Know what Chanukah is and why we celebrate it
Understand the importance of the story of Chanukah
Learn about the foods and symbols associated with Chanukah
By the end of the lesson, the children will have understood the meaning and importance of Chanukah and thought about the symbols associated with the festival
- Brainstorm about Chanukah – recap prior knowledge about Chanukah. Encourage children to name any customs or traditions we have and do on Chanukah.
- Read the Chanukah Story with emphasis on the miracle of the oil lasting for 8 days. Discuss what happens in the story, answering any questions that are asked. Brainstorm on the board all the characters from the story and talk a little bit about each one. Make sure that all of the key characters have been added, prompting the class or briefly recapping the story if necessary.
- Show a Chanukiah – Ask children if they know what this is used for. Relate this back to the miracle of the oil they already know about from the story. (You may wish to light it for the children).
- Read the Chanukah Blessings – Encourage the children to repeat the blessing after you in small sections so that they can remember and recognise familiar words and phrases. Older children should try to read the blessings independently.
- Option 1: Create a character for the story – Give children a ‘man’ template and ask them to draw one of the main characters from the story. Once they have drawn and coloured their character, have a show and tell where each child has the chance to explain who they have drawn. Prompt the class to recall each character’s part in the story. (Encourage children to create different characters, so that a full set can be made by the class)
- Option 2: Chanukah Food Quiz – Show and name foods, asking children when they are traditionally eaten. Is it a food we eat at Chanukah or at another time?
Foods could include:Cheesecake or other Cheesy food (Shavuot), Apples and Honey or Honey Cake (Rosh Hashanah), Challah or Grape Juice (Shabbat), Fruits from a tree (Tu B’shevat), Matzah (Pesach), Hamentashen (Purim), NOTHING (Yom Kippur), Donuts, Latkes… (Chanukah).Prompt a short discussion about the foods that have been eaten. What makes them all similar etc? Cut and stick (or draw own versions) pictures and write a label naming the food and when we traditionally eat the foods. (If you can use real food, this will make the lesson even more exciting for the children).
- Option 3: Make a Clay Chanukiah – Using air dry clay the children can make their own simple Chanukiah. These will need to be simple and the children should be encouraged to think briefly about a before beginning the clay work. Remember that the clay should be air dry so if items are too chunky then they will not dry properly.
- Option 4: Re-tell the Chanukah Story – Children to retell the Chanukah story using the storyboard template. Children to draw pictures and write the story in their own words.
- Light a Chanukiah – Light a Chanukiah and sing some songs or read through the Chanukah blessings.