Paired Text Introduction to the Holocaust Part 1

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SWBAT analyze the interactions between ideas and events of the Holocaust and a person who lived at that time.

Big Idea

Introducing what no one can understand, but everyone must to know -the Holocaust.

Warm Up

15 minutes

Today is the beginning of a very momentous series of lessons.  While still staying with our theme of perseverance, we will be diving into a study of the Holocaust from the perspective of young people. This is all leading up to the visit of a very special friend of mine who is a Holocaust survivor.

To open class today, I will have the term Holocaust on the SMART board when students enter the room with instructions to free write in their journal in response to the following question.  "What do you know about the Holocaust?"

After they have written for 5-10 minutes, I will ask them to share what they know at their tables. Then, one person may share out to the class for each table.


25 minutes

After the introductory "Holocaust" question and discussion, I want to start my students off with some of the facts.  To do this with the full impact possible I will show students the two videos below pausing the video to point out details when needed.

The first is located on the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum site. The second is below.

After the videos, I want to pull students in with a young persons perspective, so we will read and discuss "Fighting Hitler" an article from Scholastic Scope April 2011.

We have been building knowledge and comfort with non-fiction text over the past few weeks. So, for today's discussion, I want to take what we've been doing with whole class discussion to the next level. Students will complete before, during and after reading questions supplied by scholastic, and we'll use those for discussion points. However, I'll also ask students to use text coding with post it notes as we read just as they did in this previous lesson.  I'll ask students to pay specific attention to how people, events and ideas affect one another in Ben Kamm's story.  We'll use their thoughts about those ideas and others that come out to springboard deeper discussion.

As always, we'll review SLANT:

Sit up

Look at the person talking

Act like you care

Nod your head in acknowlegement

Take turns speaking

Wrap Up

15 minutes

To wrap up class today, I will display the same picture you see on this lesson.  It is a photograph I took at the US Holocaust Museum of Elie Wiesel's quote, "For the dead and the living, we must bear witness."  I will discuss the quote and what it means to "bear witness".

Then, as this lesson leaves them full of questions and in a bit of shock. I will ask students to take out their journals and consider Mr. Wiesel's quote as they revisit the journal entry they started at the beginning of class.  

Students will reread what they wrote, draw a line to separate the before class and after, and respond in their journals to both their previous thoughts, current questions and the quote displayed on the SMART board.