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Songs of the Morning



Cheshvan 5771   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock


Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 22. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at, click on Educators Corner to view our back issues.

Adult Learning: This month we will learn about Songs of the Morning.  We have some very beautiful traditions in the morning, starting with waking up and thanking Hashem (Modeh Ani) for returning our souls to us after a good nights sleep. Traditionally, ritual hand washing comes next (this is different than before eating Challah in that we pour the water once or twice (depending on your tradition) on the right and once/twice on the left for 3 successions) and make the bracha: …al netilat yadayim.  When we wash before Hamotzi we pour the water on the right 2-3 times and the left 2-3 times and say the same bracha. We also say the prayer Ma Tovu.  There are also prayers to thank Hashem for the Torah, for being free people, and for providing our needs. We say the Shema as well. Daily, we also take on the commitment to "Love your Neighbor as yourself". It is also a great time to discuss Tzedakah as part of our morning routine. Shlock Rock’s CD Songs of the Morning (see the link above) has some very fun and inspiring tunes to sing these traditional morning prayers. It is nice to introduce the children to different tunes to the prayers they may already know. Let’s keep our traditions new and exciting for our future generations! You could start this off as a Pajama Party and then just keep the morning prayers as part of your morning circle time each day!


Suggested Shlock Rock Songs: The Shlock Rock CD Songs of the Morning,   and "Modeh Ani" and  "Oh When the Jews"  from the CD Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1, "V'ahavta" from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together,  "When I say Boker Tov" and "Everyone I Meet" from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3, "Three Times a Day" from the Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, "Baruch Hagever" from GH 2 or Sgt Shlockers Magical History Tour, "Prayer Jumping" from Shlock Rock Meets the Prophets,  "Modeh Ani" from To Unite All Jews, "Am Yisroel Chai" and "Blessed is God" from Lenny and the Shlockers, "Hinay Ma Tov" from Shlock Rock Jewish Pride. To hear the songs, click the above links or here:  kids songs ,  original songs,  parody songs and Hebrew songs  then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your computer or MP3 player and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE. Looking for new tunes for Shabbat?? Check out Shlock Rock’s CD:  Shabbat in Liverpool, click here.   What a fun way to start your day!!


Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:



Israel Connection: Always remind your children, whenever you are doing things in the classroom, what is happening in Israel. (East Coast Time example) If you are doing circle time at 11:00am then tell the children that it is 6:00pm in Israel and the children there are having dinner! When we have lunch, it is bath time for Israeli children as they get ready for bed. Creating a daily connection to the land of Israel and its people is very important as it helps all our children understand that Israel is a real, living place, not just a place from the “olden days” in the Torah!! It also helps the children to understand that the Jewish community is connected to each other all over the world! Tell the children that Shlock Rock lives in Israel! J



Discussion/Math: Talk to the children about morning routines. How many children get up and wash their hands? How many wash their faces or brush their teeth in the morning? Talk about favorite breakfast foods and create a graph showing everyone’s favorites. Talk to the children about the importance of saying thank you each day. Modeh Ani!  When we say Modeh (for a boy) or Modah (for a girl) Ani, we are saying thank you to Hashem! How cool is it that our first job in the morning is to say thank you?!? (Wouldn’t Oprah be impressed?) Talk to the children about the importance of giving Tzedakah each day to help others.



Activity: Have each child decorate a hand towel to use for washing hands (this could also be used for Shabbat). Have the children decorate the towel with their hand prints using fabric paints. I have found cheap hand towels available at Wal-Mart and also in packs of 12 at Costco. You could also write the bracha on the towel as well (…al netilat yadayim). Please remember not to use Hashem’s real name on the towels as it would be disrespectful to wipe our hands on God’s name!



Project: Make a ritual hand washing cup (also can be used for Shabbat) from a recycled can (I used tomato sauce or a large can of chick peas – make sure to use a safety can-opener so there are no rough edges, or roll down any rough edges with pliers, you could also put a row of hot glue around the edges to make sure it’s safe). Take 2 plastic gallon milk jugs, cut off the handles (with some of the side of the jug around it to make attaching to the can easier, of course recycle the rest of the container!) and hot glue the handles to the can very well. After it dries, have the children decorate it using tissue paper, fabric (as pictured above) or construction paper with a glue wash, then when it is dry, paint over the whole thing with Modge Podge (so it is water proof). This idea is from the book Green Chagim – Recycle Your Way Through the Jewish Holidays available at .



Movement: Morning is a great time to get some exercise! Get the kids up and moving. Try dancing (or freeze dance) to "Baruch Hagever" from GH 2 or Sgt Shlockers Magical History Tour, "Prayer Jumping" from Shlock Rock Meets the Prophets,  "Modeh Ani" from To Unite All Jews, "Am Yisroel Chai" or "Blessed is God" from Lenny and the Shlockers, or all of the above. You will work up a hearty appetite!



Cooking/Science: Morning is a great time to cook! Make some yummy breakfast favorites like muffins or pancakes! Have the children prepare the pancake batter and after they are cooked, let the children decorate them to make a smiley face (Panim Yafot) using whipped cream hair, chocolate chip eyes, a banana slice nose and orange wedge mouth. Betayavon!






The Retting Family’s Favorite Pancake Recipe

3 cups of flour (feel free to sneak in some whole wheat flour!!)

½ cup sugar

3 tsp baking powder

4 eggs

4-6 T melted butter or margarine

2 cups of milk or pareve alternative

1 tsp vanilla

A few shakes of cinnamon (Shhh, it’s the secret ingredient and it helps hide the whole wheat flour!)


Spray a pan with cooking spray and fry on medium heat on each side until golden. Serve with real maple syrup (PLEASE stop buying that corn syrup maple flavored stuff, it is not good for you or your kids!!). J


Activity: Play the song “Modeh Ani” from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1 and have the children march around a circle and shake hands with their friends. You could continue this exercise with the songs “Everyone I Meet” and “When I say Boker Tov” from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 3. Make sure the kids smile J as they greet their friends and say Boker Tov/Good morning.  


***Please feel free to share this newsletter!! If you know someone who wants to be added to the list have them email me at [email protected]. To see our back issues go to and click on Educators Corner ***