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Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature
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Teacher's 6 Unit Lesson Plan for Integrating Holocaust History and Literature

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This 6 unit lesson plan is meant to be an implementation guide to supplement the use of the Webquest, A Brutal Arithmetic - Studying the Holocaust Using Jane Yolen's book, The Devil's Arithmetic. …

This 6 unit lesson plan is meant to be an implementation guide to supplement the use of the Webquest, A Brutal Arithmetic - Studying the Holocaust Using Jane Yolen's book, The Devil's Arithmetic. Both English Language Arts and History Social Science standards (California Department of Education) are imbedded in this presentation and companion Webquest. Both the lesson plans and the Webquest are primarily geared for inclusion in Writers Workshop and Literature Circle activities geared toward Grades 5-8.

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  • 1. The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen A English Language ArtsUnit Lesson Plan Eigth Grade English L.R. Martinez de Garcia
  • 2. A Brutal Arithmetic Big Idea is Remembering the Holocaust…
    • Rivka shook her head sadly.
    • “ I have been here year, and in that time my mother and my sisters, my father and my brother have gone there.” She pointed to the far smokestack. “My mother because she was coughing too badly to work, my sisters – three younger than me – because they would not leave her side. My father and my brother Saul because they were too angry, too strong, too outspoken…We all have such stories.
    • It is a brutal arithmetic. ”
    • Rivka to Chaya (Hannah) explaining the Devil’s Arithmetic
    http:// www.library.yale.edu /testimonies/ excerpts / peters.html
  • 3. The Devil’s Arithmetic
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic is a National Jewish Book Award winner and an American Bookseller Pick of the Lists. It is the story of how thirteen-year-old Hannah Stern comes to appreciate her Jewish Heritage and the importance of remembering a painful past.
    • The novel opens with Hannah grumbling her way through the traditions at her family’s
    • Passover Seder, which happens to coincide with Easter this year. Why must her family eat bitter
    • herbs, while her Christian friends get to eat jellybeans? Why does her Grandpa Will become
    • angry when he watches World War II footage on television? Why are all Jewish holidays about
    • remembering? Hannah wants answers, and soon she will learn why her family spends so much
    • time honoring a past most people would long to forget.
    • Students will be able to glean facts about the Holocaust from this historically accurate
    • tale. All the while, they will identify with Hannah’s struggle, first to understand her family, and
    • then to save it.
    • All text references come from the Puffin Books edition of The Devil’s Arithmetic , published 1988 and written by Jane Yolen.
  • 4. English Language Arts Content Standards for California Public Schools – Grade 8
    • 3.0 Literary Response and Analysis
    • Students read and respond to historically or culturally significant works of literature that reflect and enhance their studies of history and social science. They clarify the ideas and connect them to other literary works. The selections in Recommended Literature, Kindergarten Through Grade Twelve illustrate the quality and complexity of the materials to be read by students.
      • Narrative Analysis of Grade-Level-Appropriate Text 3.2 Evaluate the structural elements of the plot (e.g., subplots, parallel episodes, climax), the plot's development, and the way in which conflicts are (or are not) addressed and resolved. 3.3 Compare and contrast motivations and reactions of literary characters from different historical eras confronting similar situations or conflicts. 3.4 Analyze the relevance of the setting (e.g., place, time, customs) to the mood, tone, and meaning of the text. 3.5 Identify and analyze recurring themes (e.g., good versus evil) across traditional and contemporary works. 3.6 Identify significant literary devices (e.g., metaphor, symbolism, dialect, irony) that define a writer's style and use those elements to interpret the work.
  • 5.
    • 1.0 Writing Strategies
    • Students write clear, coherent, and focused essays. The writing exhibits students' awareness of audience and purpose. Essays contain formal introductions, supporting evidence, and conclusions. Students progress through the stages of the writing process as needed.
    • Research and Technology
    • 1.4 Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches using computer networks and
    • modems.
    • 1.5 Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.
    • 2.0 Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
    • Using the writing strategies of grade eight outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
      • 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations. b. Connect the student's own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references. c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience. d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
  • 6. Lesson 1
    • Lesson 1
    • Name: KWL
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • 2.0 Speaking Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • 2.2 Write responses to literature:
    • c. Support important ideas and viewpoints through accurate and detailed references to the text or to other works.
    • Teaching Goals
    • The story The Devil’s Arithmetic is about Jews who were placed in concentration camps in Europe during World War II. Jane Yolen, author of The Devil’s Arithmetic, interviewed friends and relatives about their knowledge and experiences of the Holocaust. It was a very difficult and sad experience for her. Be prepared to share experiences with your classmates about difficult times your grandparents or relatives have had in their lifetime. Be ready to explain how this might compare to what you know about people’s lives in internment camps during World War II. Because a large part of the novel deals with family life and spiritual practices of being a Jew, share with the class what you might already understand about these traditions. 
    • Objectives
    • The students will brainstorm what they know about the Holocaust on a KWL chart. For this part of the KWL, Students must support important ideas and viewpoints based on what they know and what they want to know about the Holocaust. Students will compose a Quick Write after completion of the first two parts of the KWL.
    • Materials
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
    • Blank KWL Graphic Organizer for students to fill in what they know and what they want to know about the Holocaust. The L space on the KWL will be completed during a Grand Conversation at the conclusion of the unit. Upon completion of the KWL, students must support important ideas and viewpoints through accurate and detailed references to the text.
    • Student Reading Response Journal
  • 7. Lesson 2
    • Lesson 2
    • Name: Introductory Webquest Worksheet
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • Writing
    • Research and Technology 1.4 Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems. 1.5 Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.
    • Teaching Goals
    • This activity is designed to make student reading of the novel more meaningful. Since much of the story is set during the Holocaust and involves many Jewish customs, a basic understanding of the history and the culture is necessary to fully appreciate it. Enter this experience with an open and thoughtful mind. A journey into this history will expose you to both the best and to the worst of humanity. It is both a journey into the potential evil that we as humans can perpetrate on our fellow man and into the potential power of the human spirit when faced with that evil.
    • Objectives
    • The students will complete the Introductory Webquest Worksheet (see attached).
    • Materials
    • Student classroom computers
    • Blank Introductory Webquest Worksheet for students to use as they navigate the Webquest site for The Devil’s Arithmetic.
    • Student Reading Response Journal
    • Audio of Holocaust survivor testimonials downloaded from http:// www.library.yale.edu/testimonies/excerpts/index.html
    • Internet access to Webquest page at http://www2.fultonschools.org/teacher/ottg/Devil's_Arithmetic/Devil's_Arithmetic.htm
  • 8. Lesson 3
    • Lesson 3
    • Name: Word Map Graphic Organizer (Vocabulary Building)
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • Writing
    • Research and Technology 1.4 Plan and conduct multiple-step information searches by using computer networks and modems. 1.5 Achieve an effective balance between researched information and original ideas.
    • Teaching Goals
    • This activity is designed to make student reading of the novel more meaningful by researching the contextual use of the vocabulary used in the text. Since much of the story is set during the Holocaust and involves many Jewish customs, a basic understanding of the vocabulary used in the culture is necessary to fully appreciate it.
    • Objectives
    • The students will complete a Word Map for applicable vocabulary found in the text (see attached).
    • Materials
    • Student classroom computers and access to www.dictionary.com
    • Traditional style Collegiate Level student dictionary.
    • Blank Word Map for students to use as they navigate the www.dictionary.com or use their student dictionary.
    • Student Reading Response Journal
  • 9. The Writing Assignments
    • There are three writing assignments in this unit, each with the purpose of informing, persuading, or having students express personal opinions.
    • The first assignment is to inform: Students write a composition about one of the background topics related to the Holocaust (unit themes) and found throughout the text. Topics can be related to: Remembrance/Relationships, Concentration Camps/Slave Labor, Nazis/Nazism, Stereotypes/ Anti-Semitism, Hate Groups/Hate Crimes
    • The second assignment gives students the opportunity to express personal opinion: Students will write in their Reading Response Journal throughout the reading of the novel.
    • The third assignment gives students the chance to persuade: Students will pretend to be Hannah (Chaya) in the camp when the commandant comes and sees Reuven limping out of the camp hospital, her objective is to convince Breuer not to choose Reuven.
  • 10. Lesson 4
    • Name: Writing Assignment # 1 – Informational (Expository) Writing
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • Writing
    • Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
    • Using the writing strategies of grade eight outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
    • 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations. b. Connect the student's own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references. c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience. d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
    • Teaching Goals
    • The first assignment is to inform: Students write use the Writing Process to composition about one of the background topics related to the Holocaust (unit themes) and found throughout the text. Topics can be related to Remembrance/Relationships, Concentration Camps/Slave Labor, Nazis/Nazism, Stereotypes/ Anti-Semitism, Hate Groups/Hate Crimes .
    • Objectives
    • The students will complete a first draft of an expository essay related to a theme found in the text, The Devil’s Arithmetic using applicable vocabulary and inferences they have experienced in their reading of the text. The first assignment is to inform: Students write a composition about one of the background topics related to the Holocaust (unit themes) and found throughout the text. Topics can be related to Remembrance/Relationships, Concentration Camps/Slave Labor, Nazis/Nazism, Stereotypes/ Anti-Semitism, Hate Groups/Hate Crimes.
    • Materials
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen
    • Student Reading Response Journal
    • List of Topics (related to themes found in the text) for The Devil’s Arithmetic
    • Expository Writing Rubric (Student evaluation of their writing before tuning in their journal for review by the teacher).
  • 11. Lesson 5
    • Name: Writing Assignment # 2 – Journaling (On-going Throughout the Unit)
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • Writing
    • Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
    • Using the writing strategies of grade eight outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
    • 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations. b. Connect the student's own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references. c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience. d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
    • Teaching Goals
    • The second assignment gives students the opportunity to express personal opinion: Students will write in their Reading Response Journal throughout the reading of the novel.
    • Objectives
    • The students will complete at least six Reading Response Journal entries detailing their personal opinions about the themes, characters, events and historical relevance of the text in relation to the Holocaust.
    • Materials
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen
    • Student Reading Response Journal
    • List of Topics (related to themes found in the text) for The Devil’s Arithmetic
    • Reading Response Rubric (Student evaluation of their writing before tuning in their journal for review by the teacher).
  • 12. Lesson 6
    • Name: Writing Assignment # 3 – Persuasive Writing
    • Grade Level: Eighth
    • TPE Focus: Teacher Performance Expectations (TPE) 9: Instructional Planning
    • Content Standard:
    • Writing
    • Writing Applications (Genres and Their Characteristics)
    • Students write narrative, expository, persuasive, and descriptive essays of at least 500 to 700 words in each genre. Student writing demonstrates a command of standard American English and the research, organizational, and drafting strategies outlined in Writing Standard 1.0.
    • Using the writing strategies of grade eight outlined in Writing Standard 1.0, students:
    • 2.2 Write responses to literature: a. Exhibit careful reading and insight in their interpretations. b. Connect the student's own responses to the writer's techniques and to specific textual references. c. Draw supported inferences about the effects of a literary work on its audience. d. Support judgments through references to the text, other works, other authors, or to personal knowledge.
    • Teaching Goals
    • The third assignment gives students the chance to persuade using their skills for writing a persuasive essay:
    • Objectives
    • The students will complete a first draft of a persuasive essay related to the assignment: Students will pretend to be Hannah (Chaya) in the camp when the commandant comes and sees Reuven limping out of the camp hospital, her objective is to convince Breuer not to choose Reuven.
    • Materials
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic, by Jane Yolen
    • Student Reading Response Journal
    • List of Topics (related to themes found in the text) for The Devil’s Arithmetic
    • Persuasive Writing Rubric (Student evaluation of their writing before tuning in their journal for review by the teacher).
  • 13. Additional Materials
    • The following materials are core resources for the unit plan:
    • The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen (Puffin Books, 1988)
    • Technology Resources: WebQuest “A Brutal Arithmetic – Remembering the Holocaust through Literature and History
    • Word Map
    • Lesson Plan Rubrics (Teacher Developed) for use by students to guide their learning process.

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