Thursday, December 02, 2010

Chanukah “Did You Know?” – Montessori Curriculum Ideas

NAMC montessori curriculum chanukah hanukkah lighting menorah
I love the “Did you know?” textboxes in the NAMC manuals. These manuals provide interesting tidbits of information that Montessori teachers can use to excite and inspire students during presentations. My elementary Montessori students loved to pour over my NAMC manuals searching for the “Did you know?” textboxes to read for themselves.

Another way to use the “Did you know?” concept is to have your elementary Montessori students do research on a topic and create their own “Did you know?” boxes. This fun and quick way of gathering research can either be presented to the class or used as notes and then turned into a research report.
I thought it might be fun to do my own Chanukah “Did you know?” on this, the first day of Chanukah (Hanukkah) 2010, as a jumping off point for you and your Montessori students.

Chanukah “Did You Know?” – Montessori Curriculum Ideas

  • All Jewish holidays begin at sundown the day before the holiday
  • The first day of Chanukah is the 25th day of the month of Kislev in the Jewish calendar
  • Chanukah commemorates the Jewish people’s successful rebellion against the Syrians in 162 BCE
  • The term Maccabee is derived from the Hebrew "Mi Kamocha B'Elim Adonai" (Who among the mighty is like you, God)
  • In Israel, the menorah is called the Hanukiyah
  • Ancient menorahs were small, pearl-shaped vessels made of clay.
  • The Menorah is filled with olive oil
  • In Biblical times, pure olive oil was used as a remedy for wounds, sores, chills and aching throats, ears and muscles
  • The candles on the menorah are lit from left to right and must remain lit for at least ½ hour each night.
  • Chanukah falls at the end of olive-pressing season and many traditional foods are fried in olive oil.
  • Latke may be derived from the Old Russian oladka, and from the Greek eladia, meaning "a little oily thing". Eladia stems from comes from elaia, meaning "olive”
  • Latkes could not have been made of potatoes in ancient times, as potatoes are a New World food. Instead, they were made from cheese and egg.
  • Sufganiyot, jelly donuts, are popular in Israel and are sold by street vendors over a month before Chanukah begins.
  • Each side of the dreidel is marked with one of four Hebrew letters: Nun, Gimel, Hey, and Shin. These letters represent the Hebrew phrase "Nais Gadol Hayah Shom" -"A great miracle happened there". This refers to the miracle of the oil in the temple.
  • Three blessings are said on the 1st night of Chanukah
  • Gelt means money in Yiddish
NAMC related blogs:
NAMC montessori curriculum chanukah hanukkah cultural geography manual The NAMC manuals provide a rich cultural curriculum for all ages.
As much as possible, NAMC’s web blog reflects the Montessori curriculum as provided in its teacher training programs. We realize and respect that Montessori schools are unique and may vary their schedules and offerings in accordance with the needs of their individual communities. We hope that our readers will find our articles useful and inspiring as a contribution to the global Montessori community.
© North American Montessori Center - originally posted in its entirety at Montessori Teacher Training on Thursday, December 2, 2010.

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