Websites and Apps to Light Up Your Hanukkah!

| By Yonah Kirschner, Program Manager, DigitalJLearning Network


                               Robert Couse-Baker/Flickr

Whether you teach high school or kindergarten, you’ll find a Hanukkah resource here you can use! These websites and apps can be adapted to provide a variety of learning experiences for your students, including blended learning. For more information on how to integrate these resources into your Hanukkah curriculum, contact us!

 

Websites:

The Chanukah Story: Why Jews Celebrate Miracles (G-dcast)
This video clearly explains the basics of the Hanukkah story and is a great introduction to the holiday for younger students. Teachers could use it in a number of ways, including as inspiration for students to make their own videos explaining the Hanukkah story.

What Are We Even Celebrating (AlephBeta)
In this four-video series, Rabbi Fohrman addresses the issue of Hanukkah being a “text-less” holiday, and asks the question, “What is the hidden Hanukkah text?” These are best used with late middle school and high school students. AlephBeta has additional Hanukkah videos here and here.

Chanukah Resources (JTeach.org)
Here you’ll find a Hanukkah lesson plan to get students engaged in digital storytelling on the iPad. There’s also an entire list of lesson ideas for using the songs and videos in the JTeach.org’s Hanukkah Blendspace.

Chanukah Playlist (Shalom Sesame)
These videos can be used to teach students in Pre-K and K about the Temple, the menorah, and Hebrew for the holiday. Teachers may want to use the videos as part of rotation groups or as introductions to a lesson about Hanukkah.

Chanukah Blessings (SiddurAudio.com)
Using this multi-modal tool students will be able to study the text of the Hanukkah blessings and listen to recordings. The recordings also include the singing of the beginning of Maoz Tzur. This resource would be great to support students who learn better through listening and may need that extra practice beyond just reading the Hebrew text of the blessings.

Chanukah Resources (JewishKids.org)
Teachers will find a plethora of resources here geared towards elementary school children. There are stories, games, activities, songs, and dozens of videos. My personal favorite video is the Hanukkah story in the form of a newscast called “Rebellion in the Holy Land!”

Hanukkah Quiz (Akhlah)
This simple quiz tests students on holiday basics, but also includes some trickier questions. At the end, the students can see which questions they got right and check for correct answers. Teachers might want to encourage students to pick one question they got wrong, and then have them do a bit more research on that topic.

Hanukkah Video Playlist (JewishLearningMatters)
This playlist provides various options for a flipped classroom or rotational model. The videos range from an animated story of Hanukkah to a capella parodies from the Maccabeats and Six13.

Chanukah Student Creations (JewishInteractive.net)
This collection of student-created videos about Hanukkah will serve as excellent examples of the kinds of media your students can create to demonstrate their own understanding of the Hanukkah story. Teachers may want to choose a few of the videos and have students compare and contrast them first, before embarking on their own productions.

Chanukah Quiz (The Jewish Trivia Quiz)
This quiz gives students immediate feedback and provides a fun way for them to assess what they’ve learned in other lessons. Teachers can encourage students to complete the quiz multiple times if they need to in order to master the concepts.

Chanukah Insights (Ohr Somayach)
This website delves deeper into the meaning of Hanukkah, so it would best be used in a high school classroom. Teachers may want to incorporate certain readings into a platform such as Actively Learn to make the readings more interactive for students.

Chanukah Hebrew Audio (My Hebrew Dictionary)
This website is for young students who are learning Hanukkah-themed Hebrew words. Students will be able to listen to a native Israeli speaker pronouncing the words. They can click on the audio as many times as needed to practice their reading and pronunciation of the Hebrew.

A Chanukah Play (Lookstein.org)
Many students love putting on plays, and this script will get them started. In particular, teachers may want students to take this script and then create a video, screencast, or animation based on the script in order to illustrate important parts of the Hanukkah story.

Jews and Judaism in the Greco-Roman Period (Center for Online Judaic Studies)
For teachers who want students to learn more about the historical context of the Hanukkah story, this resource is for you.

Hanukkah Infographic (Aish)
This infographic is simple, but it can certainly inspire students to create their own!

Hanukkah Songs (Aish)
These audio recordings will make a great supplement for students learning Hebrew songs for the holiday. They’ll be able to listen to the recordings while following along in the Hebrew text provided by the teacher.

Tap Into...Hanukkah! (Rebbetzin Tap)
If you teach Pre-K or K, then this video will make a great introduction to the holiday for class, or as homework if you use a flipped classroom model.

Chanukah Around the World: 8 Ways to Celebrate (Be’chol Lashon)
Students will be able to reach about how Hanukkah is celebrated by Jews in eight different cultures. Teachers can use this resource as part of a unit on Jewish diversity, or as the beginning of a research project in which students choose one of the eight to investigate further.

How to Light the Chanukah Menorah (Jewish Pathways)
This video will be a great review for students on how to light the menorah. Teachers may also want to have students create their own how-to video on this or another Hanukkah topic.

Jewish Temple 3D Virtual Tour (Jerusalem.com)
Without understanding the magnitude of the Temple, it can be hard for students to understand the story of Hanukkah. That’s where this virtual tour will come in handy. This virtual tour of the Temple will be an awesome addition to rotation stations and will give students a much better, visual understanding of the Temple and surrounding area.

 

Apps:

Hanukkah: The Festival of Lights (StoryChimes)
This app will take young students through the Hanukkah story, focusing on Judah Maccabee standing up for his beliefs. The app gives students the option to read the story themselves, or to read along as the app tells the story. Visual learners will especially like this app, because the read-along option includes a listen-and-read feature in which words highlight in red as they are read.

Chanukah Menorah (RustyBrick)
This app has a little bit of everything, including a visual aid to show students how to light the menorah, text and audio of the Hanukkah blessings, and recordings of traditional Hanukkah songs.

iHanukkah (Behrman House)
This app makes the holiday blessings interactive with Touch-n-Read audio, full blessing recordings, and the ability for students to record themselves singing the blessings and then play it back. This recording feature makes the app a great way for students to practice the blessings and their Hebrew pronunciation. Interactive flashcards also can help students learn holiday-themed Hebrew words.