Celebrating Chanukah Developmentally Throughout the School
Take one common theme: Chanukah. See how different the learning is about that one theme depending on the developmental age of each child. You’ll be fascinated to see the range of what our students learn over the course of their Schechter careers!
Dubonim (EC2) is really getting into the Chanukah spirit! Students worked together to create a chanukiyah that they will put a candle on each day; they have been using Chanukah candles to count, explore, play with, and “light.” They have many favorite Chanukah stories that they read together, and of course they sing the blessings and Chanukah songs.
In Dubonim, the children love art and hands-on projects, so much of Chanukah focuses on that. They painted frames for a gift for their mommies, daddies, and mamas, took photos of themselves holding a chanukiyah, and even painted the wrapping paper! They made Chanukah- themed oil sensory bottles and Chanukah cookies. Naturally, they made latkes from the potatoes they grew and harvested (see article above). Finally, they all wore blue to celebrate their monthly color day, painting the blue page in their color journals using Chanukah cookie cutters.
T’marim (EC3-4) is connecting Chanukah and science! The children investigated what happens when you drip droplets of colored water into oil. It was fascinating to see the different techniques each student chose and the colors/designs that emerged.
Sh’kedim (EC3-4) expressed their creativity by building inventive chanukiyot from blocks. While some of the block structures closely represented a traditional chanukiyah, other block creations were massive, with different sections to hold candles, favorite friends, and other items.
Parparim students (grades K-1) made wood chanukiyot, then decorated them with paint and their Hebrew initials. Each student took home their chanukiyah along with a laminated copy of the brachot in order to light handles with their family. In addition, their imaginations went wild as they created their own dreidels out of K'nex!
Rimonim class (grades 2-3) brought festive decorations into the hallway, making a huge chanukiyah from recycled materials. Teachers Michal and Kate combined forces for an interdisciplinary conversation about Chanukah and Growth Mindset including reflection about how the Macabees got over their concerns about the oil and how do they get over their own fears and worries. And of course, knowing Rimonim, they baked Chanukah-themed cookies and made latkes… yum!
Gesher class (grades 4-5) rotated through a variety of activity centers that were artistic, strategic, and philosophical. Students played rounds of the dreidel game, completed a Chanukah word search, made festive decorations, and created artwork that inspired students to reflect upon two questions: how can you light up the world? and what lights up your world?
Habonim students (grades 6-7) delved into mostly primary sources for text study as well as a close examination of historical events preceding the Maccabean revolt to learn about the "real" story of Chanukah. According to their findings, it is doubtful that the revolt was against the Hellenization of Judea; in addition, there is ample reason to question the veracity of the story of the ‘cruse of oil.'
The 6th graders of Habonim Spanish class learned about the origin of the song “8 Kandelikas” by Flory Jagoda, a song that describes 8 days of matchmaking parties for Sephardic Jews in Sarajevo. They compared and contrasted Sephardic and Ashkenazi traditions and learned that Sephardic Jews use olive oil to fry bimuelos (fritters). They also learned why borekas (cheese pastries) are traditional: they commemorate the miracle of Judith, who tricked the enemy leader of the Jews by giving him salty cheese, then quenching his thirst with lots of wine before she killed him.
Bogrim students (grade 8) examined texts which deal with many laws and customs related to Chanukah. For example, how many chanukiyot we should light and why?
Check out PHOTOS of Chanukah throughout the school!