December is a perfect month to teach holidays from all around the world. Generally, some teachers focus on all types of holidays, and some teachers focus on Christmas, specifically in different countries. Either way, I do find it very important to add in a few days of Hanukkah learning, lessons, and activities. As a result, I’ve come up with lesson ideas and activities for Hanukkah. Also, many students follow the Jewish religion, so it’s important that they learn about more than just Christmas during the month of December!
To begin with, anchor charts are a great way to collect information throughout your unit. Also, starting units with a KWL chart and intentionally discussing students’ prior knowledge on this holiday is vital. This freebie shown below is a simple way to work as a class to collect information that students know about Hanukkah and want to learn about Hanukkah. It also comes with a menorah with separated candles so you can show the proper way to light a menorah.
Additionally, students can write their “K” and their “W” on Post-it notes to contribute to the chart. Or, you can have a class discussion and give volunteer responses to the class chart.
(FREEBIE Link: Hanukkah Anchor Chart Header)
Winter Holiday Videos
Brain Pop Video
(Video Link: Brain Pop Winter Holidays Video)
Brain Pop Jr. Video
(Video Link: Brain Pop Jr Winter Holiday Video)
Next, BrainPop Jr. and BrainPop have two Winter Holiday videos that teach students about these holidays. Here, they both have about four minutes of a history lesson on the reason behind Hanukkah and who celebrates it.
Fiction and Nonfiction Reading
Included in my lesson ideas and activities for Hanukkah are a few of my Hanukkah favorites for reading. Check each of these Amazon links out and consider adding them to your read-aloud stack or your classroom library. Here, there is a mix of nonfiction and fiction texts that teaches the meaning of Hanukkah, symbols of Hanukkah, together with the history of Hanukkah. Each link provided directs you to my Amazon affiliate book.
Hands-on Learning Resources
After your prior knowledge collection and read alouds introducing students to what Hanukkah is all about, it’s time for students to get their hands on some resources and start learning more about the holiday. Below are three resources that will help you teach Hanukkah in your classroom.
(Resource Link: Hanukkah Study within Christmas Around the World)
This resource pulls from a collection of other holidays around the world. It’s part of my Christmas Around the World unit. The entire unit focuses on Christmas, except for this holiday. Here, there are teacher resources and vocabulary pages, fact writing pages, together with a mini-book, and more!
Reading Comprehension and Writing
(Flip Book Link: Hanukkah Flip Book)
Included in my lesson ideas and activities for Hanukkah round-up is this mini flip book. It also comes with a nonfiction passage under the ‘Let’s Read’ page, then the following three pages are all about comprehension and writing!
Compare and Contrast Reading
(Paired Passages Link: Hanukkah Study within December Paired Passages)
My December Paired Passages come with five themes, with a fictional passage and a nonfiction passage to compare and contrast. Here, there is a paired set for Hanukkah, where the students read a nonfiction text and a fictional story about Hanukkah. Afterward, they can also complete comprehension activities and comparison activities about the two texts.
After searching through lots of blogs for cute crafts to suggest, I found two that I thought would benefit the kids the most. Hence, I picked two educational crafts to recommend to you. The reason I like these two is that there are lessons you can teach behind them.
First, when you make the menorah craft with the students, you can turn it into a lesson about the significance of the menorah, then, a lesson on the correct way to light a menorah. You can also have the students glue their candles and flame in the same order as the menorah when lit.
Second, the dreidel craft is beneficial for students when learning about Hanukkah. Here, the craft that you create also teaches the students about the real way to play with a dreidel if real dreidels aren’t available to them.
(Craft Link: Dim Sum, Bagels, and Crawfish)
(Dreidel Link: What Do We Do All Day)
Grab your Books!
Here are quick links for the read alouds listed above.
And finally, here are quick links for all the resources shown in the blog post.
(Flip Link: Hanukkah Flip Book)
(Paired Texts Link: December Paired Passage)
(Christmas Around the World Link: Christmas Around the World)