Hanukkah Hullaballoo

Hanukkah's beginning is just days away. Learn more about the holiday by visiting Torah Tots Chanukah Story page for detailed explanations of the meaning and traditions of the Jewish Festival of Lights.
Students can practice "lighting" a candle each day without the hazard of fire with this colorful menorah printable from Nick Jr. Talking about the menorah is also a great opportunity to practice ordinal numbers as you light candles on the first, second, third, etc. days.

Read Eric Kimmel's The Magic Dreidels which is a Hanukkah twist on Grimm's Fairy Tale, "The Table, The Donkey and The Stick."

After reading Kimmel's story, print a paper dreidle template from Akhlah's Crafts page, so students can play the traditional dreidle game following these directions from Judaism.com. Then browse their Hanukkah books section for more ideas about what to read.

After playing the game, students can make dreidle candy boxes to fill and enjoy with step-by-step instructions and a template from Chabad.org's Chanukah page.

Images from Nick Jr., Eric Kimmel, Judaism.com, Chabad.org.


Lizzard said...

Lovely article. Just to let you know, there are two versions of the dreidel game. The one way you've posted is, I believe, more American in its origins. The other way is based on the fact that each Hebrew letter represents a number, so that whatever number you land on is the amount of gelt that you get. In this version, gimmel is 3, hay is 5, nun is 50, and shin is 300. This version is great for a classroom dreidel tournament, winner goes on. At least, I always enjoyed it as a kid, even if I never won.

One more interesting dreidel fact worth mentioning is that Israeli dreidels are different than dreidels anywhere else in the world. In Israel, the letters on the dreidels represent "Nes Gadol Hayah Po," meaning, "a Great Miracle Happened Here," versus everywhere else in the world, where you find the shin, representing the word "sham," which means "there." I'll leave it up to you teachers to figure out what sort of lesson can be made out of that :)

librarianism said...

Thanks, Liz, for the clarification about the dreidel game. The version you explained is great because it turns the game into a little bit of a math activity!