Beverly Ann Chin - Echoes and Reflections

Beverly Ann Chin


About The Author

Beverly Ann Chin

Beverly Ann Chin is Professor of English, Director of the English Teaching Program, and former Director of the Montana Writing Project at the University of Montana in Missoula.


Since 2009, I have been using Echoes and Reflections as an essential resource with English/language arts and history/social studies teachers to help their students understand the literature (fiction and non-fiction) of the Holocaust. Using the well-crafted lessons, powerful visual testimonies, and carefully selected primary documents in Echoes and Reflections, I help teachers learn compelling content and effective strategies that deepen students’ engagement and analysis of Holocaust literary and historical texts. By integrating these texts into Echoes and Reflections, teachers and students personalize the history of the Holocaust; reflect on the role of individual responsibility, and learn to act on behalf of social justice for all.

A lesson that I have found to be particularly effective is a lesson that I developed for use with inservice and preservice teachers using Lesson 4: The Ghettos and We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust (Jacob Boas, Scholastic, 1995).

Below is an outline of the lesson “Integrating Holocaust Non-fiction into Echoes and Reflections.”

• Write the word “ghetto” on the board and ask students to write their images and thoughts about the word in a journal.

• Introduce Ellis Lewin and Joseph Morton to the group using their Biographical Profiles and then show their testimonies from Lesson 4. Have students compare their original images and thoughts about the word “ghetto” to what they learned from these survivors.

• Distribute primary source materials in Echoes and Reflections to enhance students’ understanding of the ghettos.

• After an introduction to the teenagers in We Are Witnesses, have students divide into groups by teenage author and then read about their chosen teenager as a group.

• Initiate a jigsaw exercise, asking students to move into new groups with at least one representative from each diary. Have students discuss their teenagers and perceptions of life in the ghettos.

• Share testimony from additional survivors featured in Lesson 4: Leo Berkenwald, Milton Belfer, George Shainfarber, and Eva Safferman to provide students with additional perspectives of ghetto life.

• Ask students to consider what they learned about the ghettos from the diary entries and visual history testimonies shown in class using the following questions to guide the discussion:

What did the young people you learned about do to survive in the ghettos?

How did the people you read about or listened to maintain hope?

Lesson 4: The Ghettos addresses Common Core State Standards and the NCTE/IRA Standards for the English Language Arts with its focus on citing textual evidence, analyzing multiple mediums, and referencing texts.

About Beverly:

Beverly Ann Chin is Professor of English, Director of the English Teaching Program, and former Director of the Montana Writing Project at the University of Montana in Missoula. Beverly was a member of the first Echoes and Reflections’ Professors’ Study Tour to Yad Vashem in 2009.

In 1996, Dr. Chin served as President of the National Council of Teachers of English (NCTE). She has also served as a Board Member of the National Board for Professional Teaching Standards (NPBTS) and as the Senior Project Consultant for the 2011 Writing Framework for the National Assessment of Educational Progress (NAEP).

Formerly a high school English teacher and adult education reading teacher, Beverly has worked with educators in many countries, including Japan, Taiwan, India, Pakistan, Nepal, Sri Lanka, Thailand, People’s Republic of China, Bangladesh, Guam, Scotland, England, Germany, Canada, Czech Republic, Ukraine, and New Zealand.

Beverly consulted with Annenberg/CPB on two professional development videotape programs: “The Expanding Canon: Teaching Multicultural Literature in the High School” (2004) and “Teaching Multicultural Literature: A Workshop for the Middle Grades” (2005).

Beverly is the author, editor, and/or consultant for several texts on teaching reading and literature, teaching writing and grammar, and children’s literature. She is committed to literacy education, global/multicultural education, and social justice. During her forty years as an educator, she has received numerous awards for her teaching and service, including the 2012 NCTE Distinguished Service Award.

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