I have been teaching the chapter of Elu Metzias to 5th and 6th graders for the last 9 years. Over the years I have developed a system that helps build the students skills and understanding of not just the section being taught, but for application to all pieces of Gemara. One area that makes teaching Gemara difficult in many schools is that there are always a number of students whose parents do not have the background to assist them. As opposed to Math or Science where a student who needs help or review can usually approach a parent, when it comes to Gemara there is a higher percentage of kids who do not have someone to turn to. It was with this issue in mind that I started to create interactive Gemara powerpoints for the pieces that I taught. A student or parent would start the powerpoint and see a PDF copy of the page of Gemara. When they bring the mouse over a word that begins a new step the cursor turns to a hand and the student can click on it. This bring s them to a new slide that states what "goal" is of this step. From there they have the option to: a) See where this step falls within the flowchart of the entire piece b) Go back to the PDF page c) See the previous or next "goal or d) See the explanation of the Gemara. From the explanation, which we call a "Torah Scroll", the student then sees a copy of the Gemara words that are included in that "goal", along with a explanation of the piece and an option to listen to the section read and translated. In addition there are times when there are options to see charts or pictures that help depict the piece, and when a Tanna or Amora is mentioned an option to click on their name to see a short bio about him.
I have found this very helpful for all students when it comes to reviewing and studying for tests. It also means that the boys do not need to carry their heavy 5" binders back and forth.
Here is an example:
Sounds great! Did you create this on Power Point?
Yes. I find Power Point to be a relatively easy program to work with, that with a little bit of creativety can be manipulated to create some really powerful tools. Besides for the GemaraPower Ponts, I have created, power points on Chanukah, Purim, zmanim, and various types of interactive games.