My students are caring, compassionate, and down-to-earth. Being in a small town makes it easy for students to stay grounded and connected, but students in this tiny town are very much like kids from an era most people consider to be extinct. These kids play outside, rove in packs around town, playing football, picking up a game of basketball, or having an unplanned water balloon fight in the middle of their neighborhood. Most students start school in Pre-K, and stay here until graduation day. This creates a unique, close-knit, and safe learning environment for students.
The Holocaust is an era of our history that many would like to forget. Unfortunately, that is exactly what is happening in our society today. A startling percentage of adults know little to nothing about this horrific event in human history, and it is important that students are reminded of the ramifications of power that goes unchecked.
The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum points out that "The Holocaust was not an accident in history; it occurred because individuals, organizations, and governments made choices that not only legalized discrimination but also allowed prejudice, hatred, and ultimately mass murder to occur." Students must know how the roots of evil can spread and what we as responsible citizens of the world can do to stop this from ever happening again.
Through analysis of the nonfiction (and action-packed book), The Nazi Hunters by Neal Bascomb, students will learn about the pursuit and capture of Adolf Eichmann, the head of operations for the Nazis' Final Solution. The trial and prosecution of Eichmann played a pivotal role in our global history - the importance and impact of this event will also be related to current events and atrocities still going on in our world.
Paired with the study of The Nazi Hunters, students will make connections across genres while reading a young adult historical fiction book of their choice, also set during this tragic time period. Students will be organized into book clubs based on their title selection. These clubs will meet regularly throughout the course of our Holocaust unit to discuss observations, connections, patterns, and emerging themes found in their chosen novels.
The books that this project will fund are so important to the success of this unit!
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