Beacon Lesson Plan Library

Help Me Learn About the Holocaust

Carol Rine
Bay District Schools

Description

Students work in groups using presentation software such as Microsoft PowerPoint to create a slide presentation highlighting the elements of literature contained in Holocaust novels. The slide presentation follows preset criteria.

Objectives

The student demonstrates consistent and effective use of interpersonal and academic vocabularies in reading, writing, listening, and speaking.

The student locates, organizes, and interprets written information for a variety of purposes, including classroom research, collaborative decision making, and performing a school or real-world task.

The student drafts and revises writing that -is focused, purposeful, reflects insight into the writing situation;-conveys a sense of completeness and wholeness with adherence to the main idea;-has an organizational pattern that provide for a logical progression of ideas;-has support that is substantial, specific, revelant, concrete, and/or illustrative;-demonstrates a commitment to and an involvement with the subject;-has clarity in presentation of ideas;uses creative writing strategies appropriate to the purpose of the paper;demonstrates a command of language (word choice) with freshness of expression;has varied sentence structure and sentences that are complete except when fragments are used and purposefully; andhas few, if any, convention errors in mechanics, usage, and punctuation.

The student produces final documents that have been edited for-correct spelling;-correct punctuation, including commas, colons, and semicolons;-correct common usage, including subject/verb agreement, common noun/pronoun agreement, common possessive forms, and with a variety of sentence structures,including parallel structure; and-correct formatting.

The student understands how volume, stress, pacing, and pronunciation can positively or negatively affect an oral presentation.

The student speaks for various occasions, audiences, and purposes, including conversations, discussions, projects, and informational, persuasive, or technical presentations.

The student understands how character and plot development, point of view, and tone are used in various selections to support a central conflict or story line.

Materials

-Software: Multimedia software such as Microsoft PowerPoint
-Equipment: Signal Converter/TV
-Classroom sets of Holocaust novels
Any number of current literature exists to support a unit on the Holocaust at all the educational levels. I chose the following:

[Letters from Rifka], by Karen Hesse, published by Puffin Books in 1993,
[The Devil's Arithmetic], by Jane Yolen, published by Houghton Mifflin in 1989,
[Number the Stars], by Lois Lowry, published by Puffin Books in 1990.

Preparations

1. Complete the novel study of the Holocaust novels using response journals. Students read silently at their own rate and answer the response journal and graphic organizer requirements as specified above.
2. Create or use a multimedia (such as PowerPoint) presentation to model the program and how a presentation should look for the class.
3. Design a rotation schedule for the groups to create their slide presentations.
4. Prepare an activity for other groups to work on while the specified group is working on the computers. (I suggest a graphic organizer that is a chapter-by-chapter break down of the literary elements--to prepare them for the slide creations.) The graphic organizer also serves as a rough draft from which they create their slides.
5. Design a delivery schedule for the group presentations.
6. Create or locate an oral presentation rubric.

Procedures

BACKGROUND:
Students participate in an intensive study of Holocaust novels.

Students select ONE of the following novels to read: [Number the Stars] by Lois Lowry, [The Devil's Arithmetic] by Jane Yolen, and [Letters from Rifka] by Karen Hesse. The teacher provides short book talks on each of these novels to give students a basis upon which to make their choice of novels.

The study includes reading the novels, writing response journals, making graphic organizers, and creating a multimedia presentation which serves as the culminating activity for this Holocaust unit. As students present their slide presentations, their classmates take notes. At the close of presentations, students evaluate their learning by writing a reflective paragraph as described below.

Before teaching, the teacher creates the assignments for the response journals and the graphic organizers. Students work on these projects as they read the novels.

RESPONSE JOURNALS: Students make a response journal by using notebook paper with a drawing paper cover. They design covers for their journals that provide their names and an illustration that represents the novel they chose to study. Then they provide three teacher-designated entries in their journal. Teachers give students specific page numbers where they should stop reading their novels and write in their response journals. For example, stop on pages 150, 225, and 300 in [The Devil's Arithmetic]. When writing, students provide a prediction for the next portion of the book, describe personal feelings brought about by the characters or events of the novel, and summarize the events that have occurred in the novel so far.

GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS: Give students a graphic organizer to record all of the elements of literature as they work through the novel. Provide this in worksheet form for the students, or students can create it and include it in their response journals. The graphic organizer can be set up like a spread sheet with the chapter numbers running across as a header. Underneath, in boxes, the students plot any changes that occur in the novel including characters, plot, climax, resolution, author's point of view, and author's style. Each of these terms should be running down the left margin.

Create a teacher-made slide presentation. I suggest using a literary elements presentation to demonstrate a completed slide presentation to students, and one is included in this lesson as an associated file. Present the literary elements for works of fiction. I use a PowerPoint presentation to do this. It has several purposes: to serve as a demonstration of the slide presentation software, to serve as an introduction to the elements of literature, and to offer an example of the completed product students will create. This shows students where they are going with their reading. Their goals are set for them with this presentation. They take notes on the elements of literature and search them out in their readings.

WHEN STUDENTS FINISH READING THE NOVELS AND COMPLETE THEIR JOURNALS AND THEIR GRAPHIC ORGANIZERS, PROCEED WITH THE FOLLOWING STEPS:

Establish a rotation schedule for student groups to work on the computers.

Obtain an oral presentation rubric for assessment of the slide presentations. One is provided in the assessment section of this lesson.

BEGIN THE STUDENT PRESENTATION ACTIVITY FOR THIS UNIT--

1. Provide a review demonstration of the software with the elements of literature presentation by using the signal convertor and a big screen TV.

2. Provide students with the technology criteria and literature criteria for their slides. Presentations should contain the following elements: title slide, character slide, plot slide, climax slide, resolution slide, point of view slide, author's style slide, opinions slide, and a credits slide.

3. Rotate students in work groups so that each group can produce a PowerPoint (or other presentation software) slide presentation.

4. Design a demonstration schedule for students to deliver their presentations orally.

5. Each student is responsible for a speaking role in the delivery of the presentation; therefore, review speaking skills at this time.

6. Assess each group with the rubric provided in the Assessment section of this lesson.

7. The students observing in the classroom are responsible for taking notes on the presentations. The presenting groups provide printed copies of their slides to the class. Students watching the presentations can make notes out to the side. PowerPoint has a handout page that offers a printed version of 3 slides per page along with space and lines for notes. Student notes are collected and then returned to students for study material for an extension part of this unit.

8. Students hold a question, answer, & comments session following their presentations.

9. During the final session, collect the notes from each student in the class.

10. As a wrap-up activity, assign a reflective paragraph. Students write in a complete paragraph (introduction, body, and conclusion) two specific items they learned about the Holocaust. They also include two elements regarding the technology they learned in the classroom. As a conclusion they state whether they felt this was a valuable activity or not AND why.

Assessments

Oral Presentation Rubric

Score 3: High Pass

· Student's slide presentation contains information obtained during collaborative group research on the elements of literature gathered from the novel study
· Student's slide presentation exhibits the traits of a final product; prewriting, organization, editiing, and revision have been done beforehand to provide the best possible product.
· During the presentation, the student uses appropriate vocabulary obtained from classroom novel study; vocabulary includes words such as plot, character, etc.
· During the presentation, the student uses appropriate turn-taking skills during oral delivery.
· During the presentation, the student uses volume, stress, and pacing to produce strong delivery of the slide show.
- Information provided is precise and accurate.

Score 2: Pass

· The student's slide presentation contains some information obtained during collaborative group research on the elements of literature gathered from the novel study
· The student's slide presentation exhibits some of the traits of a final product; prewriting, organization, editiing, and revision have been attempted beforehand to provide the a good product.
· During the presentation, the student uses some of the vocabulary obtained from classroom novel study; vocabulary includes words such as plot, character, etc.
· During the presentation, the student attempts to use appropriate turn-taking skills during oral delivery.
· During the presentation, the student attempts to use volume, stress, and pacing for delivery of the slide show.
- Information provided attempts accuracy, and it contains no more than 7-10 errors of accuracy.

Score 1: Needs Assistance

· The student's slide presentation is missing information obtained during collaborative group research on the elements of literature gathered from the novel study
· The student's slide presentation needs some reworking to exhibit the traits of a final product; prewriting, organization, editiing, and revision have not been successfully attempted beforehand.
· During the presentation, the student seldom uses the vocabulary obtained from classroom novel study; vocabulary should include words such as plot, character, etc.
· During the presentation, the student interrupts instead of using appropriate turn-taking skills during oral delivery.
· During the presentation, the student is reluctant to use volume, stress, and pacing for delivery of the slide show.
- Information provided lacks accuracy, and it contains more than 10 errors of accuracy

The student's notes are assessed by the teacher in a simple format that designates whether the student completed notes in paraphrase form. This means the students should use their own words to describe their learning from the oral slide presentations and the novels.

The student's paragraphs are assessed according to the criteria described in the procedures section. The teacher can use a Florida Writes rubric, six-trait rubric, or some other writing assessment tool to judge the paragraphs, as long as the criteria is shared with students prior to them writing, and adequate feedback and practice are provided.

Web Links

Web supplement for Help Me Learn About the Holocaust
United States Holocaust Memorial Museum

Web supplement for Help Me Learn About the Holocaust
Holocaust Education Resources

Web supplement for Help Me Learn About the Holocaust
Topics for Papers on the Holocaust

Web supplement for Help Me Learn About the Holocaust
The Holocaust History Project

Web supplement for Help Me Learn About the Holocaust
Education...A Legacy Forum for Teachers

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