Monday, December 22, 2008

Math Monday: Hanukkah

I feel it is important to study other cultures and religions in order to better understand those who are different from us and to teach tolerance. Having said that, I want to state that I am not Jewish, but will only post information that I have either learned first-hand or researched about Hanukkah. If anything I post is incorrect, or you simply want to expound on it, please feel free to leave me a comment. ALso, if any of you have Hanukkah traditions or lesson ideas, please let me know and I will give you full credit if I post it.

Now, on to the math...

Probability (and/or simple addition/subtraction)
- Make, or buy (party supply stores often have them for a reasonable price), a dreidel. Older kids can use introductory probability when playing with the dreidel. (Directions for play can be found at Younger kids can practice addition and subtraction skills as they play the game.

Word Problems
- Traditionally, gifts are not exchanged for Hanukkah, however due to the proximity to Christmas, many American Jews have come to exchange gifts. Gelt, or money, is what is traditionally given to children at Hanukkah. If Jacob receives 10 bags of gelt, and each bag holds 8 pieces of gelt, how many pieces of gelt does Jacob have?

- Hanukkah is celebrated for eight nights. One part of the celebration is the lighting of the menorah. There are 9 candles on the menorah. The center candle is called the Shamash. Each night of Hanukkah, at sunset, the Shamash is lit and then, starting at the far right side of the menorah, the candles are lit. On the first night, one candle is lit; on the second night, two candles are lit; and so on. Only on the last night will all nine candles be burning. After the candles have been lit on the eighth night, how many candles will have been lit during Hanukkah? DO not forget to include the Shamash! (Answer: 2 the first night, plus 3, plus 4, +5, +6, +7, +8, +9 for the subsequent nights).

- Measure the candles on a menorah.

- Make Potato Latkes and/or Sufganiot (jelly filled doughnuts), traditional Hanukkah food.

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