Breaking News from “The Egypt Times”
The exodus from Egypt reads like a dramatic tale: we have key players—Moshe, Aaron, and Pharaoh; tragedy—harsh slavery, horrific plagues, and eventual deliverance; and a vivid backdrop—the Nile River. This lesson is intended to give students the opportunity to study the Exodus in depth at the same time as honing their creative writing skills.
The student will be able to:
1) Research Biblical text about the exodus from Egypt, using commentaries (optional)
2) Describe specific incidents that occurred to the Jews and Egyptians during the exodus
The student will be able to:
1) Demonstrate creative thinking and creative writing skills
2) Apply Biblical text to creative writing
The student will be able to appreciate:
1) The holiday of Pesach
2) God’s intervention on behalf of Bnei Yisrael
Resources & Equipment needed
- Lined blank paper
- Cut out Newspaper headlines (see appendix). For a virtual classroom, email these to students ahead of time.
- Glue or tape
- Chumash Text (with English translation if required)
- Commentaries (optional)
- For a virtual lesson, students can create newspaper articles in a collaborative Google slideshow. Teachers should view and copy the template here and make sure students have editing access.
This lesson plan can either be a review of the parshiot that includes the Exodus from Egypt, or it can be a pre-Pesach project. Divide the class up into pairs (in a virtual classroom, this can be done using breakout rooms on a platform such as Zoom). Attached is a list of prepared headlines, which include the sources where the information may be found in order to gain a better understanding of background and ideas about the specific article. Cut the prepared headlines in strips and place them in a bag. Request that the student pick one headline out of the bag. (In a virtual classroom, email the attached headlines to students ahead of time). The teacher should encourage the students to be creative as to how they write the article. Articles should draw on the Biblical text, quoting when applicable. Teachers may also wish to have students refer to traditional commentaries like Rashi.
Articles should include all background information including 1) Who was involved? 2) How did Bnei Yisrael feel at the time? 3) How did the Egyptians feel at the time? 4) What happened? 5) Why did this specific event take place? (ex. middah kineged middah, signs, warnings) 6) Who were eyewitnesses? Use the Chumash text. 7) Describe the scenery. 8) How was God involved? 9) Did miracles take place? If so, what? 10) When did this event occur? 11) What would be expected to happen after this event? 12) Why did this event take place? 13) Quote people when necessary (use verses).
Give the students at least 20 minutes to do the research, brainstorming, and discussion required. Another 20-30 minutes are used to write their specific articles. Creativity and imagination are welcome.
Wrap Up: Once the articles are complete, collect them, and review the basic points that the students covered. It is important to stress values such as Hashem’s intervention in saving the Jews, middah kineged middah, Pesach, matzah, etc.
Recommended: Check over the articles, making corrections wherever necessary, then return to the students the following day. Ask them to type up a final draft at home, including pictures or drawings if they choose. There can be extra credit for students who add games, advertisements, or comics for the newspaper. Once the text is ready, compile all the articles together to create your class newspaper. (In a virtual classroom, edit the Google slides as necessary and then send students the completed virtual newspaper slideshow).