Web sites with lesson plans for teachers

In a Nutshell: The Worlds of Maurice Sendak
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From the Jewish American Heritage Month website

Grade 10: A Nation of Immigrants: Coming to America and Making a Home (1824-1924)
In 1824, the American Jewish community was minuscule, not only compared to the American population as a whole, but as a percentage of world Jewry. By 1924, however, American Jews represented over three percent of the total American population and almost a third of the world Jewish population. The story of these immigrants is the quintessential American story: coming to the New World in search of opportunity, to escape persecution, and to make a permanent home.

Grades 8-10: American Jews and Antisemitism
Identifying the roots and expressions of American antisemitism, as well as the responses of American Jews to antisemitism, allows for a better understanding of the American Jewish experience. It also provides a springboard for discussion about issues of prejudice and discrimination against other minority groups in American history and life.

Grades 9 & 10: American Jews and the Holocaust
This lesson informs students about the policies of the government and the actions of American Jewry during this period, and in the process invites them to explore the parameters of knowledge and responsibility of the American Jewish community and the American government during the Holocaust.

Grade 10: Jews in America at a Time of Growth and Change: Forging New Frontiers
The turn of the century in America toward the 1900s was a time of growth in population, industry and invention. This lesson is just a sample of some of the profound changes in America at the turn of the 20th century. The Jewish story fits into this wider context of growth and development.

Grade 10: American Jews and Popular Culture: Yiddish
American Jewish popular culture was largely influenced by the Jewish immigrants who came to American from Eastern Europe between 1880 and 1924. These immigrants tended to speak Yiddish as their daily language, and it is the language that influenced much of the press, theater, radio, literature and music in this country. As families settled in the United States they were faced with a new culture, a new language and a growing economy, all of which represented extreme new freedoms for the people arriving from Eastern Europe.

From the Yad Vashem website

Grades 3 – 5: I Want to Fly Like a Butterfly
This lesson plan features the book of the same name, which presents the personal story of Hannah Gofrit. Naomi Morgenstern, the author of the book, has reworked the testimony of Mrs. Gofrit so as to make her story accessible to third- and fourth-grade students.

Grades 5 & 6: Until Then I had Only Read About These Things in Books
This lesson plan highlights the personal story of Uri Orlev, a Holocaust survivor, who became a writer and translator in Israel. The story, based on his book “The Sandgame,” is told from Uri’s viewpoint as a child. His dreams, hopes and ambitions are described, along with his experiences in the ghettos, hiding, and the death of his mother.

Grades 6 – 9: “A Childhood Ensnared in Tears” - Creative Use of Holocaust Imagery in the Classroom
The following lesson plan provides an avenue for teachers to use art in the classroom. Through a discussion of symbols and the artwork of Holocaust survivor Chava Wolf, students of varying ages can express themselves on this difficult subject.

Grades 7 – 12: The Gambler and The Journey - A Comparison of Worlds in Two Short Stories
Joe Lumer has given readers a look into the rich tapestry of Jewish life in Poland between the two world wars. The tragedy of the Holocaust casts an overwhelming shadow over the preceding period, obscuring the vibrancy that pulsed through the Polish-Jewish world. This collection of short stories written by Joe Lumer helps to restore the fabric of Jewish communities living side-by-side with their Christian neighbors, focusing on life before rather than the ensuing catastrophe.

Grades 9 – 12: The Synagogue on Praska Street
This lesson provides an opportunity for students to learn about Jewish life in Zagreb before the Holocaust. In this lesson, students will explore Jewish symbolism and Jewish tradition. They will hear about the community of Zagreb and its unique features within the context of the Jewish world. Learning about Jewish life before the Holocaust is essential for further studying of the Nazi era and the Holocaust. Only by realizing how much Jews were a part of Europe and European culture can one relate to the murder of human beings - not numbers - during the Holocaust. Furthermore, exposing students to a vibrant Jewish community will help students perceive Jewish people not only as victims but also as active and involved citizens of Croatia.

Grades 9 – 12: Children in the Holocaust
This lesson plan focuses on the Jewish child during the Holocaust. The Nazis considered all Jews, including Jewish children, to be their enemies. One-and-a-half million Jewish children were murdered by the Nazis. How did Jewish children grow up under Nazi rule? How did living in a hostile environment affect their perception of the world?

Grades 10 – 12: Spiritual Resistance During the Holocaust
The topic of resistance during the Holocaust signifies heroism in the face of evil. This lesson plan focuses on spiritual resistance, including examples of photographers, poets, historians, couriers, youth group members, and more. Unarmed and confined in ghettos and concentration camps, we cover some examples of Jews fighting to maintain their humanity and dignity in addition to their physical selves. This lesson plan will acquaint you with the topic and provide some ideas on how to teach the subject and its greater global theme in your classroom.

From the Arts Edge Website (Kennedy Center)

Grades K – 4: A Lens into the Past
This lesson will use photographs to create deeper understanding of the lives of early 20th century immigrants to the United States. Students will gain an understanding of the new life of immigrants in this country, and will learn how the medium of photography can record and recount history. They will also gain historical perspective by comparing and contrasting images of the past and the present.

Grades K – 4: Adjective Monster
This lesson explores the connections between visual art and language arts, and how both are used to creatively tell stories and express emotions. The original lesson plan has students reading the book Go Away Big Green Monster by Ed Emberley, but Sendak’s Where the Wild Things Are could be included as a supplement. Students will be introduced to adjectives as descriptive words then create their own monsters using paper sculpture techniques.

Grades 5 – 8: Elements of Fables
This lesson focuses on describing the general literary elements in fables. In this particular lesson, students will recognize the key elements of a fable (moral, character, and figurative language), while applying literal, interpretive, and critical thinking skills to the reading of a fable. Students will also evaluate the text by participating in class discussions and writing exercises.

Grades 9 – 12: Monsters
This lesson is intended to have students investigate the idea of "monsters" in society. How have monsters been viewed, what purpose do they serve, why are they necessary? Students will begin by defining the idea of what a monster is. They will then read Beowulf. The reading of Grendel by John Champlin Gardner will follow. Students will design and present their own conceptions of a monster.

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