Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Rights in the Holocaust: Imagine and Remember

Christine Sermons
Bay District Schools

Description

This poetry writing activity is designed to introduce students to the Holocaust as a violation of personal, political, and economic rights. It is a component of a larger unit on American constitutional government.

Objectives

The student understands what constitutes personal, political, and economic rights and the major documentary sources of these rights.

The student demonstrates effective listening behaviors for a variety of purposes (for example, eye contact, note-making, appropriate posture).

The student uses information gained for a variety of purposes.

The student understands the importance of the rule of law in establishing limits on both those who govern and the governed, protecting individual rights, and promoting the common good (for example, government in the sunshine law, limits on campaign contributions).

Materials

-A video on the Holocaust (i.e, -The Holocaust, A Teenager's Story- by David Bergman, or other titles available from local media centers or amazon.com)
-A computer connected to a large screen TV
-Internet access for viewing the -Cybrary of the Holocaust- at http://www.remember.org/index.html
-White art paper for -doodle notes-
-A poetry worksheet
-White paper for final drafts
-Colored pencils
-Copies of the Historical Writing Rubric (see Associated File)

Preparations

1. Select and preview an appropriate video. Take personal -doodle notes- to share as a model with students.
2. Preview Internet site(s) and become familiar with the topics and options available. Add information to your -doodle notes- on the violations and reactions you observe.
3. Develop, print and copy a poetry worksheet for each student to use.
4. Write a sample poem(s) based on your -doodle notes- as a model for students.
5. Print and copy the Historical Writing Rubric and planning guide for each student to use as they complete their homework assignment.

Procedures

DAY ONE

1. Introduce the Holocaust and its place in history.


2. Tell the students they will be viewing a video on the Holocaust in order to identify and clarify the ideas of personal, political, and economic rights. Define these concepts in discussion and on paper.


3. Discuss the -Rule of Law- and the -Social Contract- components of democratic government as outlined in the American Constitution. Explain the importance of the rule of law in a) establishing limits on both those who govern and the governed, b) protecting individual rights, and c) promoting the common good.

4. Hand out art paper for the -doodle notes.-

5. Review and/or introduce the -doodle notes- idea. (-Doodle notes- are basically -constructive- grafitti. Students view the video and write words, and draw quick pictures to record emotions, colors, symbols, etc. They do not make lists or write complete sentences.) Set a minimum number of -doodles- for the assignment.

6. Before viewing the video, remind students to look for examples of the violations of personal, political, and economic rights. Encourage them to note the reactions and feelings connected with the violation of these rights.

7. View the video.

8. Collect students' notes. Indicate whether or not they completed the required number of -doodle notes.- Read and review the ideas and feelings students picked up on during the video, and be prepared to address any misconceptions or concerns at the start of day 2.



DAY TWO

9. Pass back students' -doodle notes- and provide feedback as necessary. Tell them they will be using the Internet today to gather additional information about the Holocaust and its violations of personal, political, and economic rights. If necessary, specify the number of required -doodle notes- for this assignment as well.

10. Use the computer and a big screen TV to locate and view the Internet site -Cybrary of the Holocaust- (http://remember.org/image/index.html).

11. As a class, search the site and explore the imagery and writing of Holocaust survivors. (On the side bar, the -RESEARCH- section contains images of various concentration camps and provides educational information for teachers.)

12. Be sure to view the sample student poetry and drawings concerning the Holocaust as well. (On the side bar, the -FORUMS- section contains poetry from children of survivors. -A Student's Forum- can also be viewed from the -FORUMS- section by clicking on -Imagine- (For and By Students).

13. Throughout the presentation and discussion, remind students to add to their -doodle notes- the violations they observe, as well as the reactions and emotions tied to these acts.

14. Collect and review students' notes. Based on the assigned number of -doodle notes- from day 1 and 2 formatively assess their work using the criteria outlined in the assessment section below. Again, review the ideas and feelings students noted, and be prepared to address any misconceptions or concerns.



DAY THREE

15. Pass back -doodle notes- and discuss the points assigned. Clarify any misunderstandings or concerns that were raised from students' notes and ideas.

16. Handout a poetry worksheet and explain the components of the form of poetry you have chosen. I suggest Tankas or Free Verse. Tankas are Japanese verse forms in five lines. The first and third lines are composed of five syllables, and the rest of seven. Free Verse poems are poems not following a conventional meter or stanza pattern. They have either irregular rhyme or no rhyme at all. Other forms are presented by -Pizzaz- (http://darkwing.uoregon.edu/~leslieob/pizzaz.html).

17. Have students use their -doodle notes- to assist in writing their poem. The poem should include ideas about how the Jews' rights were violated and the emotions they might have experienced during these acts. The poem should try to address how the violations affected the Jew's feelings about government, themselves, and their rights.

18. Have students type the final drafts of their poems and decorate them with images from the -doodle notes.- (I have six computers in my classroom, so students come in before or after school if they don't have a computer at home.)

19. As homework, have students express their ideas about the -Rule of Law- and the violation of personal, political and economic rights of the Holocaust victims in a reflection response or letter. Provide the following directions for the assignment: -You have just viewed several media samples of the Holocaust. For homework express your ideas about a) the importance of the rule of law, and b) the violation of personal, political, and economic rights of the Holocaust victims. Use information gathered from our discussion of the Constitution and the -doodle notes- to support your ideas and thoughts. Your writing may either take the form of a reflection that might be entered in a journal, OR as a personal letter written to your future children. Even now, live witnesses of the Holocaust are dying. How can you communicate to others their views?

20. Refer students to the Historical Writing Rubric that will be used to assess their writing assignment (see Associated File). If this is the first time students have seen this rubric, allow time for discussion and clarification of expectations.

21. Provide students a copy of the planning guide (page 2 of the Historical Writing Rubric) to use as a sketchboard during the homework assignment.

Assessments

1. Doodle Notes
The students' notes should contain a) the required number of doodle notes per assignment, b) examples of the violations of personal, political, and economic rights, and c) reactions and feelings connected to the violations.

-Scoring Criteria: Five points may be awarded for each item mentioned above: Check Plus=15 points, Check = 10 points, Check Minus = 5 points. (Since this is formative assessment, it is meant to provide feedback to the teacher on how well the students have grasped concepts and to the student on what needs to be changed/added prior to summative assessment. Therefore, it is not necessary to provide percentage grades at this point.)

-Use the notes to formatively assess the students' understanding of what constitutes personal, political, and economic rights and to verify their use of effective listening behaviors during the video and Internet activities.

2. Poems
The students' poems may be assessed and scored using the checklist below. (This checklist was adapted from the Historical Writing Rubric that will be used to assess the students' essays. Make a copy of this checklist and present it to the students at the time of the initial poetry assignment):

A. Length: 5 possible points
Does the poem contain the appropriate number of lines as assigned by the form or teacher?
B. Organization: 10 possible points
Are the specific requirements of the poetry form (number of syllables, parts of speech, etc.) being followed? Are the thoughts and ideas organized in a clear and logical flow?
C. Style: 10 possible points
Does the poem present original and creative reflections on the violations that occurred and the emotions associated with them? Is the poem typed? Did the student decorate the final drafts of the poems with images from the doodle notes?
D. Spelling/Grammar: 5 possible points
Is the student's verbiage and punctuation consistently correct? When required by the poetry form, were specific parts of speech used appropriately?
E. Quantity/Quality of Historical Information: 20 points
Did the student include ideas about how the Jews' rights were violated and the emotions they might have experienced? Does the poem address how the violations affected the Jews' feelings about government, themselves, and their rights? Did the student include appropriate historical vocabulary?

-Use the poems to formatively assess students' understanding of what constitutes personal, political, and economic rights and to show that students use information gained from listening activites for a variety of purposes.

3. Essay
The attached Historical Writing Rubric is used to assess students' understandings of the importance of the Rule of Law and the violation of personal, political, and economic rights of the Holocaust victims. Information gathered from discussions of the Consitution and the doodle notes should be included to support the ideas and thoughts presented in the essay.

Web Links

Web supplement for Rights in the Holocaust: Imagine and Remember
Cybrary of the Holocaust

Web supplement for Rights in the Holocaust: Imagine and Remember
Poetry from the Children of Survivors

Web supplement for Rights in the Holocaust: Imagine and Remember
A Forum for Students

Web supplement for Rights in the Holocaust: Imagine and Remember
Pizzaz

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