Menorahs

Discussion in 'Elementary Education' started by Magnolia, Nov 14, 2013.

  1. Magnolia

    Magnolia Rookie

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Hi all!

    I teach kindergarten at a public school, and this is my second year here. Last year, I basically did all of the art projects that the veteran K teacher did, as she was more than willing to share and collaborate. Now that I am planning out December, I realized that last year our classes made Menorahs (2 painted hands and then cut and paste candles). We talked a bit about Hanukkah, and also learned to play the dreidel game.

    My school has a very small Jewish population. We really enjoy learning about other cultures, but sometimes I worry that we may offend people.

    Does anyone here have any advice or insight regarding menorahs? I won't skip over Hanukkah altogether, but am just wondering if the specific Menorah art project seems "un-PC".

    Thanks!
     
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  3. Jem

    Jem Aficionado

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    Nov 14, 2013

    We have one in our classroom. I approach the holidays as a fact-based cultural learning experience, so we are as inclusive as possible. If parents are offended we are learning about factual information that is present in the world around us, they can set up a meeting and I'll gladly present my defense.

    The only holiday I waiver on is Kwanzaa. While doing research, it seems to be a controversial holiday in the African American community and I never know how to approach it. This year I asked the mother of our one AA student if they would like us to include it, and she said they don't celebrate it. I'll leave it out and take it year by year. Otherwise, we learn about and celebrate holidays from all sorts of cultures!
     
  4. Aliceacc

    Aliceacc Multitudinous

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    Nov 14, 2013

    My kids attend public schools.

    Each December, the elementary schools do projects on Hannukah, Christmas ans Kwanza. It's wonderful to see my little Catholic daughter playing the Dreidel game.

    I think the easiest way to break down the walls that exist between adults is through kids. Teach my daughter to appreciate the ceremonies associated wtih Hannnukah, and teach her friend Rachel to appreciate the ceremonies associated with Christmas. It's not an attempt at conversion, it's a chance to appreciate and to learn something you were unaware of.

    The fact that you have only a very tiny Jewish population makes it that much more important to expose your kids to customs and beliefs they might otherwise not come into contact with.
     
  5. Loves the beach

    Loves the beach Companion

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    Nov 14, 2013

    Same here.
     
  6. Tyler B.

    Tyler B. Groupie

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    Nov 14, 2013

    A couple of years ago, a Jewish mom asked me not to teach the class about her daughter's religious beliefs nor anyone else's. She said it was up to families to have experts in their respective religions offer religious training. I took this to heart and now avoid any form of any religion in my class. We do seasonal and cultural lessons, but nothing religious.

    This made sense to me, and I'm really comfortable with it.
     

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