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Roots of Prayer Game

Item Number  57008

Grades: 3-5
Time: 30-45 minutes
Format: Card Game

If available use the pull-down below to see other materials
that are bought along with this item.

When students can recognize the root of a word, the word is both more readily decoded and more easily pronounced. Roots of Prayer provides students with an opportunity to practice finding the root of a word in familiar prayer vocabulary. Four decks of 36 cards each.


The most frequent Jewish teaching which goes on today, is the mechanical reading of Hebrew prayers. Usually, a phonetic approach is the center of this process, good results can however be obtained by mixing this with emphasis on analytical grammar.

Taken out of the jargon, this means that students can have a greater success at reading Hebrew texts when they have a sense of the grammar. This does not mean that they have to have the “active” skill of knowing how to construct all the binyanim and how to add all the pronomial suffixes etc. It does mean, that when the student can recognize the root, and have a sense of what has been added to it, the word is both more readily decodable and more easily pronounced.

This card game is a way of beginning a low key approach to analytical Hebrew grammar.


I. That through use of these cards, players will be able to demonstrate an ability to recognize Hebrew roots in complex word forms.

2. That through the use of these cards, players will drill their ability to read phrases from key prayers in the liturgy.

3. That through the use of these cards, players will demonstrate an ability to identify the prayers from which these phrases were taken.


I. You will find multiple copies of the 32 cards in this deck within this gaming pack. Each of these decks should be cut out and rubber-banded together.

2. This pac should contain a full classroom set of card decks, and you should cluster 1 to 4 students around each deck.

3. These cards can be used a number of times, in a number of different sessions, here is one recommended progression of their usage.

a. Have students shuffle the decks, and then work as a group to sort the cards into groups where the underlined words are build out of the same basic letters.

Following the successful completion of the task, introduce or point out the idea of the Hebrew root. This should include (I) the fact that it usually consists of three letters, (2) that prefixes and suffixes are added -you will want to make a list of these on the board, and (3) you will want to go over the meaning of each of the roots found in the card-deck.

If the class is at the right level, you will want to divide between nouns and verbs.

b. Have students play old-maid with these cards. Old-maid is a game where students try to make packs of 4 from the cards. The cards are divided evenly among the players. Then, each of the players lays out any packs they found. Then play begins. One at a time, players draw cards from the player on their right. The play goes round and round the circle. As packs are completed, they are laid down. The first player to lay down all his cards is the winner.

In order to further drill the cards, you can insist that the players either read aloud every card they draw from another player, or that they read aloud every pack they lay out.

c. Using the siddur or using photocopied texts of the key prayers, students should work in pairs, and match the phases to the prayers from which they come.

d. Students should then play Go Fish with the cards, being forced to ask for specific roots or being forced to ask for phrases from speciric prayers.

e. Students should make and play with decks of their own design. Students should be given a prayerbook, or a set of photocopied prayers. They should first isolate other uses of these roots in that collection and should then find other roots which are frequently re-used. With these new roots they should construct their own decks and continue playing with them.

4. This is a simple game, it can be transformed into more complicated forms, but as described - it meets a specific educational goal.

Item Availability       Available Now
Price    $8.95
For  EA


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