Tuesday, December 11, 2012

More Montessori Hanukkah Activities: Shape and Number Fun

NAMC montessori activities hanukkah shapes and numbers tracing a square
In a previous blog, we explored Hanukkah themed Montessori activities for circle time, snack time, music and transferring. But since there are eight days of Hanukkah, and many more facets to the school day, we've put together another post to inspire you!

Find more fun classroom activities and crafts covering other areas of Montessori curriculum, including writing skills and counting, below.

More Montessori Hanukkah Activities: Shape and Number Fun


Working With the Metal Insets

Jewish culture and the traditions of Hanukkah feature some unique symbols that students can recreate as a craft by tracing the Metal Insets. Once these figures have been traced onto construction paper, students can carefully decorate with a bit of glitter, markers, or other decorations. This is a great activity for practicing fine motor skills! If you do this activity early in the week, you can collect the finished shapes, attach them to a piece of yarn, and use them to decorate your eating area or other parts of the classroom.
NAMC montessori activities hanukkah shapes and numbers decoration geometric insets
NAMC montessori activities hanukkah shapes and numbers dreidel geometric insets
  • To create a Dreidel, trace the square inset onto a piece of paper. Then, using the triangle, trace a pointed bottom for the square. For students who have never seen a Dreidel before, make sure to have a picture on hand, or describe that the shapes look much like an upside down house. After the student has made and decorated two Dreidel cut outs, have them glue the backs of each, and sandwich them with a Popsicle stick 'handle' in between.
  • For a Star of David, trace the triangle inset once with the point facing up, and again overlapping with the point facing down. There are a lot of straight edges to cut out! Children will love decorating these stars with blue and silver glitter or with white crayons and watered down blue paint.
NAMC montessori activities hanukkah shapes and numbers star of david geometric insets
Counting Activities
Since Hanukkah lasts for eight days, eight is obviously going to be central in your counting activities! There are also some interesting numbers that are happening right in the middle of Hanukkah week this year. For example, Wednesday is going to be the twelfth day of the twelfth month of the twelfth year: 12-12-12! December 2012 is also very special because it has 5 Saturdays, 5 Sundays, and 5 Mondays. Children love interesting facts, and will love working these special repeating numbers into their activities. Here are some ideas:

  • Using a paper cutout Menorah, children can place a counter on each candlestick (for the ninth, middle candle, have it be already included in the cutout) and place a number tile underneath. If you are able to use an actual Menorah, provide small tapered candles in a container on the tray and children can count while placing candles into each holder.
  • Cut out paper ones and twos, and allow children to arrange them to form the date 12 12 12. You can also place two different colored Popsicle sticks or cut straws on the tray, and let the students group them underneath the numbers. They will enjoy making the patterns of numbers and quantities, especially as a way to show Wednesday's date!
  • While working with transferring activities, students can place items in small cups in groups of five, instead of in a single location. This would work great with Gelt counters! (Gelt is explained in this Hanukkah activity blog.)
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 Tuesday, December 11, 2012.

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