- Step-by-step procedures
- Estimated completion time
- Resources labeled by icons direct teachers to the piece of content named in the procedures
- Print-ready pages as indicated by are available as PDFs for download
- JAN KARSKI, RESCUE AND AID PROVIDER
Below is information to keep in mind when teaching the content in this unit. This material is intended to help teachers consider the complexities of teaching about the effects of the Holocaust on children and to deliver accurate and sensitive instruction.
The purpose of this unit is for students to understand the effects of the Holocaust on its most innocent victims—children—since targeting babies and children was an important step in the attempt by the Nazis to erase the Jews and their future. Students will also research post-Holocaust genocides and analyze children’s rights violations. In addition, students are provided an opportunity to develop a position on whether an event the magnitude of the Holocaust could happen again and to consider the role and responsibility of the individual in seeing that it does not.
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
THE EXPERIENCES AND FATE OF CHILDREN DURING THE HOLOCAUST
|1||Introduce students to Vladka Meed and Roman Kent and then show their testimony clips. Follow with a discussion using the questions below.|
Info Quest: Roman Kent
|2||Provide students with background information on children and the Holocaust outlined on the Children and the Holocaust handout.|
Children and The Holocaust View More »
|3||Divide the class into small groups of four students each. Distribute a copy of each of the four photographs to the groups and instruct each student in the group to randomly select one of the photographs. Have each student study his or her photograph individually and consider the questions below and develop four or five of their own questions about the photograph.|
|4||After students have had ample time to study the photographs individually, instruct group members to share their thoughts and questions about the photographs with one another. Each group member should assume the role of discussion leader while presenting some of the questions he or she developed about a particular photograph. At the end of this activity, share information about the photographs in the corresponding Note.|
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|5||Introduce students to Vladka Meed (if she was not introduced earlier), play her clip of testimony, and discuss some or all of the questions below.|
|6||Distribute the Janusz Korczak handout. As a whole-group, read the biographical information and selections from Korczak’s “The Child’s Right to Respect.” Have a whole-group discussion using the questions below.|
Janusz Korczak View More »
|7||Without revealing the date of the Declaration, display the Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child and review together. Ask students when they think this declaration was written and adopted.|
Geneva Declaration of the Rights of the Child View More »
|8||Have students discuss what each of the five principles means and give examples of ways that the principles were violated during the Holocaust. Have students compare the Geneva Declaration to Janusz Korczak’s “The Child’s Right to Respect” and consider how the two documents are similar and how they are different. Ask students if they think the Geneva Declaration was drafted before or after the Holocaust and solicit reasons for their response. At the end of the discussion, tell students that the Geneva Declaration was written and adopted in 1924, following World War I.|
The Rights of Children
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
RESEARCHING GENOCIDES AFTER THE HOLOCAUST
|1||Review the meaning of the term genocide using the definition available in the Glossary.|
|2||Introduce students to Leo Bach, show his clip of testimony, and discuss the following questions:|
|3||Distribute the Genocide Case Study handout. Explain to students that they will work in small groups to research post-Holocaust genocides. They will then present their findings to the class in an oral or multimedia presentation. Their research must include both primary and secondary source materials. Students are encouraged to include sources such as maps, pictures, videos, diary entries, etc. As many questions as possible on the Genocide Case Study handout should be answered, with special attention to the questions related to children.|
Genocide Case Study View More »
|4||Instruct students to use the Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959 handout when answering the question specific to that document.|
Declaration of the Rights of the Child, 1959 View More »
|5||Since the end of the Holocaust, crimes against humanity and genocide have occurred in the countries listed below. Assign each group one of the countries to research:|
|6||After providing sufficient time for students to complete their research, assign a schedule for presentations or have groups post their multimedia presentations on the class website. After all students have heard or watched all of the presentations, conduct a whole-group discussion using the following questions:|
ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME
WAS ANYTHING LEARNED FROM THE HOLOCAUST?
|1||Introduce students to Jan Karski, Joseph Berger, and William McKinney and show their clips of testimony. Follow with a discussion using the questions below as a guide.|
|2||Inform students that some people, including survivors, believe that something the magnitude of the Holocaust could happen again, while others feel that it could not. Ask students to consider their thoughts on this topic and then allow time for students to participate in a round-table discussion on the question: “Could an event the magnitude of the Holocaust happen again?” Encourage students to refer to specific information that they have learned throughout their study of the Holocaust as they develop and present their arguments. [Optional: Divide students into two groups based on whether they believe something the magnitude of the Holocaust could happen again or not. Have each group prepare its argument and share with others in the class using the “Fishbowl” strategy.]|
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The questions below, used in class or as homework, prompt students to reflect on what they are learning and its meaning in their own lives and in society.
These queries are excellent for journaling, allowing students to create their own primary source material. Keep in mind, the sensitive and emotional nature of the topics may preclude teacher evaluation. If journaling is used as an assessment tool, assure students that they will not be evaluated negatively for expressing opinions that may be different from others in class or from the teacher’s.
The additional activities and projects listed below can be integrated directly into the lessons in this unit or can be used to extend lessons once they have been completed. The topics lend themselves to students’ continued study of the Holocaust as well as opportunities for students to make meaningful connections to other people and events, including relevant contemporary issues. These activities may include instructional strategies and techniques and/or address academic standards in addition to those that were identified for the unit.
|1||Visit IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) for testimonies, resources, and activities to help students learn more about the experiences of children during the Holocaust.|
|2||Child survivors are the last living witnesses to the Holocaust. Contact a local Holocaust museum or resource center to request a child survivor visit the classroom. As a class, generate a list of relevant questions to ask the survivor in advance of his or her visit.|
|3||Many communities have museums, centers, memorials, or survivors and refugees who can share their personal experiences with human rights violations and genocides in addition to the Holocaust, thereby promoting awareness on a range of topics and often encouraging civic action. Such resources are often representative of a particular community’s history and/or immigration experience. For example, the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland (oregonnikkei.org) reflects the large Japanese-American population in the Pacific Northwest and their experience with internment during World War II.|
|4||As a class, read and discuss current and past reports from The State of the World’s Children on the UNICEF website (unicef.org/sowc).|
|5||Have students plan an event in their school or community commemorating Holocaust Remembrance Week (Yom Hashoah Week), which is usually observed in the United States in April, a week after the end of Passover. Yom Hashoah marks the anniversary of the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Invite parents, family members, community members, and school staff and students to the event. As a class, decide what the day will include and what each student’s role will be. Visit the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum (ushmm.org) and Yad Vashem (yadvashem.org) websites for additional information about Yom Hashoah and guidelines for planning commemoration activities.|
|6||To provide an opportunity for students to learn more about individuals who survived genocide and human rights violations, help them create a book club to meet on a regular basis either in person or online. Share selected titles with book club members, but let the students come to consensus on which book to read. Students should also decide when they will meet, how much of the book they will have read prior to meeting, and the role they will play in the discussion (e.g., decide if there will be a discussion leader for each title). Teachers are encouraged to help facilitate book club meetings, but resist turning the club into an extension of the academic day.|
victimWarsaw ghettoYom Hashoah