Diarna Purim Curriculum

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  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Discovering Purim

    A Supplemental Curriculum from Diarna

    Written by Yael Gafni

  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Diarna, Our Homes in Judeo-Arabic, is a project dedicated to virtually preserving Mizrahi

    (Eastern) Jewish history through the lens of physical location. Satellite imagery, photographs,

    videos, oral histories, panoramas, and even three-dimensional models, offer a unique digital

    window onto sites and communities disappearing before our very eyes. As structures decay and

    the last generation to live in these locations passes on, we are in a race against time to preserve

    priceless cultural treasures. To learn more visithttp://www.diarna.org.

    Yael Gafni graduated from Wellesley College in 2008 with a major in Middle Eastern Studies.

    She spent last year studying at Tel Aviv University funded by the Jacqueline Krieger Klein 53

    Fellowship in Judaic Studies and is currently based in the New York area.

  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Discovering Purim

    A Supplemental Curriculum from Diarna

    Target Audience: Grades 4-7


    1. To help students understand the historical context of Purim2. To introduce students to Diarnas technology

    Students will be able to:

    1. Understand the history of Purim and the challenges of studying ancient history2. Discuss the location of Shushan3. Use the Google Earth layer and Diarna videos to learn about the tombs of Esther and


    Themes and Ideas:

    1. History of Purim2. Discovering history using artifacts3. New technology leads to new understanding

    Time: 2 mini-lessons (30-40 min each)

    Lesson 1: Discovering History: Purims Place and Time

    Lesson 2: Hands-On Learning: The Tomb of Esther and Mordechai

  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Lesson 1: Discovering History: Purims Place and Time


    -To understand the benefits and challenges of studying history

    -To learn about the history of Purim

    -To use research methods to find out more about communities today


    Purims History information packet and worksheet, paper, pens, markers, newspapers, photos of

    class (optional), box or bag

    Activity 1: Purims History(10-12 min)

    -Divide students into groups and distribute copies of Purims History information packet and


    - Ask students about a favorite museum exhibit and what they learned from it. Explain that

    todays lesson will be similar to visiting a museum, that they will be discovering history,

    learning about the past using objects and limited information.

    -Instruct students to discover the history of Purim using the pic tures and information in the

    packet. They should fill out the worksheets in their groups.

    Activity 2: Discussion (5-7 min)

    -Bring class back together to discuss Activity 1.

    -Review answers to questions, paying particular attention to questions 6 and 7.

    Activity 3: Creating a Time Capsule (15 min)

    -Introduce idea of class time capsule

    -Make a list of important things to know about the class (location, grade, students, teacher, etc.)

  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    -Distribute supplies and instruct students to fill box or bag (can use one per group or per class)

    with clippings, drawings, photos, etc. that show those important things.

    -Explain that once completed, the time capsule will be sealed and remain unopened until a

    predetermined time (end of year, end of next year, end of elementary/middle school, etc.).

    Conclusion (5 min)

    -Discuss the difference between learning about the past by using artifacts and by using a time

    capsule (artifacts are accidental, time capsule shows what is important to that person)

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    Purims Place and Time


  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Hamadan and the Tombs of

    Mordechai and Esther


  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Susa and the Tomb of Daniel the



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    Purims Place and Time

    The Book of Esther took place during the rule of the Achaemenid(ack-ah-MEN-id)Empire in Persia.

    The capitol of the empire was in Persepolis, but the summerpalace was in Hamadan.

    The king also lived in a place called Susa. This city had the mostJewish residents.

    In the Book of Esther, the kings name in Ahasuerus(Achashverosh). His Persian name was Xerxes (zerk-sees). He

    ruled between 486- 465 BCE.

    At the time when the Book of Esther took place, Jews lived inevery part of the Persian Empire. They owned shops, served in

    the army, and had synagogues of their own.

    Historians are unsure of the exact location of Shushan. Somethink it was Susa (because it sounds alike), and others think it

    was Hamadan (because thats where what is thought to be the

    tomb of Mordechai and Esther is located and also because it was

    the kings summer home).

    Everything we know about the Achaemenid Empire and AncientPersia comes from a few sources. These include scraps of

    writing, ruins, and other artifacts.


  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Purims Place and Time

    1. When and where did the Book of Esther take place?_________________________________________________


    2. Who was the king at the time of the Book of Esther? (List bothnames) ___________________________________________

    3. Where were some of the places that the kinglived?____________________________________________


    4. What historical site can be found inSusa?____________________________________________

    5. What historical site can be found inHamadan?_________________________________________

    6. Which city, Susa or Hamadan, do you think is the real Shushan?Why?____________________________________________





    7. What do you think is the hardest part of studying ancient history(people and places that existed a very long time ago?)





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    Lesson 2: Hands-On Learning: The Tomb of Mordechai and Esther


    1. To familiarize students with Diarnas technology (Google Earth and videos)2. To learn about the Tomb of Mordechai and Esther and its history


    Computers, Google Earth and Diarna layer (see below), Elias Gabbay video worksheet

    (attached), Google Earth instructions (attached)

    *Please note: this lesson requires the use of Google Earth and the Diarna layer. You can

    download Google Earth atwww.earth.google.com. The Diarna layer can be downloaded at

    http://www.diarna.org/wordpress/Diarnawp/wordpress/uncategorized/march-2010-%E2%80%93-diarna-releases-purim-curriculum. The video interview with Elias Gabbay can be

    found atwww.youtube.com/watch?v=DqX_v_OyRGwor by going towww.youtube.comand

    searching for The Restorer of Esther & Mordechais Tomb.


    This lesson works best using stations, one for using Google Earth and the other for viewing the

    video. The class should be divided into as many groups as there are stations.

    Introduction (5 min)

    -Explain lessons objectives and room setup

    Activity 1: Elias Gabbay Video (10-15 min)

    -Students should watch video and answer questions to the best of their ability

    Activity 2: Google Earth (15 min)

    -Students should follow instructions to explore the Diarna Google Earth layer

    Conclusion (5 min)

    -Review activities, answer any questions, and ask students what they enjoyed most.

  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


  • 8/14/2019 Diarna Purim Curriculum


    Google Earth Instructions

    1. Find the United States of America.2. Find your state, and then try to find your town using just the

    mouse. If you need help, enter the name into the search section.

    3. Zoom in and use the mouse to look around