Kindergartners Learn About the “Festivals of Light”

Every year, the kindergartners go on an excursion to see the “Festivals of Light,” an educational and fun holiday program offered by the Jewish Museum. “We celebrate how light is represented in all of the winter holidays: Diwali, Hanukkah, Christmas, Kwanzaa and the New Year,” KC teacher Jordi Salas explained. The lesson challenges students to identify different sources of light, from ancient sources to modern ones. They then draw and decorate menorahs and observe the differences between menorahs, Christmas lights and Diwali lights (dyias) and discuss why each winter holiday might celebrate light. Finally, students go to the art studio and create their own light picture, drawing inspiration from the lights on bridges, the moon, stars and the sun.

Finally, the kindergarten teachers display the student creations on a bulletin board in their room labeled “Festival of Light.” The lesson continues in their science classes in late December, where students think literally about sources of light, including artificial versus natural light and the differences between transparent, translucent and opaque light.