The Mussar for Children learning program is now available. This program integrates Jewish values with classroom and family activities, directed discussions and more. This program is easily incorporated into school programs pairing the middot (plural of middah, or soul-traits) with Jewish holidays and festivals.
Mussar for Children encourages an inquiry-based approach in which cooperative, child-initiated learning promotes the children’s spiritual and ethical development. The program provides a starting point for creating awareness and encouraging reflection and ongoing discovery.
This program includes:
- Family Introductory Letter
- Teacher Introduction Letter
- Information on how to purchase or create a program mascot
- Mendel the Mensch and his sister Mindel are child-size puppets that can join you in the classroom when each new middah is introduced. Information on how to purchase or create your own mascot is included. The children experience Mendel or Mindel as the messenger who brings them the values (middot) from revered Jewish sources. The children are always excited to see the puppets, knowing that whenever one of them visits, a new value to explore and practice is included, along with books to read, a much-loved “Questions in a Jar” activity and more.
- A Scroll, with the middah written in English, Hebrew, and transliteration, reinforces the idea that each middah was received long ago and has been passed down to us.
- An introduction describing the middah and ways to incorporate it into family life which can be included in the school newsletter or sent home to parents.
- Classroom Connection Activity for children to explore what each middah means.
- Questions in a Jar Activity for stimulating class discussion about the middah.
- Self-Awareness/Reflection Activity for children to personally relate to the middah.
- Self-Awareness/Reflection Page for children to create a page for each middah which could be turned into a book at the end of the year.
- Letter to Families for keeping parents involved and helping them reinforce the values at home.
- Book List relating to the middah for helping parents and teachers choose books that foster continued discussion and reinforcement of the middah.
- Home Connection: Family Discussion Activity for providing an opportunity for families to have discussions and engage in activities to experience the middah together.
For every Middah the following is included:
- A Scroll: This is a page with a portrayal of an open scroll that can be used to introduce the middah and then hung on a wall throughout the month. This page has the word of the Middah of the Month in English, Hebrew and transliteration. The scroll helps children understand that each middah is part of Judaism’s ancient teachings and has been transmitted through many generations to the present.
- Monthly Article: This can be used for the school newsletter or sent directly to families. It describes that month’s middah and how to incorporate it into family life.
Classroom Activity: This helps children explore the meaning of the middah.
- Questions in a Jar Activity: These questions stimulate class discussion about the middah of the month.
- Self-Awareness/Reflection Activity: This activity helps each child personally relate to the middah.
- Self-Awareness/Reflection Drawing Page: Children create a page for each middah which becomes part of a book or portfolio at the end of the year.
- Monthly Letter to Parents: This home/school connection keeps parents informed about what their child is learning in school and helps them to reinforce those values at home.
- Resource List: This reinforces the middah of the month by helping parents choose books to foster discussion and practice.
- Home School Connection – Family Discussion Activity: This provides materials that encourage families to instill the value in the home by engaging in discussions and activities through which they experience the middah in action together.
- Teacher Objectives