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Where To Start?
The task of writing a shiur can be a daunting one. How to navigate a seemingly infinte amount of Torah, modern and ancient and how on earth to morph it into something which is both coherent and interesting to your chanichim!
Do not fear as this page will walk you through how to prepare a world class shiur in no time at all!
1. Choose A Topic
Let’s narrow down what you want to speak about:
Is your starting point an interesting source, is it a Jewish theme or concept or is it a question that is likely bothering your chanichim?
Then ask yourself: does your topic fit neatly into a category like Tanach or Gemara or does it cross over many different areas such as a purim shiur which touches on halacha and philosophy?
2. Develop the Idea
Now think about your chosen topic and what is interesting about it, what themes and messages excite you and what you want to deliver to the chanichim.


When refining the idea at this stage, you should have the age and level of the chanichim in mind – the shiur is for them and shouldn’t be too advanced nor to basic for them!
3. Gather Your Sources
Now You know what you want to speak about, it’s time to find mekorot (sources) that build towards this idea.
Consider your starting point: Does your topic assume prior knowledge or do you need to include some sources which help ‘set the scene’? If you need to explain something extra for context, do you want to do so verablly or do you want to include that as part of the shiur?
Be careful not to overdo the number of sources, better to pick the most relevant points and discuss them in depth.
Also try to vary your sources, from modern to classic, secular and non-Jewish sources can also enhance a shiur when appropriate. There may just be a poem which reflects your ideas!
4. Order Your Sources
When deciding how to structure your shiur, take into account the background of sources – when were they written and who by will influence which order is best to structure a source – if you have the Gur Aryeh (a supercommentary on Rashi) and Rashi, Rashi should come first!
Also make sure that you are building ideas from the roots. Start with passukim and Mishna/Gemara, then build into Rishonim like Rashi, Ramban, Ramban then Acharonim and Modern thinkers!
If talking about halacha, the shulchan Aruch & Rema serve as a bottom line, unless there is a relevant more modern source e.g. Rav Rimon explaining the halachot of a slow cooker on shabbat. 
5. Select Your Sources!
Here are some useful websites: (Contains translations of all the major parts of Torah as well as having loads of crowdsourced source sheets – use the search tool!)  (lots of digital shiurim available from a range of people – helpful for in-depth thought on many topics) shiurim on every topic from a range of speakers from YU and beyond) (A range of short-form divrei Torah by prominnet of American Rabbis) (A digital archive containing most of Rabbi Sacks works and quotes, also has helpful worksheets, videos and lesson plans) (Translation of some parts of Torah plus some engaging shiur ideas ready-written) (Great for teaching about Israeli and Jewish history) (very useful for parasha summaries as well as Rambam and Tanach translations)
Rav Hirsch collected writings.html (some free digitised works of Rav Shimshon Refael Hisrch)
6. Build Your Source Sheet
Now you’ve gathered all of the sources, it’s time to decide how to organise and present them!
Any classic source sheet worth it’s salt will have a nice clear title which will provide a hook or indication of what the shiur is about, plus a subtitle if elaboration is needed.
Think about breaking your shiur down into clear sections as you tackle different themes or build up each stage of the idea.
Throwing in some questions to signpost discussions that will take place during the either consider just including the crucial parts of long sources or removing some!
Now you’re ready to make sure everything looks just right when you put it all together…
7. Nailing The Appearance
Here’s a quick checklist to make sure your sheet is user-friendly:
A. Box in the sources – helps show which hebrew and english are together and where a source starts and end
B. Use colours and pictures – make things stand out and emphasise important points
C. Maximum 2 sheets of paper – if it’s too long cut down long sources to just the crucial bits!
D. Check that hebrew is from right and english is from left
E. Check fonts, text size and spacing is consistent throughout – easily missed when copying in sources!
F. Ensure each source is ordered in number 
G. Don’t forget your english translations!
8. The Final Preparation
Congratulations, you’re almost ready to give over your shiur! There’s just a couple more things to think about:
Your Knowledge: make sure you really understand the sources you’ve presented and check that the flow of the shiur makes sense.
Practice presenting the shiur and see how long it takes, check that you don’t have to rush to cover all your content!
Master Source Sheet: create another sheet which has a script for giving the shiur and has potential answers to discussion points – this will help you explain your shiur and keep things flowing! It also allows you to include any bonsu sources you didn’t include but you may still wish to discuss.
9. Take A Test Drive
Before you hit the print button, send the shiur to some people: friends, madrichim, teachers or parents to get their feedback; a fresh set of eyes may spot a spelling mistake or provide some ideas you didn’t think of! If you’re on machane, during pre-camp ask others if you can practice on them and ask for them to give constructive feedback.
10. Ready, Set, Go!
You did it, now you’re fully ready to give the shiur of a lifetime – strap in and head over to the How to run Chinuch Session page for inspiration and advice on how to deliver your shiur most effectively!
Also check, out below some example templates of how to set up your source sheet – striking that balance between the clarity and the appeal/wow factor!