I really enjoy writing a column for the Old Schoolhouse
magazine called the International
Schoolhouse. In the article, I get the chance to share with you
about the landscape, the history and the culture of the highlighted
country, in this case Israel. However, there is so much to
tell that simply overflows a 1500 word article that I have decided to
compile the remainder of the information as a unit study for you.
If you do not subscribe to the Old Schoolhouse
you can read a sample issue here -
http://www.thehomeschoolmagazine.com. Or better yet, subscribe
here - The Old Schoolhouse Magazine, LLC - and get the
winter issue this
month with the Israel article that I have written, plus many, many more wonderful
articles of encouragement from other inspirational authors. It is their best issue yet. Oh,
and did I mention that you get a bunch of free gifts with your new subscription.
Okay, so now that you have read the article, it's
time to dive in for some hands-on learning to cement your student's
growing knowledge of this pivotal Middle Eastern country.
READING SELECTIONS -
Let's start with some extra reading. Listed below are some great
books about Israel, or set in the Middle Eastern country of Israel, that will provide many
hours of enjoyable reading. The links below will take you to Amazon.com for more information, but you can find these at your local
library. Read for pleasure alone, or have your kids write a book
report on one of these selections.
You can also claim your
FREE 5-Day Mini-Class from the link
above - no strings attached!
HOMESCHOOL WITH CONFIDENCE!"
The first book
listed here is for younger children, approximately kindergarten
through 2nd grade. The next three are for older children,
approximately 3rd grade up through 8th.
If you are looking
for a couple of books for older students - middle and high school
students - you might be interested to take a look at these novels set
in Israel during 1967 and then in 1992 for the sequel.
I have not read these books, but they have come highly recommended to
me. I have read other books by this author - Lynne Reid Banks -
and I can attest to her engaging and suspenseful writing style.
As with all books, it is always best to preview them before handing
them over to your child.
PLEASE NOTE -We
do not endorse these sites nor have we critically scrutinized each
date that is included on these timelines. Biblical dates
(any date preceding 1200BC for that matter) are often under vigorous
debate. If you disagree about a date because of a resource that
you rely heavily upon or because of your own personal research, that
is fine. Just mark in the date that you are most comfortable
MAPWORK - A unit study would not be
complete without taking a good look at the lay of the land.
Click here for both a labeled and unlabeled
map of Israel. Have your students mark some of the
major cities, the neighboring countries, and the sea to the
west, at the
least. For older students, have them use your teacher's map and
fill in the rest!
RECIPES - This is my
favorite part - the food from the land!
Typical foods of the Middle East include
flat bread, lentils, fresh fruit and nuts, raw vegetables, lamb, beef,
and dairy products, including goat cheese and many types of yogurt.
Some dishes feature grilled meats and fish, stuffed vegetables, and
traditional spicy Mediterranean salads and spreads, such as fava bean
spread. Typical dishes are stews, schnitzel (veal, chicken, or turkey
cutlets), cheese-filled crepes (blintzes), matzo balls (dumplings
eaten with chicken soup), and latkes (potato pancakes). Israel was
called the "land of milk and honey" in the Bible. Sweets, such as
candy made from honey and sesame seeds, are favorites among school
Fava Bean Spread
One can of fava beans, drained
1 Tablespoon olive oil
1 Tablespoon lemon juice
½ teaspoon salt
½ teaspoon pepper (more if you like pepper)
Pita bread, torn or cut into triangles
Drain the can of beans, and empty the beans into a saucepan.
Heat over low heat, mashing the beans against the side of the
saucepan with a wooden spoon as they heat.
Continue mashing until the beans have become thick, pasty, and
Add lemon juice, olive oil, and salt and pepper to taste.
Serve warm or at room temperature with triangles of pita
Note: This recipe involves hot
oil. Adult supervision is required. Many grocery stores now sell
prepared felafel in the deli section.
1 cup canned chickpeas,
1 clove garlic
½ teaspoon salt
⅛ teaspoon pepper
⅔ cup fine breadcrumbs
2 Tablespoons oil
Oil for deep frying, enough to
fill the pot about 3 inches
Mash the chickpeas in a large
Cut the garlic into tiny
pieces. Add the garlic, salt, pepper, and bread crumbs to the
chickpeas. Mix the ingredients together.
Add the eggs and oil to the
mixture and mix thoroughly.
Heat oil in the pot until
little bubbles rise to the surface.
Shape the mixture into 16
balls, each about 1-inch across.
With the mixing spoon, gently
place a few of the balls in the oil—do not drop them in because
the hot oil may splash.
Fry a few at a time until they
are golden brown—about 5 minutes.
Remove the felafel with
the slotted spoon. Drain them on a plate covered with paper
To serve, cut pita bread in
half to make pockets.
Put two or three felafel
balls into each pocket and drizzle with tahini sauce (see
Serves 6 to 8.
Some grocery stores stock
tahini sauce, already prepared, or packaged tahini mix.
¾ cup tahini (sesame seed
paste; can be purchased in stores that sell Middle Eastern
1/3 cup lemon juice
⅛ teaspoon garlic powder
1/3 cup water
Mix tahini, lemon juice, and
garlic powder in bowl until you have a smooth sauce.
Add the water, 1 teaspoon at a
time, until sauce is thin enough to pour.
Pour tahini sauce over pita
sandwiches; can also be used as a dip for raw vegetables.
pulp-free orange juice
wheat flour – no substitutes
butter and sugar thoroughly. Add egg and mix until well combined.
Add the orange juice and mix again, until well combined. Add flour,
½ c at a time, alternating white and wheat, blending thoroughly
between each addition. Add baking powder with last addition of
flour. Refrigerate until chilled thoroughly – a few hours or
dough as thin as possible without tearing (you may want to roll it
between two sheets of flour-dusted wax paper). Cut out 3-4 in [7.6
– 10 cm]circles. Put a dollop of jam in the middle of each circle
and fold up sides to make a triangle, overlapping as much as
possible so only a small amount of jam shows in the center. Pinch
corners to seal. Bake at 350 F [176 C] for 15 – 20 minutes until
1 cup sugar
24 ounces honey
24 ounces sesame seeds
Juice squeezed from one orange (or ½ cup orange juice)
Grated rind of orange
Measure honey and sugar into a saucepan. Heat over medium-low
heat until the mixture boils vigorously.
Lower the heat just enough to keep the mixture bubbling. Add
the sesame seeds, orange juice, and rind.
Cook, stirring constantly, for about 10 minutes.
Lightly grease a 9 x 13-inch baking sheet with peanut oil.
Pour candy mixture onto it and press down on the surface with
a wooden spoon to flatten it.
Set baking sheet on a cooling rack and allow to cool for about
10 minutes. Cut into rectangles or diamond shapes.
Allow to cool completely. Wrap pieces in wax paper to store.
The people of Israel create some amazing and exquisite craft items
that they use and sell to make a living. Here are a few fun
projects that you can do with your children.