As we approach the holiday season and near winter breaks, students’ minds are likely occupied with wish lists, decorations, and holiday fun. Using holiday activities in the classroom is a great way to get students excited about learning, and Hanukkah activities are perfect for bringing holiday cheer and fun to your classroom while introducing students to a seasonal holiday with which they may not be familiar!

We’ve come up with a list of Hanukkah activities that will help engage your students in learning math and ELA and simultaneously celebrate the holiday season! We’ve also included a reading passage from Piqosity, original comprehension questions, and three original Hanukkah-themed math questions. Hanukkah begins on Thursday, December 7th (lasting until Friday, December 15th), so keep reading to see how to incorporate holiday activities into your classroom.

Hanukkah ELA Activities

1. Hanukkah Parts of Speech Color by Code

The first activity on our list is perfect for students learning about the parts of speech. Students get to color a Hanukkah-themed picture by identifying nouns, verbs, adjectives, and prepositions. This fun activity is a perfect way to celebrate Hanukkah while improving students’ grammar knowledge.

This printable resource includes the picture students color along with directions and illustrated vocabulary sheets organized by parts of speech. Students must identify the part of speech each word on the picture is to figure out what color that space should be. The completed image shows a lighted menorah that is sure to get students in the holiday spirit! This activity is best suited for elementary students; it’s also a great resource for ESL students.

Created and made available for free download by A World of Language Learners.

2. Light the Menorah: Suffix Search!

The second resource on our list of Hanukkah activities will help students learn about suffixes while lighting a menorah! Each menorah picture gives students a suffix that they then have to find nine examples of一one for each candle. This activity is perfect for elementary and middle school students learning about affixes and word meanings.

This resource is printable and comes with nine menorah templates, each with a different common suffix. Students can work in partners or groups to find examples for each suffix, or they can work by themselves for a quieter activity. Another fun idea is to turn this activity into a word scavenger hunt using dictionaries and books. Either way, this activity is sure to brighten up your classroom!

Created and made available for free download by Blair Turner.

3. Hanukkah — A Creative Writing Prompt: The Spun Away Dreidel!

Get your students to practice their creative writing skills with the last item on our list of Hanukkah classroom activities! This writing prompt asks students to put their creativity to use by finishing a story about a game of spinning dreidels when something unexpected happens. When students practice writing fiction, they can improve their vocabulary, grammar, and overall writing skills while simultaneously having fun with storytelling.

This creative writing activity is perfect to use right before winter break when students are already thinking about the holidays more than schoolwork. Additionally, this activity can be adapted to suit just about any grade level. Elementary students might be assigned to write a couple sentences to a paragraph while high school students can be challenged to write a few pages that incorporate different story elements.

Created and made available for free download by HOUSE OF KNOWLEDGE AND KINDNESS.

Hanukkah Reading Comprehension Questions by Piqosity

Test your students’ reading comprehension skills with original questions from Piqosity! The following passage is written by Judaic Studies professor Alan Avery-Peck, sourced from The Conversation. The passage discusses the history of Hanukkah from its origins to its importance today and is a great way to teach any student about the cultural significance of the holiday. The accompanying reading comprehension questions cover the key ideas of the passage and will ensure that your students walk away with a better understanding of Hanukkah!

Hanukkah Reading Passage: “Hanukkah’s True Meaning” by Alan Avery-Peck

Hanukkah Activity passage, "Hanukkah's True Meaning" by Alan Avery-Peck.

Reading Comprehension Questions

1. Hanukkah was originally a celebration of

A. how a jar of temple oil sufficient for one day had sustained the temple’s eternal lamp for eight days.
B. the victory of the Maccabees against the army of King Antiochus IV of Syria.
C. the value of religious freedom that is characteristic in all cultures.
D. family, community, and the history of Judaism.

2. What is a Hanukkiah?

A. the name of the festival that had been banned by Antiochus.
B. the name of the eternal lamp that subsisted on one day’s worth of oil for eight days.
C. the name of the eight-branched candelabra that is lit over the course of Hanukkah.
D. the name of the army of Jews that defeated Syrian forces.

3. Which statement about Hanukkah best reflects the main idea of the passage?

A. Although Hanukkah has evolved over time, its true meaning lies in the core values it celebrates.
B. Modern-day Hanukkah celebrations have become too commercialized and have lost connection to its true meaning.
C. Because the celebration of Hanukkah has changed over time, we don’t know its true meaning.
D. The origin idea of Hanukkah doesn’t have a deeper meaning; that is something that was associated with the celebration much later.

Passage Answer Key and Explanations 

  1. B

The passage explains that Hanukkah is a relatively new celebration that dates back to 164 B.C. It was at this time that the “ragtag army of Jews” (line 12) known as the Maccabees defeated Syrian forces after Judaism was outlawed in 168 B.C. and the Jewish people faced religious persecution (lines 14–16). Later on, Hanukkah was shifted to celebrate the story of the eternal lamp of a temple subsisting on one day’s worth of oil for eight days (lines 53–56). Today, Hanukkah is seen as a celebration of religious freedom, family, community, and the history of Judaism.

  1. C

A Hanukkiah is another name for a menorah. It is an eight-branched candelabra that is lit over the course of Hanukkah. On a Hanukkiah, one candle is lit on the first night of Hanukkah, and a candle is added each night until all eight branches are lit on the final night (lines 64–67). The festival that was banned by Antiochus is the festival of Tabernacles (line 25). The name of the army of Jews that defeated Antiochus is the Maccabees. The eternal lamp that subsisted on one day’s worth of oil for eight days was not named in the passage.

  1. A

The main idea of the passage is that although Hanukkah has evolved over time, its true meaning lies in the core values it celebrates. The passage describes the historical origins of Hanukkah as a celebration of the Maccabees’ victory over Antiochus’s army and how the celebration has shifted over the centuries since then. The final paragraphs of the passage explain that Hanukkah today “fulfills American Jews’ need to reengage disaffected Jews and to keep Jewish children excited about Judaism” (lines 75–77). However, despite the changes to Hanukkah throughout its history each “generation tells the story as it needs to hear it, in response to the eternal values of Judaism but also as is appropriate to each period’s distinctive cultural forces, ideologies and experiences” (lines 84–88).

Hanukkah Math Activities

1. Color By Number Menorah Math Sampler

First up on our list of math Hanukkah activities is sure to bring holiday cheer to your classroom! In this color by number activity, students must solve twelve arithmetic problems to figure out what color each section of the image should be. Once students have solved each problem, the completed image will show a colorful menorah that’s perfect to either hang around the classroom or for students to take home.

This activity is perfect for elementary students who are learning about basic math operations. The questions include addition, subtraction, multiplication, and division. This resource is printable and includes an answer key.

Created and made available for free download by The ESL Nexus.

2. Winter Holidays Math Puzzles

Up next is a set of Hanukkah math worksheets. This activity helps students improve their problem solving skills, practice critical thinking, and use basic operations. The puzzles in this activity use images representing different holidays to create fun algebraic challenges. Students must figure out the number value attached to each image using the equations they’re found in as clues.

This resource includes ten worksheets themed around Hanukkah, Kwanzaa, and Christmas that are perfect for students learning addition, subtraction, and multiplication. The activity is available to print as a PDF or to assign to your students digitally through Google Slides. Turn your classroom into a winter wonderland with these puzzles that are full of holiday cheer!

Created and made available for free download by Kayla B’s Classroom.

3. Hanukkah Math Algebra Puzzle

The last of the Hanukkah activities on our list is a perfect challenge for middle and high school students. This puzzle includes seven algebraic problems for students to solve. Once students solve the problems, they’ll come to you for the answer key that is included with the activity. The answer key will give them a letter for each correct answer. Then they can decode the holiday puzzle!

This activity is best for older students as the problems include fractions, decimals, and problems with variables on both sides of the equations. You can use this activity to keep students’ focus on learning as we approach the holiday season. Students are guaranteed to love this Hanukkah-themed challenge!

Created and made available for free download by Wedded Mommy Bliss.

Hanukkah Math Questions by Piqosity

The math skills students learn have real-world applications in their everyday lives. Therefore, giving students word problems with a fun holiday twist is the perfect way to help them hone their math mastery. Piqosity has put together three original Hanukkah-themed math questions of varying difficulty. The first question is at the fifth-grade level while the second question incorporates concepts typically found in Pre-Algebra and Geometry courses at the eighth-grade level. The final question is geared towards Algebra II students. These questions can be used as a bellringer or challenge for your students around the holidays or even be taken as inspiration for other Hanukkah math questions to utilize in your classroom.

1. Latkes are commonly served at Hanukkah celebrations and each require about ¼ of a potato to make. If James wants to make enough latkes for each of his 26 guests to have at least one, how many potatoes does he need to buy?

A. 4
B. 5
C. 6
D. 7

2. Leah wants to figure out the total volume of this dreidel.

Dreidel diagram for the hanukkah activity math problem #2.She splits the shape into a cylinder, rectangular prism, and rectangular pyramid. The height of the cylinder is 1.50 cm and its diameter is 0.25 cm. The height of the prism is 2.50 cm, and its width and length are both 2.00 cm. The height of the pyramid is 0.50 cm. What is the total volume of the dreidel?

A. 11.25 cm³
B. 13.45 cm³
C. 10.74 cm³
D. 12.39 cm³

3. The curve of a menorah’s branches can be represented by the quadratic equation f(x)=2(x–2)^2 – 2. What is the standard form of this equation?

A. f(x)=2x^2 – 8x + 6
B. f(x)=2x^2 + 8x + 6
C. f(x)=2x^2 – 6x + 6
D. f(x)=2x^2 + 6x + 6

Math Answer Key and Explanations

  1. D

If James wants each of his guests to have at least 1 latke, he’ll need 26 latkes. Since each latke requires ¼ of a potato to make, we need to multiply 26 by ¼.

26 x 1/4 = 26/4

Since James can’t ask for 26/4 potatoes at the grocery store, we’ll need to simplify this fraction. However, 26 and 4 do not have a common factor. So, we’ll have to turn this improper fraction into a mixed number. To do this, we’ll first figure out how many times 4 goes into 26.

4 x 6 = 24

4 goes into 26 six times evenly. That means that the whole number for our mixed number will be 6. However, 4 multiplied by 6 is 24 which leaves 2 latkes that we need to account for. So, 2 will go in the numerator of our mixed number.

6 2/4 -> 6 1/2

James also can’t ask for half a potato at the store, so he’ll have to round up to 7 potatoes to ensure each of his guests can have a latke.

  1. C

First, we know that the height of the cylinder section of the dreidel is 1.50 cm and its diameter is 0.25 cm. So, we can use the volume of a cylinder formula to find the volume.


r= 1/2 (0.25cm) = 0.125cm

volume= pi(0.125cm)^2 (1.50cm) = 0.07cm^3

Next, we’ll find the volume of the rectangular prism section of the dreidel.

Volume= length x width x height

volume= 2cm x 2cm x 2.50cm = 10cm^3

Finally, we’ll use the pyramid volume formula to find the volume of the pyramid. Since the base of the pyramid is one side of the rectangular prism, we can use the length and width of the prism to find the base area of the pyramid.

volume = 1/3(B)(h)

B = 2cm x 2 cm = 4cm^2

volume=1/3 (4cm^2) x .5cm = 0.67cm^3

Our last step is to add the volume measurement of each part of the dreidel together to find the total volume of the dreidel.

volume = .07cm^3 + 10cm^3 + .67cm^3 = 10.74cm

  1. A

This equation is written in vertex form. However, we want to find the equation’s standard form. The first step is to get rid of the exponent by expanding the expression using FOIL (First, Outer, Inner, Last).



First: x * x = x^2

Outer: x * -2 = -2x

Inner: -2 * x = -2x

Last: -2 * -2 = 4



The next step is to distribute the coefficient to each term that was originally in the parentheses.


f(x)=2x^2 –8x + 8 - 2

Lastly, simplify the expression to get the standard form of the equation.

f(x)=2x^2 –8x + 8 - 2


Find More ELA and Math Resources Like These at Piqosity! 

We hope you and your students enjoy these Hanukkah activities! Holidays are a special time for all students regardless of grade level. Bringing celebration to the classroom is a wonderful way to engage students in learning about different cultures and their holidays while improving their academic skills.

You can find more ELA and Math lessons with questions of varying difficulty levels in our ELA and Math Courses! These are complete courses available online through the Piqosity app and can be purchased à la carte or bundled with our ISEE test prep courses.

Thank You, and Happy Hanukkah from Piqosity!