Lost and Found
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Lost and Found

Tags: Book based 

Lesson Summary:

This lesson explores the Mitzvah of returning lost things.


  • Students will be able to create a midrash, a creative interpretation and addition to a story, religious practice or law found in Torah, that addresses relevant questions about the text
  • Students will understand that Rabbis and others have been questioning and seeking understanding of the Torah for thousands of years. 
  • Two of the methods for finding meaning from text are commentary and midrash.
  • Students will be able to define midrash

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


Copy of “One Little Chicken” by Elka Weber
Copies of appendix A, B, & C:
Deuteronomy Text(Lost And Found Appendix A)
Rashi's Commentary(Lost And Found Appendix B).
The Book Of Legends(Lost And Found Appendix C)


Before/ Set Induction:
Ask students about times they have lost something important to them, or FOUND something someone else lost. Use their stories to ask questions about what they think our responsibility is for found items: For example, “Should we keep or use items we find? “Is it ever acceptable to keep things we find? If so, under what circumstances? “ “Do we have responsibility to try to find the owner?” etc.

During/ Learning Activities:
1) Distribute Deuteronomy Text(Lost And Found Appendix A)
a Torah verse regarding lost items. Guide the discussion, focusing on what we learned and what questions we have from this Torah portion. List questions on board.
Questions may include:

What does it mean to turn a blind eye?
How should I take care of the lost item while I have it?
At what point does it become “mine”?

2) Explain that Jews have always had questions about our texts. One way that we have attempted to answer these questions is through commentary, and discussion. Rabbis and students would discuss their questions. Provide the adapted  Rashi's Commentary(Lost And Found Appendix B). Ask them which question Rashi is answering. What is his answer?

3) Explain that another way Jews have traditionally answered these questions is with midrash (learn more about midrash). Define midrash, or ask students to define it if they have learned it in the past)

Read One Little Chicken - move students to circle space, ask them to sit on the floor, or something else to change their position.

4) Ask students how the story relates to our text from Deuteronomy (Appendix B). What is it teaching us about how to treat other people’s possessions while we hold them? Which questions about the Torah does it answer?

5) Ask students to look at the midrash in The Book Of Legends(Lost And Found Appendix C)
. Again ask them which questions about the Torah this is answering.

6)Create your own Midrash – In small groups of 3-4 create a short (1-2 minute) skit about finding a lost item that answers some of our questions about this text. (Suggested scenarios – you find a gold ring/ipod on the ground at school, you find lost dog, etc)

7) Presentation of skit. With each skit ask students again which of the questions are being answered by their midrash.

Concluding Activites:
Ask students to practice being commentators like Rashi. Choose questions that have been unanswered by any of the sources or skits and ask students to tell us what they think the answers would be.

Possible Areas for Differentiated Instruction:
Students can be allowed to choose between a skit, a written story, a poem, or a song to tell their midrash. They can choose to work individually or in groups.
Adapted texts can be presented in Hebrew for students who can handle read and understand the Hebrew.


Explore, Discover, and More Extension and Reinforcement Activitiesmore

Music Connectionsmore

Evidence of Learningmore

Student used midrashim as a method to further explain Jewish thought and belief.
Student’s commentaries demonstrate the importance of questioning and discussion in developing a deeper understanding and meaning of Jewish text.


Lesson Contributors

Becca Tullman, Religious School Principal, Temple Kol Emeth, Marietta, GA