A (PURIM) Feast for the Mind

For grades 5-12

Teacher's Guide

About the WebQuest:

Students research Megillat Esther and Ancient Persia in order to plan and hold a dinner party for the heroes and villains of the Purim story. Generally, schools teach about Purim in one of two ways: a textual study of Megillat Esther or a survey of the customs pertaining to the holiday. This WebQuest provides students with a fun opportunity to use their creative talents in conjunction with the development of research and analysis skills.

WebQuest Objectives:

1.  The students will be able to describe Purim story as written in Megillat Esther.

2. The students will infer information about ancient Persian society through the text of Megillat Esther.

3. The students will infer information about characters in the Purim story through the text of Megillat Esther.

4. The students will research Ancient Persia using online resources and books.

Options for implementing this WebQuest into the curriculum:

The WebQuest can be implemented as part of the Judaic Studies program (either during a class set aside for the study of the Jewish holidays or during a Bible lesson). Additionally, it can be integrated into an Ancient History class, in which context students would be required to do substantial research of Ancient Persia.

Using this WebQuest for older grades:

The quality of the dinner party conversation will depend on the research skills of the students. High school students should be encouraged to study the various commentaries on Megillat Esther and include these interpretations in dinner party conversation.

Ideas for implementing this WebQuest:

         Decorating ideas:  photocopy/print pictures of Ancient Persian coins, use shards of pottery to decorate the classroom; drape colored sheets in the classroom.

         Students of Persian descent should be encouraged to ask their parents about Persian cookery.

         Invite other classes to watch the dinner party.

         Complement the dinner party with a trip to a museum that has an exhibit on Ancient Persia.

         Hold the dinner party on Purim or Shushan Purim.

To see photographs of another school implementing the webquest, click here.

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Chana German for The Lookstein Center, 2003.

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