Group Size: 10-50
Estimated Time: 45 minutes
Download this file (30 KB)
Did you download this file and do you have something to share?
This is the place!
Goal: To examine the processes by which we chose leaders, both officially and on a day-to-day, informal basis. To evaluate some of the characteristics that we look for in leaders and ways that we discern those traits in others.
The simplest and most effective game to play with children of this age is some variation on “Follow the Leader” or “Simon Says.” It is important for this week’s noseh, however, that the emphasis in these games is not on the directions being carried out by the players, but on the instructions that are given by the leader.
Prepare to play the game in several rounds. Start out by asking for volunteers – some kids will jump up the minute you mention volunteering, while other will inevitably hold back.
For the first round, chose one of the chanichim raising their hands to be the “leader.” Instruct the leader to be Simon and to give the rest of the group directions to follow – “Simon says raise your hand,” “Simon says hop twice on your left foot,” etc. Make sure to stop this round after a few minutes, before the kids get bored.
For the second round, ask for volunteers again and make a point of choosing one of the kids who did not volunteer. (If the child does not want to be “leader,” encourage him/her by promising to help with directions). Have the leader give similar “Simon says” instructions. Again, do not allow this round to stretch beyond a few minutes.
For the third round, try to chose a leader who is somewhat charismatic. Take this chanich/a to the side and instruct him/her to choose a simple hand motion, body motion, dance step, etc. and to return to the group and simply begin to do this action repeatedly without explanation, i.e. without giving any instructions. Now that the chanichim are in the “Simon Says” mode, some will probably start to copy the leader without ever being explicitly told to do so.
When this round is over, discuss with the chanichim:
· How was the first leader chosen? Try to think of community / school / government / peer leaders who attain their leadership positions simply by volunteering to serve.
· How was the second leader chosen? Can you think of leaders who are appointed rather than volunteering or running for office, etc.? Can these people still be effective leaders? (Answer should be yes – discuss why and it which contexts)
· Why did the chanichim follow the first two leaders? Why did they follow the third one? How did they identify the third chanich/a as a leader when he/she did not give direct instructions?
In a democratic society, one of the ways we chose leaders is by evaluating the way they present their ideas. Come to snif prepared with a topic for a mock “candidates’ debate” and three defensible positions on that issue. Fun topics to debate might include shortening summer vacation (one position being that it will improve students’ academic proficiency, a second position being staunchly opposed under any circumstances, and a third position agreeing that shortening summer break would be beneficial but only if the other breaks during the year were extended), enforcing kachol v’lavan at snif (or the opposite if your galil already does that), etc. The older chanichim might be more stimulated by debates on political or ethical issues. The important thing is that you, as madrich/a, chose a topic that your kvutza will find relevant.
Choose three chanichim to participate in a three-way “candidates’ debate.” Explain that these three candidates are all vying for the position of city mayor, student council president, Bnei Akiva mazkir, or some other relevant leadership post. Assign each candidate a position to defend. Split the rest of the kvutza into three groups and send each group off into a corner with one of the candidates. Give the groups ten minutes to discuss the topic and to help their candidates develop a solid argument for their assigned position. When the groups reconvene, have the three candidates sit at the front of the group, facing their peers. The madrich/a should be the moderator for this debate and should set time limits and rules for initial presentation, response to audience questions, etc. Allow the debate to proceed for about fifteen to twenty minutes, or as long as there is interest.
When the debate is over, discuss with the chanichim:
· If you were going to vote for a leader based on the debate just conducted, who would you chose (emphasize that the chanicha/a‑candidates were not representing themselves, but fictionalized political candidates)?
· Did the debate help you make up your mind? What did you learn about the candidates from the debate other than their positions on this specific issue? (demeanor, clarity of expression, ability to convince others, ability to conceed/compromise, etc.) How important are a leader’s opinions on issues and how important are other things about their personality?
· Is a debate always a good way to choose leaders? On what other things might we base our decisions?
· Does presentation of ideas (in this type of debate forum or in some of the others you discussed in response to the previous question) apply only to political leadership? What about religious leaders, administrative leaders, peer leaders, etc.?
Choosing Shaul vs. Choosing David
Although Shaul and David were divinely appointed kings anointed by the prophet Shmuel and not elected or peer-selected leaders, an examination of their initial designation as national leaders is still relevant to this noseh. (Remember that Shaul, the first king, was chosen in response to the nation’s request – see Shmuel I, chapter 8).
Compare Shumel I, chapter 9 - the appointment of Shaul – with Shmuel I, chapter 16 – the appointment of David. Look specifically at 9: 2, with reference to Shaul:
and at 16:7, Hashem’s instructions to Shmuel regarding David:
· What were Shaul’s outstanding characteristics? What were David’s?
· What did Hashem warn Shmuel regarding appointing a leader? How does this factor into our own selection of leaders?