Learn & Play
Lesson Plan

Inside and Outside the Sukkah

Take a peek into a family sitting in their sukkah and celebrating sukkot! In this unit we will analyze a picture by Moritz Daniel Oppenheim from 1867, and learn about some aspects of Jewish life in Germany at the time.

What can you learn about Jewish life of families in 1867 Germany from peeking into their Sukkah?

Discussion Questions

  • Describe what you see in the picture: Who are the people? What are they doing? 
  • Describe the objects in the photograph (for example, their clothing, the decorations). What do they tell us about the people? 
  • Look at the expressions on the people’s faces. How does this enrich your understanding of the picture? 
  • Is this picture representative of German Jewry at the time?
  • Can you see people from different class backgrounds in the painting? Explain. 
  • Do you think the boys peering into the Sukkah are Jewish? Why or why not? 
  • In the painting the artist has frozen a moment in time. Imagine what was going on either before or after this particular moment. 
  • Do you think the artist wanted to convey a message in his painting? What do you think it is? 
  • What other questions do you have about this painting? 
  • Compare the Sukkah in the painting to a modern-day Sukkah. In what ways is it the same or different? 

Group Activity

Create a digital worksheet using Marqueed, an online tool for annotating images that will enable you to analyze the drawing. 

Creating a digital worksheet with the image 

  1. Save the Sukkah image to your computer. 
  2. Upload the image to Marqueed. 
  3. Copy the link to the image. 
  4. Send the link to your students. 
  5. Ask students to add questions or comments on the picture by highlighting the part of the picture they want to work on.To add your comments or questions, highlight the part of the picture you would like to work or comment on.  

This activity could be done during class time by showing the picture on a smart board or a projector. (Students will then not need private accounts). You could also send the link to your students for individual or group study. Finally, as a flipped classroom activity, you could send the link to your students as a homework activity and then discuss the picture in the following lesson.  

Save/Print PDF
  • Describe what you see in the picture: Who are the people? What are they doing? 
  • Describe the objects in the photograph (for example, their clothing, the decorations). What do they tell us about the people? 
  • Look at the expressions on the people’s faces. How does this enrich your understanding of the picture? 
  • Is this picture representative of German Jewry at the time?
  • Can you see people from different class backgrounds in the painting? Explain. 
  • Do you think the boys peering into the Sukkah are Jewish? Why or why not? 
  • In the painting the artist has frozen a moment in time. Imagine what was going on either before or after this particular moment. 
  • Do you think the artist wanted to convey a message in his painting? What do you think it is? 
  • What other questions do you have about this painting? 
  • Compare the Sukkah in the painting to a modern-day Sukkah. In what ways is it the same or different? 

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