God’s To List is Our To Do List
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God’s To List is Our To Do List

grades:  Middle School (6-8) 

Lesson Summary:

We are taught that each of us are created B’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God. What does this mean, and what implications does this concept have in how we connect with Judaism? In this session, we will continue to discuss how our performance of mitzvot demonstrate our partnership with God.

Enduring Understandings:

  • Avodah is the work we do to find sacred connections with God, our community, and ourselves. 
  • By engaging with mitzvot, we can experience moments of connection with God. 
  • Engaging with mitzvot helps us understand and express our relationship with God.

Essential Questions:

  • How can I experience moments of connection to God? 
  • How do mitzvot foster a connection to and relationship with God? 
  • What actions can I take to reflect God’s presence in the world?

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


Large Post It Notes (for wall)
Projector to display words
Writing Utensils
Eilu D’varim Discussion Questions
Eilu D’varim Calendar: My Good Actions This Week
~internet connectivity, to access polleverywhere.com OR small post it notes


Set Induction (10 minutes)
Using Poll Everywhere, an audience response system, participants will be asked to text one word that describe a good person. If the technology tools are not avallable, this task can be accomplished by distributing post-it notes that are then collected on a central wall.

Ask: Do any of the characteristics/qualities include things that people do?

Tell participants that for a very long time, Jews have be trying to learn the right way to act and behave. The choices we make and the actions we take are what defines us as good people, and are an important way of connecting with God. In this lesson, we will be learning about some of the important things we can do, according to the rabbis that demonstrate that we are good people and understand what God wants us to do as Jews created b’tzelem Elohim, in the image of God.


Eilu D’varim (10 minutes)
Display the prayer Eilu D’varim on the projector screen, and also direct participants to the text, which will be found in their binders. 

Explain that this text, called Eilu D’varim, is a list of mitzvot (commandments) that we can do on a regular basis. This text lets us know what God wants us to do.

Invite students to read the text out loud, in English, to participants, and invite participants to highlight or underline words or phrases that are unclear. As groups, participants will discuss what each commandment means.

Eilu D’varim Categories

  • Large, sticky post-it note pads will be displayed throughout the room, each labeled with a specific mitzvah from Eilu D’varim
  • Participants will be asked to, using small post-it notes, to write at least 3 actions associated with each mitzvah, and place them on the large, sticky post-it pads. 
  • Once participants have completed this task, they will be asked to walk around the room and review the actions that others placed for each mitzvah. If it is an action they agree is associated with the mitzvah, they will be asked to put a check mark. If the action could also be placed in another mitzvah category, they will be asked to write a new post it note and place it on the large, sticky, post-it note pad. 

Eilu D’varim Prayer

Each family/student will create a new Eilu D’varim prayer with the actions they categorized corresponding to the mitzvah. They could also choose a category of their own.

Eilu D’varim Prayer Presentations

Groups will share their prayers with other participants.

Eilu D’varim Calendar
Families will work together to create a one-week Eilu D’varim calendar that they can use at home to record the instances of behaviors we are supposed to engage in.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore


Lesson Contributors

Rabbi PJ Schwartz, RJE