Hanukkah Resources

Browse and download free Hanukkah resources for kids, prepared by Gateways' experienced special education teachers: Hanukkah blessings with visual supports, Hanukkah social stories, visual supports for Hanukkah skills, Hanukkah song sheets with picture symbols, Make Your Own Hanukkah File Folder Activity Kits.  We'd love to hear your feedback!

Hanukkah Blessings with Visual Supports

Blessings with visual supports were created to help make blessings simple, accessible, and understandable for students with a variety of disabilities. In these files, each Hebrew phrase is illustrated by a simple symbol (we use Mayer-Johnson picture symbols). Students with disabilities can follow along with each blessing and learn to understand its meaning using symbol blessings. Print these blessings to help children learn to celebrate Hanukkah, or use them to create file folder activities.

Chanukah blessings with picture symbols

Hanukkah Blessings

Three Hanukkah blessings with Hebrew transliteration, simplified English translation and visual representation in picture symbols.


Hanukkah Social Stories

Children with disabilities can feel anxious about unfamiliar situations and events. Books and social stories can set them up for success by showing children what to expect and what is expected of them.

Birthday candles and Chanukah candles are not equal

We Use Birthday Candles and Hanukkah Candles in Different Ways

Children can sometimes confuse Hanukkah candles and birthday candles.  We put birthday candles in a cake, sing "Happy Birthday," and then blow the candles out.  But Hanukkah candles go in a menorah, then we sing blessings and do NOT blow the candles out! This story illustrates the differences between Hanukkah candles and birthday candles.


Photograph of menorah with burning candles

Hanukkah Candles Go Out By Themselves

This social story prepares children to light the Hanukkah candles and wait patiently and safely until the candles go out by themselves.


Menorah on table, stand away from table

Hanukkah Fire Safety

Sometimes the flames on Hanukkah candles make children feel nervous.  This social story helps children feel calm and safe around Hanukkah candles by illustrating four Hanukkah Fire Safety Rules, and by explaining that when people are careful and follow fire safety rules, it is safe to light Hanukkah candles. 


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Hanukkah Skills

Visual supports for Hanukkah skills sequence the steps to perform a given task to help children become more independent.

Menorah instructions with picture symbols

Menorah Instructions

Step by step instructions with visual supports to remind children of the process for lighting the Menorah.


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Hanukkah Songs

Help all children participate in Chanukah festivities by providing song sheets with picture symbols, so every child can follow along.

I have a little dreidel, I made it out of clay- with picture symbols

I Have A Little Dreidel

This song sheet displays the words to this childhood favorite in both written English and picture symbols.


Oh Chanukah words and picture symbols

Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah

This song sheet displays the words to the song "Oh Hanukkah, Oh Hanukkah" in both written English and picture symbols, so that all children can follow along.


Sevivon sov sov sov in Hebrew transliteration and picture symbols for visual support

Sevivon, Sov Sov Sov

This song sheet displays the words to the song "Sevivon, Sov Sov Sov" in both written Hebrew transliteration and picture symbols, so that all children can follow along.


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Hanukkah File Folder Activities

File folder activities can help children review ideas and familiarize them with Jewish objects. Since they are inexpensive and relatively easy to make, you can accumulate a large stack of file folder activities in no time! The visual nature of file folder activities takes advantage of the visual strengths of children with autism and many other developmental disabilities. Click for the Gateways Guide to Making File Folder Activities.

The File Folder Guide for Teachers gives teachers specific tips for using file folder activities in the classroom. It also gives special instructions for helping students to make their own file folder activities, and tips for storing and organizing your classroom file folder activity library.

Each file folder activity listed below is presented with a photograph of the activity and a downloadable kit that includes visual instructions and the materials to make your own!

How we use Chanukah candles and birthday candles

Fill in the Blank: How We Use Hanukkah Candles and Birthday Candles

 A companion to our social story "Hanukkah Resources," this activity reinforces the differences between the candles we light on birthdays and the candles we light on Hanukkah. Bright colored symbols help guide students to correctly complete sentences about the ways we use candles on these two different occasions.


symbol match the blessing for lighting the Chanukah menorah

Symbol Match the Blessing for Lighting the Hanukkah Menorah

Students gain familiarity with the blessing over the Hanukkah candles and its meaning as they match the symbols representing the blessing.


Color match days of Chanukah activity

Color Match Days of Hanukkah

A fun activity for children who love to count, this file folder activity prompts children to match each menorah with the corresponding day of Hanukkah! Brightly colored candles and text help guide students to make correct matches. This activity will help familiarize students with the menorah and the idea that we add one candle to the menorah each night of Hanukkah. Does your family have trouble remembering which night of Hanukkah it is? You can this activity as a special Hanukkah schedule: add one piece each night to keep track of which night of Hanukkah it is, and how many candles need to go in the menorah.


color match dreidels

Color Match Dreidels

Match the dreidels based on their colors. This file folder activity will help children to recognize dreidels.


Color match boys playing dreidel activity

Color Match Boys Playing Dreidel

Let's play dreidel! Match each boy with his dreidel based on their colors. This activity will reinforce the idea that we play exciting games of dreidel during Hanukkah.


complete the patterns of Chanukah candles activity

Complete the Pattern of Hanukkah Candles

For serious puzzle-lovers only! This advanced file folder activity presents students with patterns of colored Hanukkah candles that need to be completed. Each pattern of eight candles reinforces the idea that we celebrate Hanukkah for eight nights. If the patterns in this file folder activity are too tricky for your child, cut out the candles and make your own patterns!


photo match to set candles in menorah activity

Photo Match Candles in the Menorah

It's time to set the menorah! This activity features a photographs of a menorah and Hanukkah candles, and uses color coding to help guide students in setting the menorah. Prior to recognizing line drawings of objects, some children are better able to understand photgraphic representations. In addition to trying this file folder activity, we recommend taking a photograph of the actual menorah in your home which would lend familiarity to this task for your child.


Photo match Chanukah objects

Photo Match Hanukkah Objects

This file folder activity involves matching photographs of Hanukkah  objects. Prior to recognizing line drawings of objects, some children are better able to understand photographic representations. In addition to trying this file folder, we recommend taking photographs of the actual objects you use in your home which would lend familiarity to this task for your child. For a child with fine motor challenges, consider mounting the photographs on chunky blocks of foam, or built up cardboard.


Complete the menorah puzzle

Complete the Menorah Puzzle

Gold menorahs, silver menorahs, soccer ball menorahs, even alligator menorahs! In this file folder activity, students have to find the missing half of each menorah. Although there are so many interesting menorahs in the world, students with disabilities may have difficulty understanding that menorahs can be different colors or shapes and still all be menorahs. By using photographs of a wide variety of both traditional and fun menorahs, this activity will help students to generalize the idea of a menorah.