Over the past several weeks, my 8th grade students have been studying the Holocaust through literature. We started with The Diary of Anne Frank by Frances Goodrich, which is the adapted play version of Anne’s diary and in our Holt literature books. So many of my students became fascinated with the Holocaust – as did I – so we started digging deeper.
I am very excited about our upcoming field trip to the Holocaust Museum in Houston. They sent us a wonderfully comprehensive Curriculum Trunk that the history teacher and I have been using to supplement our own materials. In history class, the students were divided into 5 groups and are each reading one of the Holocaust young adult diaries from We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust from the Curriculum Trunk. The students will then prepare group presentations on each teenager from the book to share with the rest of the class.
There are many other Holocaust novels in the trunk. I enjoyed reading Daniel’s Story by Carol Matas. But perhaps the most intriguing piece of literature I have found was the story of Miep Gies, one of the women who helped in hiding Anne Frank’s family. In Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of the Woman Who Helped to Hide the Frank Family, I thoroughly enjoyed reading about what was going on in the rest of Amsterdam as Anne was crushing on Peter in the secret annex.
I will write more about our Holocaust studies as we get closer to our field trip and finish up this unit.