Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type teaches to Pursue Justice
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Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type teaches to Pursue Justice

Book Title: Click, Clack, Moo: Cows That Type

Author: Doreen Cronin

Illustrator: Betsy Lewin

Jewish Value: Pursue Justice

Book Summary:

Farmer Brown has a problem. His cows like to type. All day long he hears:
Click, clack, moo.
Click, clack, moo.
Click, clack, moo.

But Farmer Brown's problems REALLY begin when his cows start leaving him notes...Come join the fun as a bunch of literate cows turn Farmer Brown's farm upside-down! 

Enduring Understandings:

  • Justice means trying to make your world more fair, and helping others get what they need in order to live a safe and healthy life. 
  • When we work together as a team, we can better pursue justice. 
  • Each of us has a responsibility to treat others fairly and to speak up and use our words when we hear or see others being treated unfairly

Essential Questions:

  • What does the word “justice” mean? 
  • What are ways in which we can make the world more fair, and help everyone get what they need to live a safe and healthy life? 
  • How can working together help one pursue justice?

Be Inspired:The ideas included are offered as starting points as you and your students explore, discover and live the lessons. Be sure to elicit and encourage student and parent participation, consistently reinforcing the value being addressed. Allow lessons to authentically develop and change based on engagement and interests.

Lesson Plan Components

For the educatorJewish Thought, Text, and Traditionsmore

The Torah teaches in the book of Deuteronomy “Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof,” literally meaning “Justice, justice, you shall pursue.” The notion of tzedek tirdof--pursuing justice is a core Jewish value that not only refers to courts and laws, but perhaps more importantly, deals with how we treat others. The prophet Micah teaches that the idea of “good” is encompassed by the act of seeking justice. In doing so, one can walk with G-d (Micah 3:1-12).

To pursue justice means that we should live righteously, meaning it is our responsibility to ensure that the needs of others are as important to us as our own. Furthermore, righteous living involves us acting ethically--to be upright, just, and sincere. The commentator Nachmanides reminds us that tzedek tirdof challenges us to resolve conflict by compromising and teaches that being righteous is more important than the obligations of law. What is essential in being righteous and pursuing justice is our ability to act fairly and be inclusive of others. Because every human being is unique and was created b’tzelem elohim, in G-d’s image, they can make a positive difference and contribute to our world in special ways (Genesis 1:26).

The value of tzedek tirdof lifts up the messages of the prophets who sought justice and fairness for all. Like the prophets of our Hebrew Bible, we too can question how the world is and what it ought to be. We can keep Divine expectations for a better world and better people at the center of our relationship with G-d. Furthermore, no one opinion is of greater importance than the other. In fact, in examining the phrase “Tzedek, tzedek, tirdof,” we learn that the phrase is in the singular. Therefore, each of us must pursue justice. When we do so together and act in righteous ways, the pursuit of justice may be fulfilled.

As Pirke Avot teaches, “You are not required to complete the task, but neither are you free to desist from it.…” We do not need to complete the task of tzedek tirdof alone, but should do our part in creating a just world. Our choice, then, is whether or not we should take action. When we do so, the pursuit of justice comes closer to being fulfilled.

For further understanding of tzedek tirdof in Judaism and its applicability for today, go to:, an online portal to Jewish texts for social justice.

Questions for Reflection

  1. What is the difference between acting ethically each day and specifically pursuing justice, such as by advocating publicly for a specific issue? 
  2. Why is it important to reflect upon our own understanding of right and wrong and good and bad?
  3. How can you make a difference in your classroom by pursuing justice or fairness for each child’s unique needs? How might you differentiate your curriculum, instruction, and classroom management strategies to exemplify this approach?
  4. How can you pursue justice--tzedek tirdof on a regular basis and incorporate this value in the classroom?

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

There are many ways to fight injustice, both locally, nationally, and globally. The following list includes Jewish Charities featured on Forbes Top 200 List. Send home information to families about these charities and ask them to discuss them with their children and nominate one. Hold a class vote to select one charity from those nominated . Throughout the year, hold various class or school -wide events to raise money to support its mission. This is by no means a complete list- just a place to start!

American Jewish Congress: Established in 1906 to help protect Russian Jews from the pogroms, it now works on behalf of Jews in vulnerable communities around the world.

American Jewish Joint Distribution Center: This organization helps vulnerable Jewish and non- Jewish populations across the world.

Anti-Defamation League: The ADL is an activist organization fighting for civil rights as well as fighting hate and anti-semitism across the world.

Jewish Federations of North America: The Jewish Federations of North America represent 157 Jewish Federations & 400 independent Jewish communities. The Federation movement, collectively among the top 10 charities on the continent, protects and enhances the wellbeing of Jews worldwide through the values of tikkun olam (repairing the world), tzedakah (charity and social justice) and Torah (Jewish learning)

Materials and resourcesmore


  • Copy of Click Clack Moo 
  • Copy of As Good As Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom


Sharing The Storymore

Introducing The story

Look at the cover of the book. Have students name and describe the animals on the cover. Ask:

  • What else do they see on the cover other than the animals? If possible, bring in a typewriter for students to see and use. 
  • What message do you think the animals in the barn might be leaving if they could type? Write these predictions on a chart.
Read the book asking students to compare their predictions to what actually happens in the story. As you read, allow students to stop and comment on the animals’ requests and what they think will happen next.

Reading The Story

Read the story aloud, stopping when appropriate to explore illustrations, address student comments, clarify, predict, and guide their understanding of the story and the value tzedek tirdof--to pursue justice.  

Discussion questions might include:

  • What did the animals think was unfair (or unjust) about their treatment? 
  • How did they get the farmer to change his treatment of them?
  • What do you think of their way of obtaining what they felt was fair for them?
  • What else could they have done?

After The Story

Have children retell the story Click, Clack, Moo, Cows That Type with you. Together, select one injustice you have noticed in your own community. Compose a letter (possibly typed on a typewriter if possible) that describes the injustice. Include suggestions to help improve it and send the letter to the appropriate agency/agencies.
Teach and discuss the Jewish people who fought injustice throughout the history of our country, the Jewish people have made contributions in terms of fighting injustice and bringing about change. Share the book As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom

Show students the cover of the book,

  • Discuss the cover illustration and what the title means to them. List responses on the board and revisit these after the book has been read and discussed. 
  • Ask them if they recognize any of the people on the cover (e.g. Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel) . What do students know about them? (Many will recognize Dr. King, but many may not recognize Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel on the right--a highly respected rabbi who worked to ensure justice.) 
  • Ask students what else they see in the illustration. Probing questions might include:
  • Why are the men’s arms linked together? 
  • How would they describe the expressions on the faces of Dr. King and Rabbi Heschel? 
  • Explain that they were walking together in a march, one of the most important events in our country’s efforts to make sure that all people are allowed the same rights. 
Read the book ( or portions of the book) to students, taking time to discuss the pictures and the text. Involve students in the following:
  • Compare Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and Rabbi Abraham Joshua Heschel using a Venn diagram. What do they think is the most important thing the two men had in common?
  • Discuss Rabbi Heschel’s quote about walking in the march when he said he felt he was “praying with his legs.” What do you think he meant?
  • Have students select a favorite quote from the book to write about in their journals or to illustrate with a picture or symbol.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Jewish Justice Heroes

Literacy, Drama, Jewish Learning 
Introduce students to some of the many Jewish individuals who worked for justice.
  • Introduce students to Emma Goldman (To learn more about this hero or ) Share a photo of Emma Goldman. Explain to students that Emma Goldman fought for the rights of the workers who received poor pay and worked in terrible, unsafe conditions. 
  • Put the following quote from Emma Goldman on the board: “Become daring enough to demand your rights.” Discuss what this means to the students. What things do they believe are important enough to “fight” for?
  • Encourage students to learn about other Jewish individuals who dedicated their lives in the pursuit of justice. Have them take dress up as this individual and tell the class about themselves (as this Jewish Justice Hero). The following websites provide collections of archival photos of Jewish individuals, many of whom dedicated their lives to fight injustice:
American Jewish Archives:
American Jewish Historical Society:
Jewish Women’s Archive:

Spread the Word
Social Action, Language Arts
Ask students to choose an injustice that they would like to address and call attention to it in a way that they believe will be meaningful for their community. This could come in many forms; a rally, a brochure, an email, an announcement, or a commercial. Support and encourage their research and activism. Consider utilizing the song from music section, below, as part of the presentation.

‘Kosher’ Working
Talmud Torah 
The Torah and Talmud are concerned with the ethics of how to treat workers. In the past few years, a newly formed commission is determining whether or not to call for Tzedek Hekhsher, in which Kosher production facilities will be checked in six areas: fair wages and benefits, health and safety, training, corporate transparency, animal welfare and environmental impact. Share this information and discuss as appropriate with your students. For more information, see:

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs


by Miss Emily Aronoff Teck

Inspiration Text

“Justice, justice shall you pursue” (Deuteronomy 16:20).


Ask students to create a commercial to bring attention to a perceived injustice, advocating and suggesting how this problem can be improved. Students can use this song as a soundtrack to their commercial, either using a recording they create of their own voices or the recording from the album.


Sometimes I think you’re hiding
Hearing news stories that are sad
Sometimes I wonder where you are
When I see bullies, I get mad
But then I remember each one of us has a job to do
Justice, I will find you
Justice, we will pursue
We’re gonna find it, We’re gonna create it
Justice for all, We’re gonna’ make it
We’re gonna do what is right to try to make our world more fair
To be righteous people and show how much we do care,

I’m sad when I hear stories, from our history
When people who were different were treated unfairly
Some things have gotten better, but there is still more work to do
Justice, I will find you
Justice, I will pursue

It might teaching others how to open up their mind
It might mean speaking up and being the person who reminds
Though we’ve solved some problems, there are problems that are new
Justice, I will find you
Justice, I will pursue

Additional Music Connections

Evidence of Learningmore

Students are observed seeking justice in the classroom and in their daily lives by trying to be fair and kind.


Share with parents a resource on raising charitable children:

Ask parents to discuss with their children ways that they, and community members they know, contribute to working towards a more just world. Have them prepare an artifact, photo collage or other visual representation (with the help of their children) of one or more of these endeavors. Have students share these visuals with classmates and display in the classroom in a special area in the classroom.

Ask parents to have their child retell the story Click, Clack, Moo. Suggest that together, with their child, they select one injustice they have noticed in their own community and compose a letter (typed on a typewriter or typewriter app, if possible) that describes the injustice. They may wish to include suggestions to help improve the injustice and send the letter to the appropriate agency/agencies or news media.

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
As Good as Anybody: Martin Luther King and Abraham Joshua Heschel’s Amazing March Toward Freedom Richard MichelsonRaul ColonGRADE LEVEL: 1-4

The true story of two young boys, from seemingly very different background, who rise above their own personal suffering to become great civil rights leaders. Together they march during the American Civil Rights Movement, standing up for equality and justice. Martin grew up in a loving family in the American South, at a time when this country was plagued by racial discrimination. He aimed to put a stop to it. He became a minister like his daddy, and he preached and marched for his cause. Abraham grew up in a loving family many years earlier, in a Europe that did not welcome Jews. He found a new home in America, where he became a respected rabbi like his father, carrying a message of peace and acceptance. Here is the story of two icons for social justice, how they formed a remarkable friendship and turned their personal experiences of discrimination into a message of love and equality for all.
You Never Know: A Legend of the Lamedvavniks Francine ProseMark PodwalGRADE LEVEL: K-5
The townspeople of Plotchnik dismiss Schmuel, the shoemaker, and interpret his acts of kindness as stupidity. However, it was only Schmuel’s prayers that saved the town from both a drought and a flood after 40 days and nights of rain, because he is one of 36 righteous individuals. A story that teaches the values of goodness, humility, and justice.
Portraits of Jewish- American Heroes Malka DruckerElizabeth RosenGRADE LEVEL: 4+
Stories of more than 20 Jewish-American heroes who have made a difference in our world are included. While this book is for older elementary aged students, it can be a is a wonderful classroom resource for younger ones. “Portraits” include those of Bella Abzug, Emma Lazarus, Levi Strauss, Ruth Bader Ginsburg, Albert Einstein, and Golda Meir.
* PJ library Books