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Hanukkah is the eight-day Jewish holiday celebrating the victory of Judah Macabee and his followers. According to legend, upon regaining control of the Temple of Jerusalem, they found only enough oil in the sacred Menorah to last one day. Yet, miraculously, the oil lasted eight days. Hanukkah is celebrated by lighting candles in a menorah for eight successive nights.

Hanukkah is a time for feasting, songs, games and gifts. Traditional foods like latkes, potato pancakes cooked in oil, garnished with sour cream and applesauce, are served. Children are given gifts of money. A four-sided top with Hebrew letters on each side, called a dreidel, is a traditional entertainment for children. The letters---Nun, Gimel, Hay and Shin translate "a great miracle happened here."


  1. Hanukkah Rainbow
    Eight little candles
    In a row,
    Gaily colored,
    All aglow,
    Scarlet, purple,
    Green, white, blue,
    Pink and yellow,
    Orange too.
    The menorah,
    Shining bright,
    Holds a rainbow
    Hanukkah night.
    ~Eva Grant~

  2. Song of Hanukkah
    Come and sing a Hanukkah song.
    Sing of heroes, brave and strong -
    Maccabeus and his band,
    Who rescued Israel's ancient land.

    Sing a song of candles burning,
    Dreidel spinning, pancakes turning,
    Hanukkah presents tucked away
    To open on the holiday.

    Sing a happy Hanukkah song
    Every day for eight days long.
    ~Eva Grant~

  3. Hanukkah Treats
    Come, children, come,
    Come quick as you can.
    Latkes are sizzling
    Hot in the pan.
    Soon they'll be browning,
    Ready to eat.
    Come, children, come
    For Hanukkah's treat.

    Come, children, come,
    Come merry and bright.
    Presents are waiting,
    Hidden from sight -
    Secrets in wrappings.
    Need I repeat?
    Come, children, come
    For Hanukkah's treat.
    ~Elbee Jay~

  4. Family Hanukkah
    Mother's in the kitchen frying
    Potato pancakes, crisp and light,
    Father hides the children's presents
    To be opened every night.
    Amy shines the brass menorah
    Till it glitters like the sun,
    David counts the tiny candles,
    He will light them one by one.
    Grandma bustles round the household,
    Then Grandpa joins the Hanukkah fun,
    He tells the Maccabean story,
    A family Hanukkah has begun!
    ~Eva Grant~

  5. Hanukkah
    My friends down the street
    Are happy and gay!
    Hanukkah is starting -
    It's starting today!

    The lovely menorah
    Shining and bright,
    Is waiting with candles
    All ready to light.

    Hanukkah, Hanukkah
    How well you've begun
    With gifts and with pancakes
    For everyone!
    ~Jean McKinney~

  6. Hanukkah Quiz
    Why is the story of Hanukkah told?
    To honor the brave Maccabeans of old.
    What makes our mouths water, handed around?
    Platefuls of pancakes, deliciously browned.
    There are the Hanukkah gifts hidden? Well . . .
    That is a secret which no one should tell!
    What do we place on the table to hold
    The gay-colored candles? It's polished gold.
    The shining menorah!
    What comes once a year?
    Hanukkah fun!
    At last it is here!
    ~Eva Grant~


  1. Hanukkah Star Collage

    Prepare several equuilateral triangles of different colored construction paper, silver foil, felt, sandpaper, wallpaper samples, etc. Have the students put two triangles together, one of top of the other as shown here. They have now made the Star of David. Make several such stars for a variety of materials. Students can paste their stars as a collage on a sheet of blue construction paper.

  2. Hanukkah Mobile

    Have students draw a menorah, Star of David and dreidel on a piece of paper. Cover the paper with plastic wrap. Squeeze glue on outlines. Press yarn into the glue. After the glue sets, coat yarn with glue and dry. Peel away plastic. Suspend motifs on coat hangers and hang from ceiling.

  3. Star of David Picture Frame

    Glue craft sticks into position to make two separate triangles as shown. Lay one triangle on top of the other to form a star. Glue together. Trim a photo to fit the inside of the star and glue in place. Attach yarn or ribbon at the top if you want to hang it.

  4. Shiny Menorah

    Paint nine craft sticks the color you like. Paint nine foam packing pieces to look like flames. Make a menorah base by gluing craft sticks to a sheet of construction paper. Cut about two inches from eight pipe cleaners. Do not cut one. Arrange the pipe cleaners over the base and glue to construction paper as shown. Glue flames to tips of each pipe cleaner. Squeeze glue around flames and sprinkle glitter on glue. Let dry then shake off excess glitter.

  5. Make a Dreidel

    Save empty individual milk cartons and wash and dry well. Give each student an empty milk carton and a 3" x 9 1/2" strip of construction paper. Wrap the strip around the four sides of carton and tape securely in place. Reproduce 4 of the Hebrew letters for each student. Glue one letter onto each side of carton. Poke a hole in the bottom of each milk carton and insert pencil through top of milk carton and through hole at bottom. Close cartons and tape them securely around the pencils.


  1. Potato Latkes

    Latkes (pancakes) are the most traditional of all foods for Hanukkah. It is said that the oil to fry the latkes was a symbol to the Maccabees of the oil that burned for eight days and nights.

    3 large potatoes
    1 small onion
    3 eggs
    1 teaspoon salt
    2 tablespoons flour

    Wash, peel and grate the raw potatoes. Grate and add the onions. Beat eggs well and add to potatoes. Add salt and flour. Mix well. Fry mixture in pan of hot oil. When the underside is golden brown, turn and fry on the second side. Drain on paper towels. This recipe will make 18 pancakes. Serve with sour cream or applesauce.


  1. Dreidel Match Game

    Print out the dreidel cards on cardstock or construction paper and laminate. To play: Turn cards facedown and player one turns up two cards. If match, player keeps them. Next player turns two up. If they do not match, return cards to playing field. Continue in this way until all matches have been found.

  2. Menorah Matchup

    Draw and color a Menorah base on poster paper. Attach nine colored cups atop the base to represent candle holders. Program eight of the cups with numbers 1-8, leaving the center cup to represent the shammash (lighting candle) holder. Fill the shammash holder with 36 construction paper candles. The student then removes the paper candles and places the matching number in each cup.

  3. Hanukkah Word Search


  1. Inside-Out Grandma: a Hanukkah Story by Joan Rothenberg
  2. Light the Lights! A Story about Celebrating Hanukkah and Christmas by Margaret Moorman
  3. The Borrowed Hanukkah Latkes by Linda Glaser
  4. The Magic Dreidels: a Hanukkah Story by Eric Kimmel
  5. Melly's Magic Dreidel by Amye Rosenberg
  6. Hershel and the Hanukkah Goblins by Eric Kimmel
  7. Zigazak! A Magical Hanukkah Night Eric Kimmel
  8. Runaway Dreidel! by Leslea Newman
  9. The Runaway Latkes by Leslie Kimmelman
  10. Festival of Lights: the Story of Hanukkah by Maida Silverman
  11. Latkes and Applesauce: a Hanukkah Story by Fran Manushkin



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  3. Christmas
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  5. Presidents' Day
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