Top 5 Hanukkah Activities December 03 2009

The diverse holidays celebrated during the month of December gives us the opportunity to compare and contrast them with our students. Today's post is about Hanukkah, and the next post will be about Kwanzaa. I've created the December Holidays Process Chart to help you and your kids discover the similarities and differences between Hanukkah, Kwanzaa and Christmas.

Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday that begins this year on December 11th. I've included a variety of activities to help your kids understand the different parts of this holiday.

Reading

An overview of the Hanukkah history and celebration that is an appropriate reading level is a bit difficult to find. InWhat Is Hanukkah the past, I've checked out a couple of picture books from the library and ended up buying them because I came back to them each December. What is Hanukkah is a great example.

When you check out the Hanukkah picture books, read a two or three of them in the course of a few days, to help your kids absorb the story.

Listening

Chabad Kids has a couple of amazing resources for kids. I like the idea of having students listen to the story, and it might be a good idea to project the sound to the whole class during a read-aloud time. The audioplay is called the Miracle of the Maccabees, and it's free!

An important part of the Hanukkah celebration is the variety of songs. Chabad Kids also provides not only the original lyrics and translations of these songs, but audio for our listening pleasure - also, free!

Playing

If you have some time with your kids in the computer lab, check out this variety of Hanukkah online games and activities.

Cooking

To help your kids get the flavor of this holiday, here are Three Hanukkah Recipes that include Potato Latkes and Dreidel Cookies. Copy off one or two and send them home with your kids to try with their families, or - if you're really brave - make one of them at school.

Watching

Chabad Kids has this illustrated Hanukkah story. The sound is a bit shaky and the picture is small, so it might be more appropriate as an independent activity in the computer lab (with headphones).

And last but certainly not least, the menorah. Here's a short video about how to light one!

As your kids absorb this information about Hanukkah, take a few moments after each lesson to fill out the December Holidays Process Chart.