TaL AM & iTaLAM

The TaL AM curriculum was developed by a dynamic team of writers and teachers in Montreal and Israel, led by Covenant Award recipient Tova Shimon.

Philosophy

The TaL AM program is based on the notion that the best learning environment for children is one in which knowledge is acquired through a variety of activities, using each of the five senses. In addition to studying from textbooks, students learn the Hebrew language through music, games and visual aids, developing a keen understanding of Jewish concepts and values.

Methodology

TaL AM presents a Natural Approach to Hebrew Language Acquisition.

The program activates learning in all frames of mind by utilizing a wide range of activities for all modes of communication, integrating Hebrew Language acquisition, the development of Jewish concepts and values, and reading and writing skills.

What Is TaL AM?

aL AM is a unique curriculum of Hebrew Language Arts and Jewish Studies for students in Grades 1 to 5.

 

The program was created with the mission of building a Hebrew and Heritage curriculum in a unifying language and unique voices, to develop the learners’ Jewish knowledge and identity, and to implement the curriculum through state-of-the-art professional development for their educators.

Based on years of research on the principles of language development and learning patterns, for over a few decades, the curriculum has been nurturing generations of Jewish children around the world who are literate in the Hebrew language, and equipped with the knowledge, skills and commitment they need to live vibrant Jewish lives.
Bringing the benefits of TaL AM to your students has never been easier!

Scope & content

TaL AM  is organized along four inter-related tracks

The first unit, Shalom baKita (in the classroom), focuses on the class, familiarizing the children with their fellow students, with the classroom environment and the objects it contains, with their daily routines and with the learning process. The second unit, Shalom baBait u’Vachutz (at home and outdoors) deals with the objects and daily routines in the home, connecting them to the Jewish way of life, and also with the world surrounding the children and the various weather phenomena existing in nature. The learning is conducted through activities and concrete experiences facilitated through the Hebrew environment in the classroom.

Throughout the year the students develop the awareness of the act of reading a parasha in the synagogue and in class every week. They acquire the Torah blessings, and learn to identify the name of the parasha in its first verse. Each parasha is studied through two illustrations, which are the basis for the stories presented in simplified Hebrew in the teacher’s Big Book.

The High Holidays, Chanuka, Tu biShvat, Purim, Pesach to Shavuot, Yom haAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim.

 

The High Holidays: The children learn to identify the holiday’s symbols (the shofar, suka, four species etc.) and become familiar with the concepts central to the High Holidays: Teshuvah, Tefilah and Tzedakah. The unit also focuses on the observance of the holiday mitzvot in the classroom, at home and in the synagogue.

 

Chanuka: The unit focuses on two main themes: 1) The Jewish people’s struggle to preserve their identity, manifested in the battle between the Greek culture and the Jewish way of life. 2) The mitzvot and customs of Chanuka commemorate the triumph of the few over the many, and the miracle of lights, enabling the purification of Beit haMikdash. The content and language of the Chanuka story reverberate and emphasize its central concept: We are committed to being Jewish! The re-enactment of the story in song and prayer and the practice of the holiday’s mitzvot and customs offer a practical means of developing Jewish identity and creating a bond with Israel.

 

Tu biShvat: The children learn to identify the various parts of the tree and its value to us and to the animals. The unit compares Rosh haShana – man’s New Year, and Tu biShvat – the trees’ New Year. The students are taught which of the fruits growing in Eretz Israel compose the Seven Species, and which mitzvot and customs are observed on Tu biShvat.

 

Purim: The children learn the proverb “Mi sheNichnas Adar Marbim beSimcha” and its meaning, as well as the story of the holiday, represented by the four main characters appearing in the Megila. The students also learn about the mitzvot and customs we perform during Purim (reading the Megila, Mishloach Manot, special Purim tzedaka, the Purim feast, Al haNisim) and the concept veNahafoch Hu, central to the unit.

 

Pesach: Pesach is presented through the four names of the holiday, emphasizing the origins and significance of each name. The Big Book explains these four names and their manifestations in the story of the holiday and in the customs and mitzvot. The unit teaches the children how to practice the preparation of the classroom and home for the Seder, while the accompanying library books expose them to the experience of Biur Chametz and prepare them to ask the Ma Nishtana and to follow and participate in the Seder.

 

Shavuot: The Shavuot unit is linked to the Pesach unit through the counting of the Omer, emphasizing the waiting period between Pesach and Shavuot – Chag Matan Torah. The learning focuses mainly on Matan Torah and the continuity from the Israelites receiving the Torah on Mount Sinai to the students’ own Torah leaning in everyday life. The unit also introduces the holiday’s four names, emphasizing its various characteristics.

 

Yom haAtzmaut and Yom Yerushalayim: The children learn about our connection to Eretz Israel and Jerusalem. The identification with Am Israel on Yom haAtzmaut is acquired and internalized through the day’s celebration; through the country’s symbols: the flag, the symbol and the anthem; and through the prayer for the safety of Israel – common to the students and all of Am Israel. The children also learn about the connection each and every Jew has with Jerusalem – The Holy City and the capital of Israel.

evelopment of Hebrew reading, writing and language skills.

 

Through these 4 thematic tracks, the students learn and experience concepts, values, children’s literature, prayers, blessings and laws and customs in Hebrew, and develop Hebrew literacy and language skills.