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Transcript of The Holocaust
The Holocaust is a very emotional subject that needs to be handled with care by the teachers. Some of the details can be scary and even tramatizing for some children. There are many books that are available to help introduce and incorporate the subject into daily lessons. The Holocaust when taught appropriately can help with today's children because it can promote tolerance and respect for one another.
By: Candace Smith, Clare Carpenter, Lace Pickens, and Stephanie Robinson
Elie Wiesel was born a young Jewish boy in a small village in Romania by the name of Sighet. At the age of 15, Elie was separated from his mother and younger sister upon arrival at the Nazi concentration camp, Auschwitz. Elie and his two older sisters were the only survivors of their family.
In 1945, Elie Wiesel was liberated from the camp and taken to Paris. It is in Paris that he began studying journalism, and in 1958 Elie Wiesel published his first book "LaNuit" which is written in memory of his life at the concentration camps.
To remain silent and indifferent
is the greatest sin of all.
Famous Books Written by Ellie Wiesel
"Night" is a story based upon Elie Wiesel's survival in the Nazi concentration camps. The book is written as a memoir in order to depict the horrible events of the Holocaust through the eyes of the main character Eliezer.
Quote from the Book:
"Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed. Never shall I forget that smoke. Never shall I forget the little faces of the children, whose bodies I saw turned into wreaths of smoke beneath a silent blue sky."
(Wiesel, 2006, p. 32)
4th Grade Classroom Activities for "Night"
By: Elie Wiesel
In the book, Wiesel focuses on his memory and identity during the Holocaust.
Pre-reading Activity: Ask students to list their memories, ideas, and life experiences that have shaped them into the person they have become today.
During the Reading: Students need to explore the identity of Eliezer, and how his identity changes as the story progresses.
After the Reading: Students examine their list of memories and life experiences, and they will decide which memories are worth sharing with the world as they write their own memoir.
"I think our job in the public school is
to teach that life is valuable--every life."
"All Rivers Run to the Sea" By Elie Wiesel
"All Rivers Run to the Sea" is an autobiographical tale of Elie's life. Unlike "Night", this story is a true account of Elie's life in a concentration camp, a French orphanage, and his struggle to leave the Holocaust behind.
History Research Project
As students read "All Rivers Run to the Sea" by Elie Wiesel integrate a Holocaust research project.
Students will choose from a list of topics to research and present to the class. Each student will write a three page paper with a works cited page.
Adolf Hitler Adolf Eichmann Gestapo
Heinrich Himmler Nazi The White Rose Movement
Reinhard Heydrich Auschwitz Irene Sendler
Bergen Belson Star of David Raoul Wallenberg
Anne Frank Jewish Religion Death Marches
4th Grade Language Arts Standard: Compare Story Elements and the experiences and feelings of literary characters to students' lives.
Alabama Language Arts Standard: 13. Combine all aspects of the research process to compose a report. Examples: outline, rough draft, editing, final copy, works-cited page
The Important Role the Holocaust Plays in the Classroom
On a cold December night in 1993, a rock crashed sharply through a window in Billings, Montana. The rock shattered the bedroom of a young Jewish boy, Isaac Schnitzer, and the projectile rock comprised the latest incident in a string of local racist and anti-Jewish acts that coincided with Hanukkah, the Jewish "festival of lights."
(Levine, 2010, p. 92)
Students need to be taught respect and tolerance of other cultures and religions.
Just like the racist act mentioned in the previous slide, these acts of hate pop up each day, therefore it is important we teach our students about the Holocaust and the religion of the Jewish people.
Students need to be taught to respect people of diverse cultures and understand the horrible events that took place during WWII.
Carol Matas is an internationally acclaimed author of over 35 novels for children and young adults. She is a graduate of the Actor’s Lab, in London England, Carol first earned a B.A. (English) from the University of Western Ontario. Her teaching experience includes Artists in the School, Manitoba Arts Council; visiting professor at Bemidji State University, Minnesota; and a Creative Writing instructor, Continuing Education Division, the University of Winnipeg. Carol is an inspiring speaker and she is frequently invited to address children and adults across North America. Carol writes contemporary and historical fiction, as well as science fiction and fantasy. She first began writing historical fiction when her Danish husband told her stories about his parents' experiences fighting the Nazis in World War II. She has often written about Jewish themes, and is well known for her books concerning the Holocaust.
Carol Matas depicts the seductive power Nazi arrogance, their dark ethnocentrism that fueled their genocidal campaign for racial
purity in Europe. Even a Jew, a victim of that very madness, can succumb. Matas makes an appalling effective commentary on the human.
Summary of Daniel's Story
Matas was commissioned by the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum to write her third Holocaust novel, Daniel’s Story. Daniel barely remembers leading a normal life before the Nazis came to power in 1933. He can still picture once being happy and safe, but memories and days are fading away as he and his family face the dangers threatening Jews in Hitler's Germany the late 1930s. No longer able to practice their religion, vote, own property, or work, Daniel's family is forced from their home in Frankfurt. First, they are deported to the ghetto in Lodz, Poland, and then to Auschwitz (the Nazi extermination camp). He survives the torments of the concentration camp and is transported to Buchenwald. Daniel endures to witness the camp's liberation in 1945. Though many around him lose hope in the face of such terror, Daniel, supported by his courageous family, struggles for survival. Yet he manages to retain his life, hope and dignity through the horrors of Hitler's Final Solution.
“We are alive.
We are human, with good and bad in us.
That's all we know for sure.
We can't create a new species or a new world.
That's been done.
Now we have to live within those boundaries.
What are our choices?
We can despair and curse, and change nothing.
We can choose evil like our enemies have done and create a world based on hate.
Or we can try to make things better.”
--Carol Matas, "Daniel's Story
The Nazis have invaded Denmark. But Lisa and her family refuse to perish without a fight. Her father, a doctor, treats resistance fighters in secret, and her older brother Stefan enlists in the anti-Nazi movement. Then Lisa joins the resistance to seek revenge, and she realizes the war her people are fighting is a lonely and deadly one.
Lisa's War Classroom Activity
Hold a class discussion to bring students to the realization that when wars are fought in remote parts of the world, we often feel detached from the situation. For those who live in the midst of war, however, the experience is all too real. Students will think about the story Lisa’s War. They will create diary excerpts of what a child might have said during the war. Then, they will create a digital diary using Storybird.
“ Perhaps the easiest way for today’s children to identify with children of the past is through self-narrated stories of Holocaust-era children.
Modern readers are easily able to see that children who lived half a century ago are not so different than themselves, which makes history seem not so far away.
When modern readers realize that they easily could have been in a situation they read about, the events of the past are not so unbelievable.
Whey they identify with the protagonists of the books they read, history—the Holocaust—becomes highly personalized.”
(Jordan, 2004, p. 201)
Famous Holocaust Authors
“As a Jew, I would hate to see our discourse narrowed by fear.
I am trying to expand the discourse.
For those who want to leave children out of it, they will have to do so without me.”
Additional Children's Books
"If Your Name Was Changed at Ellis Island" by Ellen Levine;
"The Lily Cupboard" by Shulamith Levey Oppenheim;
"Fly Away Home" by Eve Bunting;
"The Number on My Grandfather's Arm" by David Adler;
"Why Are People Different? A Book About Prejudice" by Barbara Hazen
"The Sneetches and Other Stories" by Dr. Seuss. (This book is also listed in the state's Holocaust education curriculum guide.)
Studying the Holocaust allows students to learn to challenge predeterminations and understand the complex relationship between individual identity and universal identity.
Holocaust education provides a pathway for students to confront their present concerns involving loyalty, peer pressure, incriminating, conformity and belonging. Studying the past helps to understand the present. They learn that human beings hold the power to control their behavior, so they become aware of the importance of making choices and come to realize that one person can make a difference.
Author, Irene N. Watts. (n.d.). Irene N. Watts. Retrieved November 27, 2012, from http://www.irenenwatts.com/
Crackel, B. (2002-2012). The diary of anne frank: How would i survive?. Retrieved from http://alex.state.al.us/lesson_view.php?id=8050
Elie Wiesel Biography. (2012). Retrieved December 1, 2012. from http://www.nobelprize.org/nobel_prizes/peace/laureates/1986/wiesel-bio.html
Jordan, Sarah D. (2004). Educating without overwhelming: Authorial strategies in children’s holocaust literature. Children’s Literature in Education, 35 (3), 199-218.
Levine, J.The curious conflation of Hanukkah and the holocaust in jewish children's literature. University of Wisconsin Oshkosh. Vol. 28 (2), p. 92-115.
Sullivan, Ed. (2002). The holocaust fiction of carol matas. The Alan Review, 4-6.
Walter, V. A., & March, S. F. (1993). Juvenile picture books about the holocaust: Extending the definitions of children's literature. Publishing Research Quarterly, 9 (3), 36-51.
Wiesel, E. (2006). Night. New York: Hill Wang; Revised Edition.
Daniel's Story Activity
Daniel comments that he thought the restrictions placed on the family and the living conditions in Frankfurt were terrible, until he was moved to Lodz.
He says that each place was worst than the last. Compare each place by completing the following chart.
Restrictions and Living Conditions
Frankfort Lodz Auschwitz Buchenwald
Irene N. Watts
Irene N. Watts was born in Germany in 1931. As a young child, she was transported out of Germany with the other Jewish children without their parents. She was taken to England on a Kindertransport, a train that transported 10,000 children to safety during World War 2. She lived and went to school in England. She was married and had 4 children then moved with her family to Canada. As a child, she liked to make up stories which led her to become an author later in life. During her lifetime, she was an elementary school teacher, drama teacher, playwright and author. She has authored, edited or compiled 8 works about the Holocaust.
“Even language, the basic tool of the writer, is inadequate to the task of conveying the horror of the Holocaust; it has been impoverished by overuse in everyday discourse. Sitting down to a late lunch, we say, "I'm starving." Coming home from a hard day at work, we say, "I'm exhausted, dead tired." What do these same words mean in the context of the Holocaust experience?”
(Walter & March, 1993, p. 39)
Irene Watts has authored, edited or compiled 8 works about the Holocaust. Her most famous works is a trilogy of books. The books are Goodbye Marianne, Remember Me and Finding Sophia. Her other works include A Telling Time, Tapestry of Hope and
A Terrible Truth, Volume One & Two: Anthology of Holocaust Drama.
Good Bye Marianne
Irene Watts’ most famous book is Goodbye Marianne. She has turned this powerful story into a book, graphic novel and one act play. The story behind Goodbye Marianne is somewhat based on Irene Watts’ own life.
Example Fifth Grade Activity
5.) Compare the genre characteristics of autobiographies, biographies, and historical fiction, including multicultural literature.
Students, in groups of three, will compare and contrast the three versions of Goodbye Marianne. Each group member will read either the play, book and graphic novel. Then, the groups will present to the class the similarities and differences between each in a creative form.
“Among survivors, there has been a heavy burden, almost an obligation, to record what happened, to preserve an individual and collective memory of the cataclysmic series of events that nearly destroyed the Jewish population of Europe.”
“Do people know the precise moment when their lives change? All I know is that, for me, it happened just before my fourteenth birthday.”
-Quote from Finding Sophie
6th Grade Cross-Curricular Social Studies Lesson
Holocaust Activity for Students: Extension
Standard 8.) List key figures, significant events, and reasons for the involvement of the United States in World War II.
This project will allow students to research more about the Holocaust using the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s website. It will allow for individual study on a student’s topic of choice. The museum offers many resources online.
“This picture of Barack Obama and Elie Wiesel was taken in front of a famous quote at the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.”