Monday, April 4, 2011

Children in the Holocaust and genocide

My 8th graders have just finished studying the ghettos of Poland with emphasis on the Lodz ghetto. I had them view a documentary entitled The Lodz Ghetto which I found at the resource center at the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education. This video was divided into 4 parts with discussion questions for each one. This gave my students a great introduction and overview of the ghettos. I would certainly recommend this video for classes either to be seen in its entirety or in parts.
The next reading selection for my class will be Surviving Hitler. It is a memoir written by Andrea Warren about the experiences of Jack Mandelbaum, a local Holocaust survivor. There is a curriculum unit which can be found on the MCHE website which is very good. My past students gave great reviews on this book. They seemed to especially connect with the fact the Mr. Mandelbaum is from the Kansas City area. Of course, they all want to meet him after reading his memoir.
I will be ending my Holocaust unit with a lesson comparing and contrasting the diaries of two young people. The students will read excerpts from the Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak, a young man who lived in the Lodz ghetto and the diary of Zlata Filipovic, who lived in Sarajevo during the Bosnian War. This lesson is designed to connect lessons learned from the Holocaust with what has happened in the world since the end of World War II. I used this lesson last year and it was a success.

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