1. Students should be able to identify Judah Maccabee as the hero and Antiochus as the wicked king.
  2. Students should know that the story of Maccabees is the basis for the Jewish feast of Hanukkah.
  3. Students should understand the meaning behind the 8 candles of the Hanukkah menorah and the one to use to light the others.


Possible Lesson Plan:

  1. Open with prayer.
  2. Tell the story of Judah Maccabee and his brothers:

Church School will start a bit late today, because I’ll use my tape, “The Story of Hanukkah” to tell the story for everyone during opening exercises.


  1. Play with a dreidl: You can get one of these from Pat or at any store. Each letter has a meaning. Each child starts with about 20 raisins. Each puts one raisin in the center of the table. They take turns spinning the dreidl. If it lands on Nun, they get nothing. If it lands on Shin, they have to give a raisin to each player. If it lands on Heh, they get half of the raisins in the center. And if it lands on Gimel, they get all the raisins in the center. When you decide time is up, the child with the most raisins is the winner, and each gets to eat his raisins.


  1. Discussion: Hanukkah is celebrated in late December and is often referred to as the “Jewish Christmas”. Does Hanukkah have anything to do with the birth of Jesus? Whose story is told? We left Jewish history with the return from Babylon under the Persians. But the Persians were ousted by the Greeks under the Macedonian king Alexander the Great. Alexander’s empire collapsed with his death, but the Greek influence continued in Palestine under a whole dynasty of kings, all with the same name! What was it? (Antiochus). It was Antiochus IV with whom the Maccabees had problems. What miracle occurred? How many days did the lamp in the great menorah burn? Why are there nine candles on the Hanukkah menorah? (one to light the others with)
  2. Service Reference: We sing to the Maccabees and their courage equal to the martyrs. 


O, ye seven pillars of the wisdom of God,
Seven-branched lamp of the light divine.
O, most-wise Maccabees, who before the martyrs
Were martyrs most great.
With them entreat ye the God of all
That we who honor you may be saved!


6. Make a clay Menorah: Shape a base from air-dry clay and paint blue. Decorate with gold-painted or glitter-pen stars of David if desired. Insert 8 birthday candles of one color and a middle candle of another color. Allow to dry.

7. Close with prayer. Pray that we may recognize the miracles in our lives, just like the miracle of the menorah.