Outline: Basic Sequence of a Typical Values Lesson

Values Lesson Segments What Happens During Values Lessons?
Whole group mini-lesson

Students sit in their assigned seats, ready for discussion to begin. Desks are cleared of any distractions. The teacher does one of the following or a combination:

  • Uses an opening question to spark discussion that will later relate to the text.
  • Introduces a new text or reveals a new part of the text.
  • Reviews an earlier introduced concept/text.
  • Teaches a new havruta practice.
  • Reviews havruta practice goals from previous lesson.
Framing the havruta experience

The teacher sets expectations for havruta time:

  • Explains specific havruta practices on which to focus during havruta time.
  • Explains that the group will return together to reflect on the text and/or evaluate how well students enacted havruta practices.
Setting up the beit midrash While singing "V'ha'er eynaynu," students move to their assigned havruta spots around the room.
Havruta time Students sit with an assigned havruta partner at one desk, and begin answering Havruta Guided Questions associated with the particular text being studied, while at the same time practicing the learned havruta practices.
Students return to whole group After a one-minute warning, the teacher says, "Return, reflecting havrutot," and then students sing "V'ha'er eynaynu" while returning their desks to their regular spots.

Students sit at their regular desks. The teacher does one of the following or a combination:

  • Asks discussion questions related to the text.
  • Asks extension questions to help students apply the text to their classroom community.
  • Reviews text with students through teaching a song based on the text.
  • Reflects on havruta experience in general.
  • Reflects on havruta practices used.
  • Sets havruta practice goals for future work.