Happy Hanukkah!

18 December 2011
Hanukkah begins this week and I wanted to do some activities with my students to celebrate.  I also wanted to balance out all the Christmasy themed activities we did last week.  It is a tricky situation, I feel Santa is not a religious symbol and I am comfortable doing Santa themed activities, like the ones in my last post.  Hanukkah does not seem to be as commercialized as Christmas and there are not as many non-religious symbols to choose from.  So that being said, my favorite symbols for celebrating Hanukkah are dreidels and latkes.

For those of you who do not know what latkes (lot-ka-z) are, they are kind of like McDonald's Hash Browns.  I only first had them when I started teaching and a parent who celebrated Hanukkah offered to bring them in for the class.  I thought it was a fabulous idea and I really liked them.  The students really liked them, too.  So now each year, I try to get a parent volunteer to make latkes.

I read my students my favorite Hanukkah book, The Chanukkah Guest by Eric A. Kimmel.  It is about an old woman who mistakes a burly bear for her rabbi and feeds him all her latkes.  It is a funny book, that the students really enjoy.  After the book, we sample latkes.  Latkes are served with applesauce or sour cream.  Never to miss an opportunity for math, I have the students graph how they best like their latkes.  Click the pictures below to download your copy of the activity for free!

 Don't forget to check out my Teaching Compassion at Christmas Time, this unit could work at anytime of year and would even be a great unit for after the holidays.  It is only $3!


  1. Great Hanukkah activities Erika!!! You can use the dreidel to teach basic probability too!

    Happy Holidays!

    ❤ Mor Zrihen ❤
    A Teacher's Treasure

  2. This activity is...just...AWESOME! Thank you so much for sharing. :)

  3. Thank you for the activity- it's great. And if Hanukkah latkes remind you of McD's hash browns- you haven't had good latkes ;)

  4. Hi I'm a new follower from Cachey Mama's classroom. :o)

    I love "If You Give a Mouse a Cookie" and in fact JUST returned it to the library. I read it to my baby about 20 times lol.

    That's really cool that you're selling one of your thematic units! :o)

    For Love of Cupcakes

  5. Erica,

    Thanks for the Hanukkah activity. We incorporated Hanukkah as part of our Christmas Around the World. It would have been great to have this unit. I'll save it for next year.

    I read another one of Eric Kimmel's books. I think it was called Mindy Saves the Day. Did you know that Eric Kimmel is from Portland, Oregon, my hometown. He was a education professor at Portland State University while he began to write children's books. A friend of mine had him as their children's literature teacher. He does a great job in writing books about Hanukkah. Your unit will be great in helping kids to understand Hanukkah.


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