Achan takes the spoils of Jericho, Part 3

  • 50 minutes
  • Grades: 5-6
  • Lesson Plan
  • by: Rabbi Eli Kohn

Students study Sefer Yehoshua 7:6-9 in greater detail.

Lesson objectives

The student will:
1. Describe reaction to the defeat against Ai. (7:6)
2. Relate what Yehoshua says to God. (7:7-9)


Students should be able to:
1. read the verses with understanding.
2. read the verses with punctuation (use of Taamei Hamikra).
3. compare and contrast parallel texts.


Students will:
1. appreciate the importance of humbling oneself before God.
2. appreciate the importance Kiddush Hashem (sanctifying God’s name).

Resources & Equipment needed

Tanakh for every student


1. The teacher should read the verses clearly and then ask students to read—a different student for each verse. It is important for the teacher to read first so that the student can learn how to read the verses properly. The teacher should be particular to emphasize the words correctly and utilize Taamei Hamikra – in particular the etnachta and zakef katan– in punctuating the verse.

2. The teacher should reread verse six and ask the following questions: (a) How does Yehoshua react to what has happened? Where else in Tanakh do we find such a reaction? The students should think of examples. If they do not suggest it, mention the story of the complainers in Beha’alotekha and Korach. (b) What does falling on one’s face signify? Is this still practiced today? (There are similarities to Tachanun– a sign of humbling oneself in front of God).

3. The seventh verse should be reread and the teacher should ask the students to relate Yehoshua’s argument. Discuss with the class whether or not his response can be justified.

4. After reading verses 8-9 again, the teacher should pose the following questions: (a) What is Yehoshua’s argument here? Is this disrespectful to God? Who else uses this argument in Tanakh? See Moshe’s arguments after the sin of the Golden Calf (God wants to destroy the people but by using this argument Moshe saves the people). A comparison between this chapter and Parshat Ki Tisa should be made. The teacher should emphasize the importance of avoiding a Chilul Hashem (profaning God’s name) and making Kiddush Hashem (sanctifying God’s name). The teacher should mention examples from the student’s own life, like interaction with non-Jews etc.

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