Chanukah is a celebration of two great events: the victory of the Maccabees over the Greeks and the phenomenon of  one day’s supply of olive oil for the menorah lasting for 8 days. Were both of these events miraculous? How is a miracle defined? In this lesson we will explore the many nuances of a miracle through the lens of Jewish tradition (be sure to read the background for teacher section in the resource), while giving students the opportunity to draw their own conclusions about the role that miracles play in their lives today. This resource provides a variety of  texts about Chanukah for learners to compare and contrast that will be a natural springboard for a rich discussion, as well as recommended creative activities that enable students to articulate their understandings of the nature of miracles.

The learners will:

  1. Understand that identifying a miracle requires nuance, and impacts one’s life outlook and behavior.

  2. Know that the Chanukah story contains within it two different types of miracles; revealed and hidden.

Be able to share stories of personal miracles and consider  how to determine whether or not a particular event is a miracle.

When you click on the Jewish Education by Design resource link featured above, you will find the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. Essential questions that get to the “heart” of the learning

  2. A hook/s to open the lesson in an engaging fashion and spark the learners’ curiosity

  3. In depth discussion questions that are designed to elicit conceptual thinking and personal reflections about the featured source/s

  4. Suggested activities that enable the students to both process and apply what was learned in a thought provoking and creative fashion

  5. A further study option/s to related materials on the JEBD site or to external links

Student Handout

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