I Was There - A Journey into a child's past

In this project, students in groups of 3-4 will read a memoir, diary or biography about a European child whose life was turned to chaos during the Shoah, 1933 to 1945. To start the project, each group will receive a photograph of a contemporary railway station in Europe near where the child’s story takes place and they will begin their Geographical Treasure hunt by finding out where that railway station is today. Using Centropa’s methodology, the groups will then research the life of the child in the book they are reading, up until 1939, when World War II broke out, and continuing with the child’s life during the years 1939 to 1945. Each group will create a poster with the child’s entire biography, including what happened to them after the war ended, and information about the child’s Jewish community prior to 1933. The project ends with students presenting their poster and each child’s story to the rest of the class, as well as an essay each student must write about their emotional reaction to what they learned.

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