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March 2010, Adar 5770   [email protected]   

Written by Nechama Retting, Director of Education for Shlock Rock


Welcome to Shlock Rock Educator’s Newsletter Volume 16. Our goal is to give you some new ideas for teaching about Mitzvot & Middot, Torah, Israel and the Holidays. Visit our website at


Adult Learning: The month of Adar is a time when our joy should increase in anticipation of Purim! This month we will be focusing on joy and being happy with all that we have. From Pirkei Avot 4:1- “Who is rich? One who is satisfied with his portion.”  Pirkei Avot - 6:6 – “Have satisfaction with what you have.” The 10th Commandment says that we should “not covet our neighbor’s property.” Being Satisfied with what we have is a very hard concept to learn; for children and even for some adults!!  It can also be a challenging concept to teach! But here at Shlock Rock, we make it fun!! J


Recommended SHLOCK ROCK songs: Satisfied” from the new CD Shlock Rock - No Limits, “Baruch HaGever” and “Hamantaschen” from Sgt. Shlocker’s Magical History Tour, “Rhythm of the Nation” and “Luckiest Ones in the World” from Songs from the Holy Land “G’milut Chasadim” from Bring Back that Shabbos Feeling, “Recognize the Miracles” from Shlock Rock Meets the Prophets, “Something from Nothing” from ReJewVenated, “Blessed is God” from Lenny and the Shlockers, “Mishenichnas” and “Purim” from Shlock Rock for Kids Sing Together, “Megillat Esther Song” from Shlock Rock for Kids We’re in the Band, “Bang the Gagger” from Shlock Rock for Kids Volume 1, “Purim Medley” from Shlock Rock for Kids Party Time, “Achashverosh” from Purim Torah, and “Hamantaschen” from Sgt. Shlockers Magical History Tour.


To hear the songs, click these links:  kids songs  or all other songs then click on the CD, then the song you want to hear. You can download songs to your MP3 player or computer and burn a CD for only $.99-$1.25 per song just click HERE Check out Shlock Rock’s newest CD: Shlock Rock No Limits available here. 

I love making my own personalized Shlock Rock CD’s by downloading different Shlock Rock songs. I have created a special Shlock Rock CD for each holiday. J


Suggested Activities to try with your students or family:


For Purim related activities click here.

For Purim book ideas:  Click here. 


Discussion: Purim is a time for joy!  It says in the Gemara (Ta’anit 29a) “When we begin the month of Adar, our simcha increases!” Discuss with the children ways to bring more simcha or joy into their lives and into the lives of others! How can our attitudes create joy for ourselves and for others? Can you bring joy to someone with kindness? Wouldn’t it be nice to make Hamantaschen for an area shelter or for the custodians in your building? A yummy hamantaschen recipe is available by clicking here.


Project: Create Appreciation Journals. Start off your day with appreciation! Have the children’s journals out and have them try and think of something that they are happy about that they can draw about in their journals each morning!  If they are older, they can write about it. Make “joy” cards for a nursing home. Plan a field trip to visit the residents of a nursing home and sing them some Purim songs.


Discussion/Game: Start a discussion about being happy. What makes you happy? If your friend gets a new toy, are you happy for them or do you wish you got a new toy too? This is an excellent time to talk about how much we are blessed to have. Do you remember to thank Hashem for all the blessings in your life?! How can we share some of our things with others who don’t have enough? Discuss what the children could do with their things that they have outgrown? Should they throw them away?

Talk about the differences between wants and needs. I want to eat candy, but I NEED food and a place to live. Make a list or graph of wants and needs that the children come up with. What things can you live without? What things can’t you live without? What happens if you don’t get what you want? What do you do? Do you cry? (See book suggestions below)


Using the ideas that the children come up with, you could make a matching game using images from the internet printed out onto card stock (Example: pictures of Ice cream, candy, TV, video games, etc… are “wants” and pictures of a house, family, healthy foods,

Shlock RockJ, warm clothing, Torah, plants that make air for us to breath, etc… are “needs”). 


Activity/At Home Connection: Arrange with your school families to have an exchange program where they can bring in things that families no longer need (things the children have outgrown like clothes, books, toys, baby items, sports/dance/music equipment,  etc…) and trade them with others for things they do need. Everyone wins!

Additionally, you could arrange various “drives” to help others in your community (clothing drive, food drive, school supply drive, winter clothing drive, etc….). This could also be done as a fundraiser to support Israel. Have families donate items to the school. Then have parent volunteers sell them (either as a community yard sale or on Craig’s List or E-bay) and send the proceeds to Charities in Israel (email me if you want suggestions of where to send tzedakah in Israel!!)


Dramatic Play: Act out the story Purim Surprise by Leslie Simpson. This is a story about a little girl who just moved to a new town and has no friends, plus Purim is her birthday! Naomi learns that giving to others makes her very happy and Satisfied in the end!


Act out the story It Could Always Be Worse. This is a really fun story to act out. Use animal puppets or masks (that you have or that the children create). Then use masking tape to create a house (a square) on the floor, and have the family keep adding more and more animals to the house until the family can’t take it anymore! Then have the Rabbi send all the animals out so the family can see how nice their house is and how much room they have! Are they finally content?


Game/Math: Create a store in your classroom using play money and cash registers. Put price tags on items (some items should be things you need and some should be things you might want) and then have the children “buy” items. What is the difference between want and need? Are you happy with your choices? Did buying those things make you happy? Did you have enough money for things you need? Do you have money to share with other people who don’t have enough?


Movement: Create some joy in your classroom or home by dancing! Choose any of the suggested Shlock Rock songs above and dance!!!!!  I recommend the songs: Achashervosh  from Purim Torah or Hamentaschen from Sgt Shlockers Magical History Tour, or Satisfied from Shlock Rock’s newest CD No Limits! So much fun!


Books related to being happy with your lot: Terrible, Terrible by Robin Bernstein and It Could Always Be Worse by Margot Zemach (These two stories are basically the same), The Tale of Meshka the Kvetch by Carol Chapman, Ella by Bill Peet, It’s Not Easy Being a Bunny by Dr. Suess, Sylvester and the Magic Pebble by William Steig, Arthur’s Vacation by Marc Brown, Elmer by David McKee, Leo the Late Bloomer by Robert Kraus, I Wish That I Had Duck Feet by Theo LeSieg, A Color of His Own by Leo Leoni, The Magic Fish by Freya Littledale, Bonjour Butterfly (a Fancy Nancy book) by Jane O’Connor and Robin Preiss Glasser, and Did I Ever Tell You How Lucky You Are? by Dr. Suess.

Purim book ideas:  Click here. 



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