Purim Activities: Learn About the Holiday in Your Classroom
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Purim Activities: Learn About the Holiday in Your Classroom

Newsela Editorial
Mar 19, 2024

The holiday of Purim commemorates the salvation of ancient Jewish peoples from the Persian empire, as told in the Book of Esther. During this celebration, people send mishloach manot (like gift baskets!) to friends, family, and those in need; eat Hamantaschen cookies to celebrate Haman’s defeat; dress in costumes; and read the Book of Esther to recount the story behind the holiday. 

To help you teach your students more about this religious holiday, we’ve curated resources to make it easy to bring Purim activities into your ELA and social studies classrooms.


Explore Purim’s history and storytelling activities

Help students explore the role scriptures and other texts play in the joyous Jewish celebration of Purim with nonfiction articles:

  • Discover how storytelling is a part of the Purim celebration

  • Discuss how storytelling is also important to most other religious and cultural traditions.

After you have students explore these resources, pair them up for small group discussions. Have them use Newsela and other outside resources to answer the following questions:

  • Who are the main characters in the story of Purim?

  • How does the story of Purim show the characteristics of courage and resilience?

  • What are some customs and traditions associated with Purim?

Then, have them use what they’ve learned to create a party invitation, inviting others to a Purim celebration. The invite should include information about the history of the holiday and the symbols associated with it. Make sure students also include other information you’d see on an invitation, like the date, time, location, attire expectations, and any other special instructions.

Add more skills practice to your Purim activities

It’s easy to add additional skills practice to any Newsela lesson with just a search. Our updated skills search filter for Newsela ELA lets you select which skills you want to teach in the classroom and find articles that match! Ready to give it a try? Log into your Newsela account to see how it works!

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