Learning about ALS and Tzedakah, inspired by The Ice Bucket Challenge
Lesson Plan Sections
0 Ratings
Add to Favorite  

Learning about ALS and Tzedakah, inspired by The Ice Bucket Challenge

Lesson Summary:

ALS, Tzedakah, Pursuing Justice

Enduring Understandings:

  • People all around the world can contribute to the pursuit of Justice in creative and meaningful ways.
  • ALS is a disease that affects people’s brains so that they can’t control their muscles.
  • Students can motivate others to 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

Jewish every dayIncorporate Jewish Valuesmore

Materials and resourcesmore


New York Times Article on the Phenomenon
Pose Questions from the New York Times Learning Blog

Writing materials for children's challenge to community member

Materials to take challenge, as deemed appropriate by students


Set Induction:
Show videos of people taking the Ice Bucket Challenge, thousands of examples are available on youtube, consider searching for celebrities that your students may recognize and/or showing members of your community.
Consider showing this video, of students who followed this lesson:

Display question “What do we know about the Ice Bucket Challenge” and document responses. Teacher should look for emergent themes to help them navigate follow up-discussions.

Explain to students that you’d like them to learn more about ALS and review what they know about Tzedakah, to prepare to learn more about the phenomenon before they decide if they’d like to take the challenge, themselves. Consider presenting this Prezi on the topic, edit it to meet your student’s needs, or create your own:

Distribute New York Times Article on the Phenomenon
Pose Questions from the New York Times Learning Blog, as appropriate:


Review the lesson and students “take aways.” Discuss the challenge ways in which the class can become involved.
Discussion Questions may include:

  • Do you want to take the challenge?
  • How they can have the biggest impact?
  • How they think they can motivate other people to take the challenge to make their impact even greater?
Ask each child to write a card, letter, or email, to be shared with whomever they’d like to challenge. Ask them to make sure that it includes:
  • an explanation of Tzedakah
  • an explanation of ALS
  • an explanation of why the student is participating in the challenge

Take the challenge! With your students, plan the logistics of raising money, doing the challenge safely, creating a video and sharing it (with careful attention to student privacy).


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

THE NEXT GREAT CHALLENGE: Have students research various charities Individually, or in groups, in order to “nominate” a charity for which they would like to create a “Challenge” to raise awareness and funds for research. Involve family, friends, and community members in learning about these charities.

  • Depending upon students abilities, have them share their findings with the class. (You might include criteria such as: mission of the charity, how much of the funds received go into research and care, etc.) 
  • As a class, select the charity for THE NEXT GREAT CHALLENGE 
  • Follow the steps the class implemented for the ALS challenge. 

Music Connectionsmore

Evidence of Learningmore

Review student’s card, letter or email to the person that they’d like to challenge to assess their understanding of the lesson’s content.


literature connectionsmore

TitleAuthorIllustratorBook Summary
Lou Gehrig: The Luckiest Man David A. AdlerTerry WidenerLou Gehrig's perseverance is legendary. During fourteen years as a first baseman for the New York Yankees, he played in a record 2,130 consecutive games, earning himself the nickname Iron Horse. Lou loved baseball and considered himself a very lucky man, even though on his thirty-sixth birthday he was diagnosed with a rare and fatal disease.
* PJ library Books