Monday, March 4, 2013

3 weeks to teach...

This year my time spent teaching the Holocaust has been reduced from a quarter to maybe 3 weeks.  I am now teaching social studies instead of literature.  Trying to condense my material has been quite a challenge.  That is the main reason I chose to continue using the Echoes and Reflections curriculum with my8th grade students. I have had great success with this program in the past. This program is divided into ten lessons.  Each lesson provides a historical context for the topic as well as survivor testimony and primary source material, including photographs, diary entries, poems and historical documents.  You certainly do not have to teach everything in each unit or even teach all of the units, but incorporating the survivor testimony would be a great way to bring the individual aspect of Holocaust study to you students. 

In addition to Echoes and Reflections, I am still having my students read a variety of Holocaust literature.  Within their literature circle groups, they read The Diary of Anne Frank, A Coming Evil, The Boy Who Dared, Behind the Bedroom Wall, Torn Thread, Play to the Angels, Someone Named Eva, Yellow Star, I Have Lived a Thousand Years and All But My Life.

As a class they will read Surviving Hitler by Andrea Warren.  This memoir chronicles the experiences of local Holocaust survivor, Jack Mandelbaum during his adolescent years in World War II Europe.  There is an excellent teaching guide for this selection on the MCHE web site (requires registration).
I always have my students use the MCHE or USHMM websites for any information that they need for assignments or projects in my class.

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