May 25, 2024
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JKHA Lower School Students Take on Menorah Building Challenge

In second grade at JKHA, the students have focused on the mitzvot and customs of Chanukah. The children prepared by learning the halachot of lighting a chanukiah and thinking about where, when and how we light. They compared the menorah in the Beit Hamikdash to our chanukiot at home. Each student took a turn to practice setting up the chanukiah and lighting it on the different nights of Chanukah. The second graders then connected their understanding of the halachot with their engineering skills. They were challenged to build an accurate model chanukiah with a shamash that has a flame that lights and can be extinguished. All students were given a paper towel roll, string, popsicle sticks, pipe cleaners, tissue paper and masking tape. Students collaborated to come up with a plan of how to meet the challenge. The class came up with many different solutions to the challenge, driving home the notion that there is not only one right answer to a problem. Some created a pulley system with a string, others built a long stick and others attached string on both ends to move the flame. All students used their problem solving skills along the way as their plan ran into hurdles that needed to be addressed. Additionally, students used critical thinking skills to meet this challenge.

As a culminating activity to their electricity unit, fourth grade students at JKHA wired menorahs that they designed and built. Students built closed circuits with a switch to light each menorah. The designs and material of the menorahs were only limited to the students imagination. Some of the students used pipes, hockey sticks, plastic bottles, wood and steel to create their menorahs. Students were excited to discuss their plans with one another. Each menorah was as individual as the student who created it.

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