Monday, January 17, 2011

January 27 Lesson Guide

January 27th Guide
This guide outlines steps by which to teach the provided lesson plan.

1. Ensure that the class knows what the UN is and has a general idea of what they do.

2. Explain that in 2005, the UN declared January 27th to be the International Holocaust Remembrance Day.

3. Read the provided background information with the class. Discuss and explain the UN reasoning for creating a resolution to create a Holocaust Memorial Day. Then, engage the students in a discussion as to why they think such a day should exist.

4. Explain the meaning and significance of the date January 27th. Make sure that the students have a general knowledge of Auschwitz and Birkenau. Within an age appropriate context, ensure that students understand the atrocities that were committed within the camp and explain what was found by Red Army troops when they liberated the camp on January 27th. Also, take this opportunity to provide a general background of the Red Army and make sure students understand who they are and why/how they are liberating Auschwitz.

5. Facilitate a class discussion as to why the UN decided to declare January 27th the International Holocaust Memorial Day.

6. Split students into groups of three and distribute the worksheet with the three sections of the resolution. Direct students to read all three sections and then discuss which one they believe to be the central section of the entire resolution. Then bring the class all together to discuss with the entire group what each group decided was the central section and why.

Some possible responses from students might be:
-Developing educational programs to prevent future acts of genocide is the central section of the resolution because it encourages all people to remember the Holocaust and use it as a tool to teach people that preventative measures need to be taken to prevent future acts of genocide among any group of people.

-An International Holocaust Day exists to ensure that the Holocaust is never forgotten and that any denial of the even will not be tolerated in any form.

7. After concluding the discussion about the sections of the resolution, ask students why they think it is necessary to devote a day to remembering the Holocaust specifically. Ask students if they think the Holocaust is a unique event and ask them to elaborate on their answers.

8. Distribute the passage by Yehuda Bauer. Ask students to read the excerpt and underline specific points that they believe answers (either in part or in full) the question as to why the Holocaust specifically has an international memorial day.

9. Ask students to come to the board and write down which phrases they underlined. Then, continue a class discussion about why Professor Bauer believes the Holocaust should have an international memorial day and why it is a unique event.

10. Introduce the idea that there are different methods to learning about and understanding the Holocaust. One method is poetry. Hand out copies of Dan Pagis` poem Written in Pencil in a Sealed Railway Car. Before sending students to work on their own, provide them with background information about Dan Pagis. This information is included in the Project 4 Teachers Guide.

11. In additional to handing out copies of the poem, hand out sheets containing the discussion questions that go with the poem. Instruct students to read the poem in pairs and answer the questions provided on the handout.

Suggestion: Have a large copy of the poem printed out and posted somewhere on the board.

12. Bring the class back together and ask them to share their answers to the question. Then, ask students to offer their own personal words to complete the poem.

13. Next, read the passage by Marek Edelman. Ask the students to answer how they think the passage reflects or complements the ideas in the poem by Dan Pagis.

14. Ask students to explain, what they think, is the message that the UN has created regarding the Holocaust. Then, show the students a series of monuments dedicated to the memorial of the Holocaust. Ask them to explain what they think the artists/builders had in mind when constructing their respective pieces.

15. To conclude the lesson, ask students if they think that there is a message conveyed to all people in the world regarding the Holocaust. If so, what is that message? Then, ask them if they were to create a monument to commemorate the Holocaust, what would they build and why would they build it. What message do they wish to convey?

16. Ask students to write an entry in their Project 4 journal to reflect about the memorial of the Holocaust and the ideas covered in the lesson.

The following are suggestions for how to split up the lesson materials for various numbers of class meetings.

If teaching the material in one lesson, please cover all of the numbered instructions: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16

If teaching the material in two lessons, please cover the following numbered instructions:

· Lesson 1: 1, 2, 3, 4, 5, 6, 14 (focus on what January 27th is)

· Lesson 2: 7, 8, 9, 10, 11, 12, 13, 14, 15, 16 (focus on the messages of the Holocaust and the importance of having an international day of remembrance)

If focusing on poetry, please cover the following numbered instructions: give a brief background about the Holocaust, 10, 11, 12, 13, 15, 16

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