Online Resources for Teaching about the Shofar

| By Yonah Kirschner, Project Manager, Digital Content and Communications

During the month of Elul, the shofar is sounded each morning to wake the Jewish community from its “slumber” and to call us to repentance. The shofar is also a reminder of the upcoming High Holidays and the spiritual work that awaits us before and during those days. Though many students are familiar with hearing the shofar around the High Holidays each year, they may not fully understand its meaning and symbolism. We’ve collected online resources to introduce the shofar and its sounds to young learners as well as more advanced resources for older students. By studying the shofar, your students will be able to have a more meaningful Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur experience.

 

The Shofar at JewishKids.org
You can integrate this short reading about blowing the shofar and its meaning with your Learning Management System (LMS) and create reading comprehension questions for students to answer about what they learned.

Just Jew It - How to Blow the Shofar for Rosh Hashana
This educational video is just silly enough to keep your students’ attention. For any students who are very dedicated to learning how to blow the shofar themselves, this video is a great introduction. You could also use it for a flipped classroom lesson in which students watch the video at home and then everyone tries out blowing the shofar in class.

How To Make A Shofar from MyJewishLearning
Though your students likely don’t have access to a ram’s horn to create a halachic shofar, you could challenge them to use these instructions to design and 3D print a shofar in a makerspace instead. Creating their own shofar will give students a new appreciation for the efforts that go into making the special ritual object.

Celebrate Rosh HaShanah with Shalom Sesame: Sounding the Shofar
Early childhood educators won’t want to miss “The Sticky Shofar” video series here, which teaches the shofar and its meaning to young learners. There’s also a longer Shalom Sesame Rosh Hashanah playlist you can use to reinforce the themes of the shofar and the High Holidays.

Shofar Resources from Sefaria
Here students can search Sefaria for “shofar” and find over 500 related texts to study. There are also more than 30 source sheets related to the shofar that students can browse. Teachers can challenge more advanced students to study source sheets that are all in Hebrew. Students can also use the existing source sheets as inspiration for creating their own and then teaching their peers about the shofar.

11 Reasons Why We Blow the Shofar on Rosh Hashanah from Chabad
This fun Buzzfeed-like “listicle” explains the many reasons for blowing the shofar and includes interesting pictures for each one. Teachers can integrate the article into their Learning Management System (LMS) to ask reading comprehension and extension questions (e.g. what picture(s) would you include for this reason?) You can also challenge students to create their own similar presentation about the shofar complete with images and explanations. They can get creative and give their own interpretations of the shofar and also explain which reason they connect with the most.

 

Related Reading:
Tools for Elul: EdTech to Foster Deeper Student Reflection
16 Online Resources to Support Your High Holiday Curriculum

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