How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

November 29, 2023

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

December is a great time to teach our kids about holidays around the world, traditions, cultures and the beauty of diversity.

Each week commencing in December, we focus on a different celebration. This week it’s Hanukkah!

Like most of my lessons (and because I love children’s literature), I always start with a picture book.

When I read a story, particularly in winter, I set the scene with a warm crackling fire on my smartboard. The warm visual and the crackling sound creates such a cozy ambience fit for a Hanukkah story!

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

This is how I teach about Hanukkah in a step-by-step way:

  1. Tap into prior knowledge: Ask children who celebrates Hanukkah or who has heard of it before? Create an anchor chart prior to reading a picture book story.
  2. Think Pair Share favorite part: Discuss the story and talk about the significance of the miracle of the oil lasting eight days. Have students share their favorite part with a partner.
  3. Talk about the Menorah: Talk about the significance of the menorah, branches and  the candles and when they are lit. Include a Menorah craftivity for your bulletin board.
  4. Play Dreidel: Introduce the traditional game of dreidel. Explain the rules and the significance of the Hebrew letters on the dreidel. Set up a Dreidel center where students can have a go and play.
  5. Traditional Foods: Invite parents to the classroom or to cook a traditional Hanukkah dish such as potato cakes to share!
  6. Hanukkah Books: Provide a range of Hanukkah stories for students to read to deepen their topical knowledge.
  7. Create Hanukkah Crafts: Engage kids in Hanukkah-themed crafts. They can make their own menorahs, dreidels, or decorations. This hands-on approach helps reinforce the concepts in a creative way.
  8. Values: Discuss the Hanukkah values of peace, hope, love and joy. How can we show these values to others and in our everyday lives?

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

If you’re looking for a no prep Hanukkah Graphic Organizer and Craftivity Packet to use during the months of November and December, click here.

This is an engaging print and go resource that integrates a range of themes including holidays around the world, cultural diversity, family, holiday traditions, Social Studies and English. The great thing is there is a reading passage included, however you could pair this with any Hanukkah story. A list of suggested Hanukkah picture books also included in this packet!


Save 20% with this bundle!


Suitable for:

  • First Grade
  • Second Grade
  • Third Grade

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

What’s included in this packet:

  • Suggested list of 10 Hanukkah picture books for children
  • My Hanukkah Activity Book (front page cover)
  • Hanukkah Reading Passage
  • Menorah
  • Dreidel
  • Why is Hanukkah Special?
  • My Favorite Part of Hanukkah
  • Extra-lined writing template (for differentiation)
  • Label and Color-In The Pictures
  • What is the Star of David?
  • 3 Hanukkah Snapshots
  • Write a Postcard to a Friend about Hanukkah
  • What is the Torah?
  • Make a Hanukkah Diorama (b/w – instructions provided)
  • Make a Hanukkah Diorama (color – instructions provided)

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

Ideal for:

  • Writing Centers
  • Literacy Centers
  • December Morning Work
  • Early Finishers Activities
  • Homework
  • Elementary Substitute Teacher

How to Teach Hanukkah to Elementary Students

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Welcome to teacherinspo123...a place of inspiration, teaching tips and strategies! I am an elementary teacher who enjoys teaching and creating fun core-aligned resources that engage young learners. I love spending time with family, baking choc chip muffins and taking long walks on the beach. Read More

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