Why do we tend to repeat the same mistakes in our life? The American poet, Portia Nelson, reflects on this common human experience in her poem I Walk Down the Street. Through a close reading of this poem, learners will explore the role of cheshbon hanefesh/self-reflection in making changes in one’s life. Thought provoking questions as well as creative learning activities such as the creation of slogans that encourage self reflection are included in this resource.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how cheshbon nefesh/ self-reflection is essential to the process of adjusting habitual actions  

  2. know that while it is common to “fall into the same holes”, it is also possible to chart a different course, rather than waiting for your surroundings to change

  3. be able to identify an obstacle or “hole” they sometimes fall into in their lives, and then create an action plan with concrete steps to modify their behavior to enable them to overcome this challenge.

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. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

Student handout, projector

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