Tuesday, December 11, 2012

Happy Hanukkah

Our Hanukkah Sensory Bin

Although none of the children in my preschool program this year are Jewish, someday they may be in a classroom with a child who is. When the teacher is pulling out the Christmas activities and a Jewish child in the class speaks up and says they celebrate Hanukkah, I want that to spark a memory for my preschoolers. I want my preschoolers to be the ones who raise their hand and say “I know about Hanukkah! We learned about that in preschool.”  I want them to be the ones to create a feeling of acceptance for their peers. I want them to stand up with that child and help their traditions be recognized.
It is very important for children to learn that there are other cultures and traditions in the world other than those that they celebrate at home. Hanukkah is a great way to expand this knowledge because it usually coincides closely with Christmas.  During the “holiday” season children can become very wrapped up in themselves. This is a great opportunity to open their eyes to the many different ways people celebrate.

The main character in The Only One Club, written by Jane Naliboff, realizes that she is the “Only One” in her class who celebrates Hanukkah. She is so proud that she starts a club, but many children who experience this may feel sad. 

A close friend of mine,  remembers her teacher as a child, centering the classroom around Christmas and making her feel very left out of the celebrations.  In many public schools, the teachers avoid holidays all together, some bring many cultures into the classroom, and some still focus solely on Christmas.

Hebrew Letters Shin, Nun, Hay, and Gimel can be found on dreidels;
which teaches the children that not all letters look like A B C

Potato Latkes are a traditional food served during Hanukkah.
Shredded potato that is fried in oil
and served with applesauce

Focusing on the number 8 and counting 1-8.

Sammy Spider lives in the home of the Shapiro family. Although Sammy is not Jewish,
he learns all about the holiday by watching from up above on the ceiling. There are
also more Sammy Spider books for the other Jewish celebrations.

From the book "The Story of Hanukkah"

Playing Dreidel is a great way to practice using those fine motor skills.
Children feel a huge sense of accomplishment when their practice pays off.

1 comment:

  1. What an inspiring blog!!!! I wish people everywhere had the benefit of your expertise. :)