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One Little Candle - Notes on Participation

by Doug Lipman

for the stories on the recording
One Little Candle: Participation Stories and Songs for Hanukkah

All the stories and songs on this tape were originally intended for use with audience participation. These notes are to help "reconstitute" the participation from the recorded versions.

In general, audiences can be encouraged to sing along with the songs, and clap or patsch (clap hands on legs) with the rhythmic chants. For participation ideas for individual stories & songs, read on.

One Little Candle
  1. Have eight children volunteer to help lead the song. Each memorizes one candle's "line." Point to the child whose line of the song comes next.
  2. Create join-in movements for each of the eight candles (for example, pretend to unroll a Torah scroll for "a Jewish candle," pretend to put two candles in a menorah for "in a menorah," etc.).
The Shammes Candle
  1. Precede the story with making new verses about Hanukkah symbols: "On Hanukkah, the darkest night (3x), we need a ______ to do things right." What things do you need to have on Hanukkah to make it seem like Hanukkah? (e.g., a dreydl, etc.)
  2. Add movements to the song. During the verse about the dreydl, repeatedly pretend to spin a dreydl with thumb and forefingers; during the verse about Hanukkah coins, pretend to rub a coin - or be a coin - etc.
I Want to Spread the Word
  1. Join in with the noises for the water, rose, and candle.
  2. Invite volunteers to act out the parts of the four messengers, the water, the rose, and the candle, and even the demon.
  3. Make up verses before or after the story about what things in the world give you hope. Most things can make sense in this song if you use one of the verbs "grows," "flows," "glows," "shows," "arose" or "goes." For example, if an audience member said that sunlight gives her hope, the appropriate line of the song can be changed to "til all creation knows, wherever sunlight shows, a miracle has occurred...."

The Light is Shining Inside Me

  1. Sing the response, "The light is shining inside me."
  2. Sing the echo after the slow lines (e.g., leader sings, "Proud to be a Jew," and audience echoes, "Proud to be a Jew.")
  3. Hold up the number of fingers for each lamp.
  4. Make movements for each lamp (e.g., mime "guard my Temple door").
Hanukkah Smiles
  1. Add movements to the songs, or ask your audience to add movements.
  2. For each night of Hanukkah after the first, have your audience make up verses about what the girl buys.
  3. Have children volunteer to be the Hanukkah candles for each night. Optionally, each "candle" can have the job of remembering what the girl did with her coin that night. As an additional option, have those children repeat what she bought during the second half of the story. E.g., "Now, on the second night of Hanukkah, you bought a _____ (second 'candle' fills in the word), but the smile kept on going...."
  4. Give each "worker" a movement. The lumber merchant can pretend to saw, the blacksmith to work a bellows, etc. All join in.
  5. Choose children to act out the parts of the six workers. I set up eight chairs on stage. In front of each chair, I sit the eight "candles," whom I choose one at a time as I narrate each night of Hanukkah. Then, when the grandmother tells her long story, I choose a child to be the lumber-merchant's son, who sits in the first chair. A little later in her story, I choose another to be the lumber merchant, who sits in the second chair, etc. The eighth chair can be filled by a child representing the little girl herself.
I'm Gonna Light My Menorah
  1. Divide the audience into four groups. Have an additional group join in singing on each line of the chorus.
  2. Make up verses about ways you feel inadequate to the tasks in your life: "Sometimes I feel I'm not brave enough, not strong enough, not kind enough; sometimes I feel I'm not brave enough, but miracles can't happen 'til I try."

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Read more about this recording;

Purchase this recording.

This recording can also be purchased at a discount as part of the Jewish Stories for Children Bundle (a bundle that also includes the recording Now We Are Free.)

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This page was last updated on Friday, November 28, 2003
Copyright©2003 Doug Lipman