These Hanukkah writing prompts (or Chanukah writing prompts, Chanukkah writing prompts, Hannukah writing prompts, depending on how you spell this Hebrew holiday) are focused on the wonderful festival of lights that happens once each year sometime in November or December. While the gift-giving aspect of the holiday may have been altered to fit the Christmas season, the unique traditions that go along with it have brought joy to kids and adults alike throughout the world. It's time to fish that menorah out of the closet and work on some writing prompts!
Hanukkah Writing Prompts
1. The menorah is the major symbol of Hanukkah and it demonstrates how the small amount of oil was able to light the holy temple for eight whole nights. Have you ever had something last much longer than you expected it to? How grateful were you that it lasted so long?
2. Some of the foods of Hanukkah include latkes (potato pancakes) and sufganiyot (deep-fried donuts). How do you think these tasty treats compare to foods that you might eat at other holidays? What would a non-Jewish person think of these delicacies?
3. In recent years, some Jewish people have taken the "miracle of the oil" literally and have connected it with environmental causes. What are some other important causes you think the holiday of Hanukkah could be linked to?
4. In the story of Hanukkah, Judah Maccabee led a successful revolt against an oppressive King. Their success and the later "miracle of the oil" are the main reasons for celebrating the holiday. What would it have been like to be part of such a rebellion? What do you think the Jewish rebels would think upon seeing our celebration so many years later?
5. How would you best describe the holiday of Hanukkah to someone who has never heard of it before? Make sure to include the story, the food, the gifts and the other aspects of the celebration.
6. The Hebrew letters on the spinning toy, the dreidel, translate either into "a great miracle happened there" (for those outside of Israel) or "a great miracle happened here" (for those in Israel). Have you ever seen a great miracle in your life? If you did, how would you commemorate the occasion?
7. Describe your most entertaining dreidel playing experience. Did you win all of the Hanukkah gelt? Did someone playing not understand the rules leading to a humorous moment or two? Explain what happened in great detail.
8. There are several jokes about Hanukkah that have actually become genuine traditions, such as the Hanukkah bush, an assimilation of the Christmas tree. There have also been jokes about someone named Hanukkah Harry, who is a parody of Santa Claus. Create a silly story about Hanukkah Harry and how he fits into the holiday.
9. What is the importance of singing the blessings over the lighting of the menorah? Why do we sing three blessings on the first night and two on the rest of the nights? How would you explain the blessings to someone who doesn't understand Hebrew?
10. What are some of the best gifts you have ever received for Hanukkah? How do you think these gifts differ from the ones that kids receive on Christmas? How important do you think presents are to both of these holidays?
Bryan Cohen is the author of more than 30 books, many of which focus on creative writing and blasting through that pesky writer's block. His books have sold more than 20,000 copies. You can find him on Google+ and Facebook.