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Lesson Objective:
Understand the importance of Maimonides’ Ladder and giving to charity.

Lesson Outcome:
By the end of the lesson, the children will have learnt more about Maimonides’ Ladder of Charity and thought about how best to give tzedakah

Maimonides’ Ladder of Charity Picture
Levels of Tzedakah
The Donors
The Donors large



  • Refer back to Ladders – Look at the ladders from last week and discuss why Maimonides believed that these eight levels should be placed in this order.


Main Teaching

  • Order the “Donors” stories – Working in pairs, children to use Maimonides’ Ladder to place the eight different donors in order. Prompt with questioning and encourage teamwork. When finished, order large version of stories on the board for whole class to agree.



  • Option 1: Add Donor Stories to class/individual ladder – Creatively, or as they are, add the donors’ stories to the ladder rungs.


  • Option 2: Write own version of donor stories – Children to write own versions of the donor stories, to add to the class/individual ladders. Ensure that each rung has an alternative story. Again, creatively add these to the ladder.
    Example of donor stories:
    Level  3 – A family decides to give some money to charity. Instead of donating online, they sponsor a child in a deprived area of Africa. They are sent a picture of the boy and regular updates on his well-being. The boy will never know the names of the family, but will receive a large proportion of the regular donation.
    Level 8 – A man was out with his family when a Big Issue seller asks him to buy his last copy of the magazine. The man refuses, but after being nagged by his daughter to give him the £2 for the copy, he grudgingly accepts and gives the seller the money.


  • Option 3: Get the children to choose two charities of their own and plan how to support them. Let children propose arguments for the different charities after having researched them and then make a democratic vote.


  • Option 4:  Create and decorate tzedakah boxes – Use any kind of material, cardboard, recycled boxes like an old shoe boxe or LEGO. Write the name of the charity on the box and the reasons why they chose this charity.


  • Option 5: Tzedakah Newspaper – assign the different parts of the newspaper to the students and incorporate everything they have learned, whether about Maimonides, the donor stories, or the charity they might have chosen.Front page – with Tzedakah written in Hebrew
    News stories
    Interview with Maimonides
    Images of tzedaka boxes



  • Review the ladder – Looking back at the ladder, think about individual situations and where children would place themselves. Ask children to justify why they would place themselves on that rung and how they can move themselves up the ladder.
  • Review their ability to give money – how much should/can they give and how can they find the money. Ask children to think of ways they can earn/find money individually and as a group. Example: discuss with their parents different options of earning at home by doing different chores.