Milchemet Hamelachim, Part 3

  • 40 minutes
  • Grades: 2-3
  • Lesson Plan

Four-lesson unit on Bereshit 14: 1-24. Students participate in multiple intelligences exercises in order to understand the battle of the kings. Includes worksheets.

Lesson objectives

Students will be able to
1. Relate this story of Milchemet Hamelachim (see lesson 2)


Students will be able to appreciate
1. Avram’s self-sacrifice in going to war and saving his nephew Lot.
2. The mitzvah of pidyon shvuyim (redeeming captives).


I. Homework Review Choose three students to explain why they think Pidyon Shvuyim is such an important mitzvah. Discuss.

II. Student Pantomime Preparation Divide students into groups of four. Give them five minutes to prepare the scene of the fugitive running to tell Avram about Lot’s capture, Avram preparing for battle, fighting, and saving Lot. Group divisions: 1. Narrator – reads the verses slowly and carefully, and doubles as Lot’s property. 2. Avram – listens to the fugitive, prepares students for battle, fights and returns Lot and his belongings. 3. Fugitive – tells the story to Avram and doubles as Avram’s students. 4. The enemy – fights and loses against Avram, runs away, then comes back and doubles as Lot.

III. Student Performances Call up groups to perform. Optional: Teacher and students can rate each group and choose a best performing team. Announce winner at the end of class. (You can even give out certificates, and tell students ahead of time that they will be recognized for outstanding achievement).

IV. Discussion T: All of you who acted like Avram’s students, how did it feel to go to war? S: Scary!. T: Those of you who acted like Lot, how did it feel to be returned home with your family? S: Relieved! Happy! T: Those who acted like Avram, how did it feel to be told to Lot was captured? S: Scary! Surprised! T: But you didn’t hesitate to run to save him. Why not? S: Because he’s my nephew S: It’s mitzvat pidyon shvuyim. T: What do we learn about Avram that he went straight to war to save Lot, even though he was outnumbered, and he didn’t even get along so well with Lot, and probably hadn’t seen him in years? S: That he does what’s right and doesn’t think about himself, even if it’s scary or dangerous. S: That he doesn’t fear for his own safety. S: That Avram was a really kind and selfless man.

X. Conclusion T: If you could perform your skit again, what would you do differently, now that you understand Avram a bit more? S: Varies. T: In Israel, at least 6 Israeli soldiers have been missing in battle. They were captured just like Lot. No one knows where they are now. What can we do to help them? S: Try to find them S: Pray. S: Send letters to their families that we want to help. Announce winning team. Dismiss students