Morah Sheli Village | Hanukkah Lesson Plans Week 1
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Hanukkah Lesson Plans Week 1

Jerusalem, Epiphanes, & the Abomination


Welcome! In popular demand, I decided to write a simple plan to help homeschool families learn more about Hanukkah and the history behind the celebration. The plans are four weeks long so that you can decide how brief or how in depth you’d like to be. Each week has it’s own topic so you can gain a general idea of what it is about as you decide. I’d like to also give a special shout-out to my friend, Miryam who helped me create all the wonderful printables included in this week’s plans. Thank you!

Week 1

Day 1


  • Read Nehemiah 3 (or you read it yourself and summarize the story for your children) or LISTEN to Nehemiah 3 {Time 32:30-39:13}

Reading this passage will help students understand the time period just before the Grecian occupation. They will also know about the rebuilding of the walls in Jerusalem.

Explain that after Alexander the Greek conquered Persia, Jerusalem transitioned occupation from Persia to Greece.

  • Identify Jerusalem on the map. Explain that Judah (Southern Kingdom) is the region and that Jerusalem is the capital city. Tell students that this is the city where many Israelites (especially those who were descendants of Judah, Benjamin, and Levi) live.

Day 2


  • Read I Maccabees 1:1-9

Explain that Alexander the Greek died 12 years into his reign with no rightful son/heir.  As a result, his kingdom was divided among his 4 generals. Each general acquired their own region within the empire.

Remind students that not all of the Israelites assimilated. There were some who decided to uphold their own customs.

Day 3


  • Read  I Maccabees 1:29-41
  • Report the ancient news with the Temple Robbery periodical.

Day 4


  • READ  I Maccabees 1:42-64

Even though the king (Greek) declared for both the Greeks and Israelites to be one people, to abandon their own customs (and many people {including Israelites} favored this decree); what did YHWH say? (One of those customs, which the Israelites understood as a Commandment, was to keep the Sabbath.)

  • READ Exodus 20:2-3 & 8 to review the 1st and 4th Commandments.
  •  Craft a scroll (or a sign) of your choice with the two commandments (at least) that the Israelites should have remembered. (Discuss how these two are relevant to the story in Maccabees.)

Below is a quick video of how we crafted a mini Torah Scroll at school. Hopefully, it will help!