The students in my Pre-AP 10 English started studying about the Holocaust in January when I assigned them to read the novels, Izzy’s Fire and The Boy in the Striped Pajamas. These two books offer two different perspectives on the Holocaust. The first is a non-fiction account of a Jewish family who escaped the Kosvno ghetto and were hidden on a farm until liberation. The second is a fictional account of a young German boy, the son of a Nazi Commandant assigned to oversee Auschwitz, who meets and befriends a young Jewish prisoner on the other side of the fence.
After reading the novels, the students chose a Holocaust-related topic to write a 3-5 page paper on. This year’s topics included
Warsaw Ghetto Uprising
History of the Swastika
SS St. Louis
The “Other” Victims
And many others!
The students then spent 2 weeks of class conducting online research for their topic, compiling note cards and sources before preparing an outline. In addition to writing the research paper, the students were required to create a poster board that highlighted their topic. These boards are now on display in the English hallway at the high school and have elicited kudos from the history teachers here at GHS. One such teacher informed me that the Virginia Holocaust Museum would love to have the project boards to display in their archives as they are building more education connections with local schools. SO, in 2-3 weeks I will be taking the posters down and helping this teacher deliver them to the VHM for display. My students are very impressed and excited about this plan, and I am very proud of how hard they worked over the past month on this project.
Here are just a few of the posters the students completed that are on display at GHS now.