How does being Jewish make a difference to family and celebration?

Wiltshire RE Starter Stimulus
Starter ideas for the following key question from the 2011 Agreed Syllabus:
KS1 6 How does being Jewish make a difference
to family and celebration?
This resource aims to provide some stimulus images and ideas to help
pupils begin to address the above question.
It links to the following learning outcomes from p.39 of the syllabus:
Pupils can:
• ii. talk about how a mezuzah in the home reminds Jewish people
about God
• v. express their own ideas about the value of times of reflection,
thanksgiving, praise and remembrance
Some of the slides have notes to give suggestions for use. Look at the
slide show in Normal mode and look for the notes at the bottom of the
How do you remember things?
What other
ways help you
to remember?
What do you think
Hannah is looking at?
What is she pointing at?
There is one on every
doorway in her house.
Why do you think that
might be?
This is a Mezuzah. Inside it has some words that are
very important to Jewish people. What do you think
they might be?
What would you write on a scroll to go
on a promise box outside your
What would you write on a scroll to go
in a promise box outside the rooms in
your house?
What might a Christian child write?
Additional suggestions for using this resource:
1. Writing a message of welcome
Ask your children to think about the place where they live.
With a partner discuss what message they would write for
visitors above the door of their home.
Ask children to work in groups to design a banner showing a
welcome message to the classroom or a promise box with a
message in. Which would be better for the classroom? Why?
2. Important promises
Ask the children to think about important words and promises
that they have
made, heard or know that other people make.
Ask each child to make an individual promise containers using,
for example, empty glue stick holders, or using the net on slide 8.
Ask them to write a promise that is important to their family – just
as what is written in the Mezuzah is important to a Jewish family.
Alternatively you could create a whole class promise box.
3. Message down the generations
The Shema is so important to Jewish people that they will
teach it down the generations. Ask children to think about
what message they have that is so important that they should
teach it to their children, and their children’s children. Are
there some things that they have learned that are not really
important – that they are happy if their own children don’t
know about it? Are there some lessons in life that must be
passed on? What and why?
4. Finding out more
Examine the symbolic behaviour of a practising Jewish person
passing the mezuzah on their house or synagogue door,
e.g.on the Jewish Way of Life CD-ROM, freely available to
view and download at REOnline

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