lives.”
This project helped many of the girls realize how relevant Chassidus is to life. Classmate Shterna Raskin stated that, “After making my poster, I realized how easy it was to understand how Hashem created the world.”
As a high school student, I have always seen that my most meaningful and enjoyable classes were those that addressed learning in various modalities. In addition to my own experience, there are many studies and articles written on the importance of a multi-sensory approach. When information is presented in more than one format, the learning process is much more successful.
In this case, we students utilized a physical and creative response to learning intellectual concepts. Since some of us are audio learners, while others are visual, and some learn by writing, while still others learn through action, the classroom needs to be a place where all types of learning styles are considered.
This project was a successful example of engaging all students in the learning process.