Making a Menorah

Kathryn Gregory
Multiple Subject Teacher

Students will make a beautiful vibrant menorah using art supplies while learning about the background.

Grade Level: 4 - 6th


Length of Time: 30-40 Minutes

Objectives & Outcomes

Students will apply the artistic process to creatively express a menorah with paint.- Communication and Expression Through Original Works of Art.

Materials Needed

  • tempura or watercolor paint
  • construction paper
  • an actual menorah or images of a menorah posted for students to see


Opening to Lesson

  • Teacher will ask students what they already know about Hanukkah.
  • Ask if there are any students that celebrate Hanukkah in the classroom and if they are comfortable, have them explain how it is celebrated in their household.
  • Optional: Speaking about religious holidays could be controversial in a classroom: I suggest you explain in this way:
    • Many different religions celebrate different holidays that are based on historic events that are important to that group of people. Everyone, regardless of your background, can acknowledge and learn about this history.  For example, in the United States we celebrate the Fourth of July to celebrate our independence, but people in Canada and Mexico don’t celebrate that day simply because they have different independence days to celebrate. While these holidays may feel more important or more personal to some, everyone can respectfully learn about the history of the holidays of different religions to be more culturally aware.
  • Ask students if they know what a menorah is and let students explain their personal experience with menorah if they are comfortable talking about it.
  • Read this background to the students from
    • About 2100 years ago, a small, vastly outnumbered band of Jews waged battle against the mighty Greek armies, and drove the Greeks out of the land. When the Jews reclaimed the Holy Temple, on the 25th of Kislev, they wished to light the Temple’s menorah (candelabrum), only to discover that the Greeks had contaminated virtually all the oil. All that remained was one vial of pure oil, enough to last one night—and it would take eight days to procure new, pure oil.  Miraculously, the one-day supply of oil lasted eight days and nights, and the holiday of Chanukah was established. To commemorate and publicize these miracles, Jewish people light the Chanukah menorah (also known as a chanukiah) on each of the eight nights of Chanukah. This year, the lighting of the menorah will begin on Sunday night December 6, 2015.

Body of Lesson

  • Put a picture or the model of the menorah for the students to see.
  • Pass out pain products and tell students that they will be representing the menorah on paper.
  • See attachment.


Post the pictures of the menorahs around the room or let students take it home. Give students time to share their learning and observations.


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Assessment & Evaluation

Students will turn in and display their art.

Modification & Differentiation

The teacher can work with students in small groups for those who need extra assistance. The teacher can break down the steps in smaller/more comprehensible units.

Learn more on teaching students about the different holidays here.

Download Attachments

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