Duck! Rabbit! Teaches to Learn From Everyone and Make Peace
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Duck! Rabbit! Teaches to Learn From Everyone and Make Peace

Jewish Value: Learn from Everyone

Additional value:


Enduring Understandings:

  • Judaism challenges us to show love and honor toward others, even when our opinions differ. 
  • All of our opinions are valid and it is important for them to be heard and considered. 
  • Our perspectives can change and grow over time. 
  • We learn new things by listening to what others have to say.

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

We have all heard of the adage “Love your fellow person as yourself” (Leviticus 19:18). While many of us may interpret this teaching as a way of explaining that we should treat others the way we would want to be treated, it also prompts us to realize that each of us can be both student and teacher. Valuing the ideas presented from many perspectives is one way one can learn from everyone— lomed m’kol adam. Just as we would want our opinions, perspectives, and experiences to be considered important and valid, so, too, we are held accountable for affirming other’s opinions, perspectives, and experiences. This value demands that we show empathy for others and charges us to identify with others feelings.

Another aspect of lomed m’kol adam is that even the minority opinion is important. It is important to note that Judaism suggests that we can never truly and fully know what another person feels or believes, but it does ask us to be in consideration of each other. The rabbis of the Talmud decreed that in making any decisions, all opinions and precedents must be presented before the court to ensure all sides are accounted for. As a result, we can, as Hillel taught, be disciples of Aaron and love peace, pursue peace, love all of humanity, and in doing so, attract all to living and studying the Torah (Pirke Avot 1:12). Pirke Avot 4:1 furthers this notion by explaining “Who is wise? The one that learns from every person … Who is honored (given respect)? The one who gives honor (respect) to others.” In other words, the greatest sign of an individual who understands the concept of kavod is when they give the same respect to others as they would want for themselves.

Questions for Reflection

1. What is the connection between learning from others and pursuing and loving peace?
2. If you become frustrated over not understanding something, you may limit yourself from understanding the thing that you are frustrated about. What can you do to raise your awareness of when emotions, such as frustration, can prevent you from learning and understanding?
3. What can you do to model lomed m’kol adam within your life and within the classroom?

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Encourage students to brainstorm things they know that other students in the class might not yet know, for example, information they have learned outside of the classroom or certain games, skills, or crafts they know and can demonstrate to or teach others. Encourage dramatic role-play, where the students act out being the teacher, addressing the class in a way that is common for the teacher (dressed up like the teacher, standing or sitting where the teacher often does, while being addressed as “Miss” or “Mister”). Create a collage of photographs entitle “Lomed M’kol Adam!—Learn from Everyone!” Capture students at various times as they help other students, teachers, or parents learn or do something.

Materials and resourcesmore


  • Copy of Duck! Rabbit! 
  • After the Story: materials to make a “Rules for Disagreeing Scroll,” including paper, pens or markers, two empty paper towel tubes, and Scotch tape


Sharing The Storymore

Introducing The story

Ask students to demonstrate what sounds ducks make. Ask students to demonstrate what sounds rabbits make. Ask students to demonstrate the way ducks move. Ask students to demonstrate the way rabbits move. Present the cover of the book, and ask students to pretend to be the animal they see. Acknowledge that different students see different things. Gather students and direct their attention to the story, explaining that the book is about two children who saw different animals while looking at the same thing.

Reading The Story

Read the story aloud, stopping when appropriate to explore illustrations, address comments, clarify, predict, and guide students’ understanding of the story and the values to learn from everyone—lomed m’kol adam and make peace—shalom

Ask the following questions: 

  • Do we know for certain what type of animal it is? 
  • Are there times when there is no “right” or “wrong” answer? 
  • Did the friends discussing the duck / rabbit speak to each other with respect? What makes you believe this? 
  • What do you do when you and your friends disagree on something? 
  • When is it okay to disagree? Do we always have to reach the same conclusions? Can we still be friends and disagree? 
  • What advice would you give other children your age who are having a disagreement about something?

After The Story

Have students use their imaginations and share their perspective. Children have extremely vivid imaginations, so take advantage of their creativity! To demonstrate how we all have different perspectives on things, select common household objects that students can identify and ask them to imagine what else the object could be or could be used for. For example, if you provided a clear plastic cup, it could not only be used for drinking, but it could also be a telescope, a magnifying glass, or even a storage container. Let the students’ imaginations run wild!

Make a “Rules for Disagreeing Scroll.” Help students determine peaceful resolutions to their disagreements as they create a special scroll.

  • Have each student draw or write one “rule for disagreeing” on a sheet of paper. 
  • Lay out the papers, side by side, and tape them together using clear tape. 
  • Place one empty paper towel tube on the far right edge of the papers and one on the far left edge of the papers. 
  • Start with one paper towel tube and roll the first paper around it slightly, about halfway around, and securely tape or staple the paper onto the tube. 
  • Continue to roll the tube up so the paper wraps tightly around it. Stop when you reach the center.  
  • Move to the other side of the “scroll,” and roll the paper around the second tube, reinforcing the first paper on that tube with tape or staples. Continue to roll the paper around the tube until it reaches the center point. Now your rules are on a scroll. 
  • Allow students to practice “turning” the scroll to show their rules. Reference the scroll whenever conflict arises. 
Ask children if they can think of another scroll that Jewish people read to learn about how to behave. Discuss the “rules” that might be pertinent to your class that can be found in the Torah.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

NAME THAT ANIMAL Science, Listening 
Discuss with students how the friends in the story used their senses to figure out what the animal was. What parts of their body helped them? (Their eyes and ears: The friends looked and listened.) Play a game with students by playing recordings of animal sounds and asking students to identify each animal using only their ears.

DUCK! RABBIT! AT THE WHITE HOUSE Social Studies, Technology
Have students watch DJ Lance (from the TV show Yo Gabba Gabba) as he reads Duck! Rabbit! at the White House: Ask students, “Who lives at the White House? Why do you think the people at the White House chose this story to share?”

ILLUSIONS Critical Thinking, Literacy
Evaluate students’ abilities to apply their understanding of kavod—respect and shalom— peace, as they discuss their responses to various illusions (select from a wide variety for those most appropriate for your students) offered on The National Institute of Environmental Health Sciences Kids’ Pages:

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Want To Be Smart?

by Miss Emily Aronoff Teck

Inspiration Text

“Who is wise? The one that learns from every person …” -Pirke Avot 4:1


Ask students to brainstorm all of the things that people have taught them. Then encourage students to take turns teaching one another. Break into small groups or partners so that different students can share their unique knowledge. Remind them to show respect, taking turns listening and sharing. Affirm that they can be excellent teachers, and give examples of times that you (as an adult teacher) have learned important and interesting things from listening to other people and children. Teach them that a famous rabbi said that everyone can be smart, as long as they are willing to learn from everyone.


Do you want to be smart? Yes, I want to be smart.
Do you want to be wise? Yes, I want to be wise.
Do you think learning is fun? Yes, learning IS fun.
Then learn from everyone! Learn from everyone!

Just ask a teacher,
How do you learn each day
To help all your kiddos?
She’ll say her students show her the way!


Just ask a new mommy,
Who teaches her right now
To take care of her child?
She’ll say her baby shows her how!


Just ask your rabbis
How the ideas get in their mind.
They’ll say their inspirations
Come from many things of different kinds.


If you could ask a baby
How they learn so much,
They’d tell you they learn something
From everything they touch!

Eizehu, Eizehu
Chacham, Chacham
HaLomed, HaLomed
M’kol Adam M’kol Adam

Additional Music Connections

Evidence of Learningmore

Students are able to disagree with their friends with respect and without getting upset as evidenced in their role-playing scenarios.

Students revisit and apply rules from their “Rules for Disagreeing Scroll.”


Ask each family to list their family’s rule(s) for disagreeing on a sheet of poster paper entitled “The _______________ (insert family’s name) Family’s Rules for Disagreeing.” Together with their chlldren, each family can illustrate the poster with pictures, photos, craft materials, etc. Display completed posters in your classroom and remind students of these rules as appropriate.

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
Zoom Istvan BanyaiDebbie TilleyOn each page of this wordless book, which imitates a zoom lens in reverse, the focus moves back to reveal a little more. Nothing is quite what it seems.
The Peace Book Todd ParrTodd ParrBeautifully illustrated, Parr features a different definition of peace. The value of respect is always implied—respect for friends, diversity, nature, etc.
Hey, Little Ant Phillip M. Hoose and Hannah HooseDebbie TilleyTo squish or not to squish? A small ant and a child debate whether the ant should live or not. The story highlights the importance of perception and discussion and encourages children to discuss their viewpoints as well.
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors

Emily Aronoff Teck and Mishi Palinkas Glantz ECC at the Mandel JCC, Boynton Beach, Florida