Middle School Hanukkah Lesson

Middle School Hanukkah Lesson Plan

Use this middle school Hanukkah lesson to help your students learn about this holiday. Hanukkah is a very important holiday to those of the Jewish faith, but finding engaging middle school lesson plans about it can be very difficult. 

Hanukkah, also sometimes known as the Festival of Lights, includes important elements like the lighting of the menorah, prayers, and gift exchanges, yet many of our students might not be familiar with this holiday.

You can help your students develop an understanding of this eight-day festival by reading non-fiction texts. Helping students to build background knowledge and understanding of world cultures is an important goal no matter what religion your students follow. 

I use the Article of the Week format to help my students build their background knowledge.  To help with this knowledge building, you can use this middle school Hanukkah lesson plan that is focused on a nonfiction article.  In it, students will learn what Hanukkah is as well as this important holiday’s history and traditions.

The idea behind Article of the Week is for teachers to assign students a non-fiction article each week to read and then give them time to develop a written response.

Students get exposed to a wide variety of non-fiction and they get to reinforce their writing skills. This not only helps students develop their literacy skills but also helps the teacher cover curriculum expectations.

Hanukkah Background Information

This holiday is a Jewish celebration that lasts for 8 days. It can be spelled Hanukkah or Chanukah. It reminds Jewish people to rededicate themselves to their faith and culture. 

During this time, people participate in traditions such as lighting the Menorah, gift exchanges, eating traditional food, and playing games. On this holiday, people remember the miracle that occurred where there was only enough oil to light the menorah in the Temple for one day but it lasted for eight. 

Teachers if you want to learn more about this holiday before you teach about it you can read this article History of Hanukkah from the website History.com.

Middle School Hanukkah Lesson

Middle School Hanukkah Lesson Plan

Start your middle school Hanukkah lesson by showing students this video What Is Hanukkah? as it will help them gain some background information about this holiday.

Then have them read the article in this lesson planThis resource contains one nonfiction article and three reading activities to assist with reading comprehension, standardized test prep (EQAO), and cross-curricular learning. Find this resource on Shopify CAD or Teachers Pay Teachers USD.

Resource Includes

  • Teacher lesson plan
  • Pre-reading K-W-L chart
  • Non-fiction article (regular and modified version)
  • Mp3 recording of each article
  • 3 Post-reading activities: comprehension questions, grammar questions (2 options: paper and self-grading Google Forms), long answer writing response
  • Individual PDFs and Google Slides formats

If time permits you can have students play a game. This article How to play dreidel provides instructions.

Consider Including Picture Books

I love using picture books in my classroom. Don’t forget to put Hanukkah picture books on display. I like to start my lessons with a picture book where possible. Check your school or public library to see if they have any books you can borrow. I have provided some links to Hanukkah book lists.

  1. Reading by the Menorah Light: 11 Best Chanukah Picture Books
  2. Delightful Children’s Books to Celebrate Hanukkah This Year
  3. The Festival of Lights: 21 Mighty Girl Hanukkah Books

Additional Jewish Holiday Resources 

Other Lesson Plans

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