Thursday, 29 December 2016

A Hanukkah Presentation

Before our December break, our classrooms were looking particularly festive.  This year is very unique in that Hanukkah and Christmas fall on the same day.  Our classrooms had both a menorah and a Christmas tree to help us get into the holiday spirit.  Over the past few years (perhaps seven), Mrs. M. has given a Hanukkah presentation to the children.  First as a parent, and then as one of the teachers at our little yellow school.  This year, her daughter L. decided she would like to give the presentation.  L. is one of this year's graduates.  Everyone was excited about L.'s presentation.

L. began by telling us a little bit about the story of Hanukkah.

She brought in a book to read.  The book told us the story of  evil King Antiochus of Syria and Judah Maccabee and the Maccabees.   King Antiochus wanted the people of Israel to believe in his gods and began converting their temples, including the most beautiful temple in Jerusalem. 

L. Reading the Story of Hanukkah

A brave and strong man named Judah Maccabee did not want to do this.  He formed an army and fought the king's men and won.  When they went to see their beautiful temple, it was in a shambles.  They only found enough oil to last for one night.  The oil they found burned for eight days and eight nights.   It was a miracle!  That is why Hanukkah is celebrated for eight days and eight nights.  L. brought in her own personal menorah to show her classmates.

L. brought in some fancy dreidels and explained the dreidel game.  She also sang a Hanukkah song for us.

At the end of her presentation, L. took questions from the audience.

After the question period, L. invited everyone up to take a closer look at the items she had brought.

L. brought in dreidels and chocolate gelt for her classmates to take home.  Thank you L.  Your presentation was beautiful!

Note:  Presentations such as these occur often in a Montessori environment.  Those unfamiliar with the Montessori Method of education may be wondering how it is possible for young children to display such self-confidence and respect for one another.  Put simply, the Montessori environment with the Montessori materials and simple rules that everyone must follow, is very effective at helping children develop confidence in their abilities and the realization that they share the world and must respect everyone's rights.  While most people associate Montessori education with strong academic skills, it is the more subtle lessons learned ~ such as respect for one another, perseverance and self-regulation ~ that provide Montessori students with the tools needed to be successful in the world.

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