Browse and download free Hanukkah resources for students with diverse learning needs, prepared by Gateways’ experienced special education teachers.
Hanukkah Blessings with Picture Communication Symbols
Blessings with visual supports were created to help make blessings simple, accessible, and understandable for students with a variety of disabilities. In these three Hanukkah blessings, each Hebrew phrase is illustrated by a simple symbol (we use Mayer-Johnson picture symbols) and includes a Hebrew transliteration and simplified English translation.
Hanukkah Social Stories and Skills
Hanukkah Candles Are Different from Birthday Candles
This story explains what Hanukkah candles are and illustrates the differences between Hanukkah candles and birthday candles.
Hanukkah Fire Safety
Sometimes the flames on Hanukkah candles make children feel nervous. This social story helps children feel calm and safe around Hanukkah candles by illustrating four Hanukkah Fire Safety Rules, and by explaining that when people are careful and follow fire safety rules, it is safe to light Hanukkah candles.
Step by step instructions with visual supports to remind children of the process for lighting the Menorah and to help them become more independent.
Hanukkah File Folder Activities
File folder activities can help children review ideas and familiarize them with Jewish objects. Since they are inexpensive and relatively easy to make, you can accumulate a large stack of file folder activities in no time! The visual nature of file folder activities takes advantage of the visual strengths of children with autism and many other developmental disabilities.
Color Match: Days of Hanukkah
This file folder activity prompts children to match each menorah with the corresponding day of Hanukkah and will help familiarize students with the menorah and the idea that we add one candle to the menorah each night of Hanukkah. Does your family have trouble remembering which night of Hanukkah it is? You can use this activity as a special Hanukkah schedule: add one piece each night to keep track of which night of Hanukkah it is and how many candles need to go in the menorah.
Complete the Pattern of Hanukkah Candles
For serious puzzle-lovers only! This advanced file folder activity presents students with patterns of colored Hanukkah candles that need to be completed. Each pattern of eight candles reinforces the idea that we celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights. If the patterns in this file folder activity are too tricky for your child, cut out the candles and make your own patterns!
Photo Match Hanukkah Objects
This file folder activity involves matching photographs of Hanukkah objects. Prior to recognizing line drawings of objects, some children are better able to understand photographic representations. In addition to trying this file folder, we recommend taking photographs of the actual objects you use in your home which would lend familiarity to this task for your child. For a child with fine motor challenges, consider mounting the photographs on chunky blocks of foam, or built up cardboard.
Fill-in-the-Blank: Hanukkah Candles vs. Birthday Candles
A companion to our social story on the same topic, this activity reinforces the differences between the candles we light on birthdays and the candles we light on Hanukkah. Bright colored symbols help guide students to correctly complete sentences about the ways we use candles on these two different occasions.
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