Rise with the Challah: Rise & Shine Explores Family, Shabbat and Challah
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Rise with the Challah: Rise & Shine Explores Family, Shabbat and Challah

Categories Shabbat , Honor Parents 
Tags: Challah 
Book Title: Rise & Shine: A Challah-Day Tale

Author: Karen Ostrove

Illustrator: Kimberley Scott

Book Summary:

What is the mysterious writing on a crumpled piece of paper that Sammy and Sophie find in the attic? The answer leads to a happy baking adventure at Grandma Gert’s retirement home.

Topic(s) Addressed:

-     Goals:
Students can identify the Jewish value of honoring family

-       Students can point out aspects of Shabbat in the book

-       Students know that keeping Shabbat holy is a special tradition

-       Explain how we pass down traditions in Judaism, or name one

-       Apply this learning to other Jewish holidays

Enduring Understandings:

Students will point out or name Shabbat traditions, describe how we celebrate Shabbat, and explain the importance of honoring your parents/grandparents.
Students will learn hands-on how to braid challah and be part of the tradition of passing down Jewish rituals.

Essential Questions:

When do we celebrate Shabbat?

What are things we do to celebrate Shabbat?

How can you honor your parents/grandparents?

What special meals does your family share together?

Do you see extended family that love to see you and you them?

How do you feel when you are with your family?

Eating challah is a special tradition passed down, can you share a special tradition your family does – made up or passed down?

What can you do to make Shabbat more special in your home? Why is it good to stop work and school to be with family?

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

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


A copy of Rise and Shine: A Challah Day Tale by Karen Ostrove

Ingredients, equipment to bake Challah Hint: Many grocery stores will allow you to purchase pre-made dough, frozen, if you ask at the bakery counter- please consider this option of you want children to have hands-on experience but lack time or materials for entire dough making process.

Sharing The Storymore

Introducing The story

Before the story, bake or braid challah with students. Share the story while the challah bakes.
Students can practice braiding challah using either play-doh or wiki-sticks to prepare for the task.
This video is one of a 10 part video workshop that provides challah braiding instruction, which can help the students learn how or master new braid braiding skils:

Assess student s prior knowledge during activity, prompting informal discussions about the experience and children s prior experience baking, braiding, preparing, eating or serving challah.

Reading The Story

-       While reading the story, faciliate discussion to deepen engagement using questions such as:
What would you do if you found something with unfamiliar writing on it?
How is Shabbat like other Jewish holidays, what do you see on the page that is familiar to those other holidays?
How do you think the recipe got in their attic?
What ingredients do you think they will add to the challah, what would you add?
What else could the recipe be for?
What other food could they have added to the table to make Shabbat special?
How can the children include their Bubbie and her friends in the future?

After The Story

Talk about the traditions of Shabbat and share our favorite aspects of Jewish holidays.
Recite the blessing and practice any other custom your community might practice related to this ritual- blessing the children? giving tzedakah? drinking grape juice?
Take this opportunity to ask what children know or wonder about this ritual that may be familiar.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Art and Hebrew
Guide students in the creation of a challah cover that they can use in the future with their deepened understanding of the role and ritual of this bread. Craft activity can be found here.

Civic Engagement
Do a challah or general bake sale to raise money for a charity of their choice.


Consider sharing this clip about how Grover learns about Shabbat:

Music Connectionsmore

List of All Songs

Listen to these five songs about Challah! 
Ask students: Can you think of any other food that has so many songs written about it? Why do you think Challah is such a popular topic? 

Evidence of Learningmore

To assess if students met the goal that they are able to apply this learning to other Jewish holidays: Start the next holiday exploration by comparing and contrasting the holiday and Shabbat. Depending on age either verbally or with a T-chart, write out what makes Shabbat special (when it happens, what you eat, what you do) to the holiday you are introducing. This will not only reinforce what we learned about Shabbat but help students remember it as a special Jewish holiday that is both different and similar to our other special moments throughout the year. Evidence will be seen when students can recall what makes Shabbat special, and build upon their understanding by demonstrating how it is celebrated each week.

To compare holidays, use a Venn Diagram. Check out this short tutorial here: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=1GB3ivbichw  In the video, the facilitator compare Cats and Birds. For your class, you could compare Shabbat with the next holiday you are teaching, such as Hanukkah. Depending on age, you could do this as a class together on the board, or if they are older, have each student complete their own Venn Diagram. For Shabbat, students might say "it happens weekly" or "you eat challah", for Hanukkah students might say "you eat latkes" and "you play dreidel", in the center of the circles, students could say "you light candles" or "you celebrate with your family" or "it is a Jewish holiday". This helps to reinforce what your students learned about Shabbat while also introducing a holiday they may already know about. This could be an introduction or used after you begin to learn more holidays. 


-Create enough challah that each student can bring home a loaf
-Ask families to share pictures or recipes that relate to their Challah or Shabbat culinary customs

literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
It's Challah Time! Latifa Berry KropfTod CohenIt's Challah Time!  A preschool class demonstrates the steps of making challah—a special ritual of Shabbat.
This is the Challah Sue HepkerAmy WummerBubbe is preparing for Shabbat and her granddaughter gets to help with a very important part: baking the challah. They work together with enthusiasm, even as the sugar spills, the baby cries, and eggs crack on the floor! Bubbe lovingly holds it all together as the chaos builds and then dissipates into a warm, loving family dinner. Told in a cumulative rhyme, This is the Challah makes a perfect read-aloud for bedtime or anytime!

Challah: A Chewish Guide to the Torah Rabbi Susan Abramson Genna Sandler*It's a cookbook. *It's a compendium of uniquely-shaped, colorful challahs. *It's a family-friendly guide to Torah. *It's fun for all ages! The challahs in this book come to life. Some are biblical characters. Others are ancient animals. Some represent historically holy objects. They each reveal a mouth-watering secret about each weekly Torah portion. They may look innocent, but they will entice you to taste a tidbit of Torah. Featuring a two page spread for each of the 54 Torah portions, including a color photo of a challah , an easy-to-read summary of the portion and a Food for Thought column.
The Shabbat Princess Meltzer, Amy Martha AvilesWhile Sabbath is often referred to as a "queen," Rosie channels her obsession with princesses to make sure her family's Shabbat is worthy of royalty
* PJ library Books
Lesson Contributors

Laura Williams