Multiple Intelligences: Musical, bodily-kinesthetic, interpersonal, spatial

Core Concept:

Students will participate in a treasure hunt to reinforce the names of the Jewish months and their holidays. They will create a visual representation that helps them associate each month with the major holidays that fall within it.


Becoming more familiar with the rhythms of the Jewish year will help students develop stronger connections to Jewish holidays and celebrations that are central to Jewish life. By linking the holidays and months of the year with places in the synagogue connected to their celebration, students will feel a stronger connection to their synagogue and the Jewish calendar.


  • The Months Song,” by Rachel Cole, along with a device to play the song for the class
  • 60 sheets of colored paper: 12 sheets in five different colors (select shades that are light enough to draw on with markers)
  • Small prize, such as a pocket calendar, to place at end of treasure hunt
  • Class calendar pages from Lesson 2
  • Tape or glue
  • One set of treasure-hunt clues per group (See Instructional Materials JC 3.2: Sample Treasure Hunt Clues)
  • Paper for signs that read: “You have found the Calendar Treasure! Take this sign to your teacher to receive your reward!”
  • Markers
  • Poster board for completed visual representation (one per group) plus one for sample
  • OPTIONAL: Four digital cameras (or cell phones with cameras)
  • OPTIONAL: Additional songs about the Jewish months of the year can be downloaded from iTunes:
    • "Sheneim Asar Hayerahim," by Naomi Shemer (Hebrew)
    • "Jewish Calendar Song," by Julie Jaslow Auerbach
      • Search on iTunes for "Jewish Calendar Song"; album: Seasoned with Song; artist: Julie Jaslow Auerbach

Journal JC 3.1: Months of the Year

Instructional Materials
Instructional Material JC 3.1a - JC3.1c: Treasure Hunt Preparation
Instructional Material JC 3.2: Sample Treasure Hunt Clues (individual clues are not numbered because students are going to use them)
Instructional Material JC 3.3: Treasure Hunt Station Layout
Instructional Material JC 3.4: Month Signs (individual signs are not numbered because you are going to hang them up)

Worksheet JC 3.1: "The Months Song"
Worksheet JC 3.2a - 3.2b: The Jewish Months
Note: Worksheet JC3.2b is optional. Distribute if students will not be able to complete the questions on Worksheet JC3.a based on the class calendars alone.

Prepare in Advance:

  • Open “The Months Song,” by Rachel Cole.
    • Select one poster board and 12 sheets of colored paper.
    • Fold each paper horizontally (8.5" x 5.5").
    • Lay the construction paper on the poster board (landscape orientation) in a 3 x 4 grid. Center it so that the border is even on the left and right sides.
    • Glue the paper onto the poster board.
  • UseInstructional Material JC 3.1 to 3.4 to prepare for the treasure hunt.
    • The treasure hunt is designed for four groups of students. Groups can range from two to five students, depending on the size of your class.
    • Select one location in your synagogue that is associated with a holiday within each month of the Jewish year, or with the season when it occurs. For example, the Tishrei location could be in a place that relates to the shofar, prayer, charity, or sukkah. You should have one location per month and 12 locations altogether. See Instructional Material JC 3.1b - JC3.1c for suggested locations.
    • Create an interactive assignment for students to complete at each location before they receive their next clue. For example, the Tishrei assignment may ask students to blow imaginary shofarot. See Instructional Material JC 3.1b - JC 3.1c for suggestions. Create a sign that explains the assignment to be posted next to the clues at the appropriate location. The adult or teenager accompanying the group may photograph or video these actions and post them on a website or blog.
    • Make a sign that reads: “You have found the Calendar Treasure! Take this sign to your teacher to receive your reward!” to be displayed at the final location of hunt.
    • Gather any materials you need to complete the actions in the third bullet above.
    • We have provided clues (Instructional Material JC 3.2) for the locations we have selected. Decide if you would like to use them or if you would like to create your own.
    • Make four copies of each set of clues, each on different-colored paper. Suggested colors are:
      • Yellow group
      • Blue group
      • Green group
      • Orange group
    • Fold the sheet of paper horizontally so that the clue is covered (8.5" x 5.5").
    • Use the grid in Instructional Material JC 3.3to plan the order in which groups will travel.
      • Label 12 Post-It notes with the names of the stations in the first column of the chart (Tishrei-Av) plus teacher.
      • Put the yellow Tishrei clue, the blue Av clue, the green Adar clue, and the orange Nissan clue in a group, and fasten them with a paper clip, placing the "Teacher" Post-It on top. You will hand these clues to the yellow, blue, green, and orange groups at the beginning of the treasure hunt.
      • Group the rest of the clues by station. Each row in the chart is a different station. For example, the Tishrei station contains: yellow Heshvan clue, blue Elul clue, green Tamuz clue, and orange Iyar clue. Fasten the clues for each station together with a paper clip, and attach the station Post-It note.
      • You will HAND the first clue (marked with the "Teacher" Post-It) to each group. That clue leads to the place mentioned in the first clue. Be careful not to place a clue in the place that it refers to: students must have the clue in hand to find the next clue in the spot referred to.
    • Purchase or prepare a reward for the treasure hunt. This might be a small candy or toy. Consider distributing something with significance to the lesson, such as a pocket calendar.
    • On the day of the treasure hunt, set up each station with the following:
      • Sign with the name of the month (Instructional Material JC 3.4)
      • Sign describing the action and any materials needed to complete that action.
      • The four clues. Fan out the four clues so that students don't inadvertently take another group's clue.
      • At the last station, set up the sign that reads: “You have found the Calendar Treasure! Take this sign to your teacher to receive your reward!"
  • Note: If you decide to alter the order of the treasure hunt, each group should begin with a different month and travel in a different order so as to avoid confusion. They should all end with the same month so that there can be a treat waiting for them at the final location.

Use of Technology:

  • Recording of song
  • Video or photograph students as they complete the actions for each clue. Send these to parents as a Voicethread after class (OPTIONAL).

Quad 2 Left Inform.jpgStep 9, Quad 2, Left (Inform)

Objective: Students will identify the names of the Jewish months and the holidays that occur in each month.

Activity: Students will learn a song of the Jewish months of the year and will research the holidays that they contain.

Time: 10-15 minutes


Worksheet JC 3.1.jpg
  • Students will listen to “The Months Song,” by Rachel Cole, which includes the names of the months of the Jewish year.
  • Distribute Worksheet JC 3.1, "The Months Song" with the lyrics, and teach students to sing along.

  • Distribute Worksheet JC 3.2a - 3.2b and assign each month to one or two students. If possible, students should be assigned a different month from the one that they worked on for the calendar.

Worksheet JC 3.2_Page_1.jpgWorksheet JC 3.2_Page_2.jpg

  • Ask students to look at the class calendar pages on the walls to find out what holidays each month contains and to infer the answers to the other questions on the worksheet.
  • Students share their answers with the class, starting with the students who were assigned Tishrei and moving sequentially through the year.

Quad 3 Left Practice.pngStep 10, Quad 3, Left (Practice)

Objective: Students will review the names of the Jewish months.

Activity: Students will go on a treasure hunt to collect the names of Jewish months and will use the clues that they collect to create a visual representation of the months of the year.

Note: This activity requires helpers because students will be moving around the school in small groups. These helpers might be colleagues who are not teaching at that particular time, parents, adult or teenage volunteers, or older students.


  • Prepare the treasure hunt as described in “Prepare in Advance.” Divide the class into four groups: yellow, blue, green, and orange. Distribute the first clues to each group. Instruct students to find the answer to the first clue, where they will find the next clue on a folded piece of paper.
  • NOTE: Instruct students to save the pieces of construction paper with the clues, as they will use these to create a visual of the months of the year. The adult/high school helpers should be in charge of holding the pieces of construction paper, so that they are not destroyed during the treasure hunt.
  • The final clue will send students back to their classroom to use the papers that they collected to create a visual of the months of the Jewish year.
  • With their groups, students review “The Months Song" and the holidays that fall within each month. They will use the class calendar and the “Jewish Months” worksheets that students completed as part of Step 9 to help them remember the holidays that occur in each month.
  • Within each group, divide the months of the year among students as evenly as possible. Students will illustrate the months that they have been assigned for the visual. Students write the name of each month on the top flap of the folded piece of colored paper that contains the clue for that month. They decorate the top flap with symbols that reflect the holidays/seasons that fall within each month (if desired).
  • Order the sheets of colored paper so that the months of the year are sequenced correctly. Arrange them in a 3 x 4 grid, and glue them onto a piece of poster board that is laid horizontally.
  • Students put their Jewish birthdays on the visuals (if desired).
  • Journal JC 3.1.jpgStudents complete Journal JC 3.1 to add a personal connection to the activity.
  • Hang visuals in the classroom for an ongoing reminder of the names and sequence of the months of the Jewish year.
  • At the end of class, take down the calendar pages from Step 7 and assemble them into a calendar. Hang this calendar on a bulletin board.

OPTIONAL: Send home a Voicethread to parents that contains the photographs taken during the treasure hunt. To create this Voicethread:
  • Save the photographs on your computer.
  • Enter your Voicethread account through:
  • Click on "Create."
  • Click on Upload from "My Computer."
  • Find the first photograph on your computer and then click on each.
  • Repeat the last two bullets to upload each additional photograph.
  • To share the file after you have finished uploading all photographs, move it into the group that includes the students in your class.
  • Select the appropriate level of sharing that you want to give students. At a minimum, select "View" and "Comment."
  • Check the "Playback" and "Publishing Options" as well. If you do not want students to share the Voicethread outside the class, click on "Hide the Final Share slide" box in "Playback Options" menu.