Learn & Play
Lesson Plan

Why Does Your Sukkah Look Like That?

Dwelling in a sukkah is the focal point of the festival of Sukkot. Wherever Jews have lived, they have built sukkot for the festival. The materials that were used for the sukkot or the places where they were built depended on a variety of factors, such as the climate and living conditions.

What factors come into play when building a Sukkah, and has the structure changed througout history?

Group Activity

Before splitting up into three groups, read the verses about sukkot from Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:42–43 and ask:  If everyone bases their sukkah on the same verse, why would they look different in different places and at different times? What environmental and societal factors might influence what the sukkah looks like?

Then, each group will examine one of the three sukkot with the corresponding worksheet:

  1. Sukkot in Russia Worksheet
  2. Sukkot in Mea Shearim Worksheet
  3. Sukkot in Germany Worksheet


Finally, new groups are formed comprising one person from each of the original groups. Each person presents their resource and explains what they have learned about it. Compare and document the shared findings in a Venn diagram worksheet.

Discussion Questions

  • What environmental and societal factors influence what a sukkah looks like?
  • How does that manifest in your sukkah or other sukkot you have seen?
  •  What can you learn about Jewish culture and tradition from this activity?

Creative Activity

  • Write a journal entry for someone who visited one of the sukkot examined.
  • Draw or describe your family's sukkah or a sukkah in your community. Explain how it reflects the environment and society in which you live.
  • Write a short story that takes place in one of the sukkot examined.
Save/Print PDF

Before splitting up into three groups, read the verses about sukkot from Vayikra (Leviticus) 23:42–43 and ask:  If everyone bases their sukkah on the same verse, why would they look different in different places and at different times? What environmental and societal factors might influence what the sukkah looks like?

Then, each group will examine one of the three sukkot with the corresponding worksheet:

  1. Sukkot in Russia Worksheet
  2. Sukkot in Mea Shearim Worksheet
  3. Sukkot in Germany Worksheet


Finally, new groups are formed comprising one person from each of the original groups. Each person presents their resource and explains what they have learned about it. Compare and document the shared findings in a Venn diagram worksheet.

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