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Birchot Hashachar: The Morning Blessings

Abstract

When was the last time you felt grateful for being able to stand up straight?  This lesson takes learners through the opening blessings of Birchot Hashachar – The Morning Blessings, focusing on the theme of thankfulness and not taking any of our daily routines for granted.  In the first suggested activity, students pair up in havrutot and select ten items and/or events for which one should express gratitude, and then present their choices to the rest of the class.  Additional creative learning experiences such as student dramatizations of different “gratitude scenarios” and original compositions of prayer/s of thankfulness, are designed to raise awareness of the things we take for granted and which can be more consciously appreciated through the recitation of blessings.

The learner will: 

  1. Understand how strengthening our “gratitude muscles” enriches our day to day lives

  2. know the words and meaning of the opening Birchot Hashachar prayers and why they are an important beginning to our daily prayers

be able to create a short list of things they are grateful for on a daily basis and explain why this is the case

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. Further Study option/s linked to JEBD materials and related links

Student handout

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