Grade Level: Grade 5
Thematic Unit: Beginning Holocaust Studies
Subject: Social Studies- Beginning Holocaust Studies - Topics include:
- Families' Cultural Identities
- Connected Community
- Through the reading of children's literature it is the hope that fifth grade students:
Sunshine State Standards:
- Gain an understanding of the concepts of diversity, culture, community, prejudice, and human rights, acting morally, and taking a stand.
- Share a vision of a world where people are embraced for their similarities and appreciated for their difference.
- Gain an understanding of the harm caused by prejudice and an ability to confront prejudice individually and as part of a community.
- Demonstrate an ability to think critically about human behavior.
- Demonstrate a desire to act morally.
- Grades 3-5
- SS.A.2.2.3, 3.2.2, 5.2.6, 1.2.1, 2.2.4
- Literature Books to be used:
- Read Aloud: Journey to America.
- Historical fiction: The Upstairs Room, Number the Stars, Letters from Rifka, Snow Treasure, Twenty and Ten, When Hitler Stole Pink Rabbit, The Lily Cupboard .
- Historical non-fiction: The Holocaust, Tell Them We Remember, If Your Name was Changed at Ellis Island, Immigrant Kids, An Ellis Island Christmas.
- Picture books: The Lily Cupboard, The Christmas Menorahs, One Yellow Daffodil: A Hanukkah Story, The Number on My Grandfather's Arm .
- Oral testimony
- History (Social Studies)
- Text--The History of the US: War, Peace and All that Jazz by Joy Hakim, Silver Burdett--Our Country
- Oral testimony
- Geography -- Current as well as historical maps, Martin Gilbert's Atlas of the Holocaust, USHMM Historical Atlas
- Timelines and newspaper front page headlines
- Narrow problem/question/issue/project unit
- How did children make the best of the worst times in the history of mankind? In what ways were they resourceful, creative, and willing to make sacrifices that affected their entire lives?
- What happens when prejudice causes people to lose everything that they had, and then need to start all over in a new place, where they are still not wanted?
- What are the lessons of this horrible time in history--called The Holocaust? And why do we study them today?
- Connections to the Holocaust
- People, regardless of perceived or real differences, are fundamentally alike.
- Communities contain the potential for both acceptance and rejection of their members.
- Families in communities performed important functions that helped many.
- The Holocaust provides a context for exploring the dangers of remaining silent, apathetic and indifferent in the face of others' oppression.
- Students must think about use and abuse of power and the roles and responsibilities of individuals, organizations and nations when confronted with civil rights violations and/or policies of genocide.
- During the Holocaust, people had roles that were assumed or thrust upon them such as: victim, perpetrator, bystander, and rescurer.
- Students need to confront prejudice, deal with moral issues and gain a deeper respect for human decency.
- Students can empathize with people who have survived hardship by listening to the stories of those who survived the Holocaust.
- Bystanders during the Holocaust closed their hearts and minds to the suffering of others; bystanders exist today; children need to learn values so that they are able to reason morally and take appropriate action; children can learn about the risks and rewards of taking action against injustice.
- Knowledge gives children the power to learn from the past and take action in the future.
- Student self-learning activities
- Literature circles
- Reading, discussion, journalizing, researching
- Connecting other curricula areas with centers that incorporate the following:
social studies, writing, science, geography, art, and music as appropriate to this subject matter.
- Research on a topic
- Social studies
- Searching for roots
- Understanding historic timeframes
- Understanding the characters in the literature
- Oral and written discussion with questions being answered on a daily basis
- Peer learning activities
- Creation of timelines, quilts, bulletin boards
- Oral history interviews
- Use of research materials to locate answers to complex questions
- Study pair activities
- Small group shared reading/writing and sharing
- Teacher-directed or teacher-guided activities:
- Focus lessons
- Read aloud with overheads and text discussion
- Shared writing
- Shared reading
- Sticky notes while reading to write questions, thoughts
- Semantic mapping, story mapping, concept maps
- Children learn prejudice early in their lives. But, just as prejudice and hate can be taught, so can the opposite values of tolerance, acceptance and love. Schools are one of the best hopes for instilling this in young students, reducing the possibility of future genocide.
- Children must understand that without knowledge and understanding history does repeat.
- Never Again!
- Additional Ideas
- Parent Introduction
- Plan a parent evening, tell about the unit, share all materials that will be used and explain all objectives.
- Read a loud to parents, have them write an open-ended response, then have a share session, modeling what will be done in the classroom.
- Provide time to view the videos, materials, and literature that will be used in the unit
- Student Introduction
- Show the video Camera of My Family.
- Ask students to go home and discuss their ancestors and see if they are able to locate family photos.(allow time for long distance calls and mail to arrive)
- Students begin a Camera of My Family bulletin board in the classroom -- display their photos, where their ancestors are from and where they immigrated to. Discuss heritage and roots, customs and culture.
- Use KWL about what is known about this time in history, and what students want to learn.
- Give historical time frame.
- Begin a double time line on adding machine tape with historical dates on the top, students to complete literature dates and activities on the bottom. This helps them put their books in accurate timeframes of history.
- Show what resources may be used as reference during readings in literature circles.
- Expository Prompt
- Research Report shared
- Interview shared, could be done with the interviewee present and agreeable to answering questions
- Book Talks
- Readers Theater
- Multi-media presentation
Submitted by: Noreen B. Brand.
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 1997-2013