Civil Discourse:
A Lesson Plan

Photo credit: Zion Ozeri

By Joel Lurie Grishaver and Ira J. Wise for The Covenant Foundation

We believe that many people – our leaders, members of the media and citizens from all walks of life – truly want what they believe is best for America and the world. Thanks to social media, a 24- hour news cycle and nearly global connectivity, we have the ability (and some have the tendency) to instantly transmit our thoughts far and wide before we have a chance to actually consider whether we truly want to articulate them, and how.

As Jewish educators, we believe, as Rabbi Ben Bag Bag did over 2,000 years ago, that if we look at the Torah, turn it over and over, we can find the answers to nearly every problem. And so, we invite you to join us in considering how we can bring more kind and empathetic discourse – and possibly more peace – to our world.

Below, you’ll find the first unit in a 6 unit series on teaching civil discourse. Each lesson, which will be shared free of charge on The Covenant Foundation website, will have material appropriate for 6th/7th grades, 8-10th grades and 11th grade-Adult students.

Explore this lesson (available for free download) and others that will follow, and let us know if they bring a modicum of civility to your classrooms, and your worlds.

Joel Lurie Grishaver is an author, teacher, spiritual counselor, artist and the Creative Chairman of Torah Aura Productions, a publisher of books that help Jewish teachers create learning experiences in and out of the classroom. He lives in Los Angeles, CA.

Ira J. Wise is Director of Education at Congregation B’nai Israel in Bridgeport, CT and also a teacher, author, mentor, educational consultant and Joel’s student.

This post originally appeared in Sight Line, the digital journal of The Covenant Foundation. Reprinted with permission.