This lesson is designed to be used over an entire academic year.
5th Grade ELL Students
Language Arts, Social Studies, & Technology
The Great Depression and World War II. 1929-1945
Long term project
Mary Anderson (2011)
The students will listen to the teacher read Number the Stars in September and The Diary of Anne Frank in January. The students will compare and contrast these two stories. The students will also complete three music lessons within this area of study which require in depth analysis of six pieces of poetry and song. Then the students will analyze how holocausts are happening now through interviewing fellow refugee students both in our classroom, around our school, and across the world in Sweden via email or another instant technology tool. Finally, the students will share out their media presentations that they created using their choice of technology tools.
What was the Holocaust?
What makes the two read aloud books similar and different?
What from the books can be used to help prevent a Holocaust?
Who can I talk to who may have survived?
Are these things happening now? If so where? How can I help to stop it?
To complete a multimedia presentation, in groups of 4-6 students each, using a technology tool chosen by the student by the end of the year that answers the question “How can I prevent a Holocaust in the future?” and tying it to the two books read aloud to the class, the three music lessons, as well as interviews and resources outside of the classroom.
- Analyze how visual and multimedia elements contribute to the meaning, tone, or beauty of a text (e.g., graphic novel, multimedia presentation of fiction, folktale, myth, poem).
- Compare and contrast stories in the same genre (e.g., mysteries and adventure stories) on their approaches to similar themes and topics.
Songs used in this lesson:
“Yes, That’s the way things are”
“Man, Proposes, God Disposes”
“The Old House”
Lori Laitman composed this song cycle in 1995. It was originally composed for Lauren Wagner a soprano and Gary Louie a saxophonist. She chose six poems from the book …I never sawanother butterfly… which is a collection of art and poetry composed by children in the Terezin concentration camp between 1942 – 1944. She chose the following six pieces: “The Butterfly” by Pavel Friedmann who was born January 7, 1921, deported to Terezin on April 26, 1942, and died in Auschwitz on September 29, 1944. “Yes, That’s the way things are” by three children who’s initials sign their poems with Koleba. They were Miroslav Kosek born March 30, 1932, sent to Terezin on February 15, 1942, and died October 19, 1944. Hanus Lowy who was born on June 29, 1931, deported to Terezin on September 30, 1942, and died in Auschwitz on October 4, 1944. There is no information for the third child Bachner. “Birdsong” was the third piece chosen to set to music by Laitman and was written by an unknown child. The fourth piece in the cycle was “The Garden” which was written by Franta Bass who was born on September 4, 1930, sent to Terezin on December 2, 1941, and died in Auschwitz on October 28, 1944. Next in the cycle is “Man Proposes, GodDisposes” was also written by the three children known as Koleba. The cycle is completed with “The Old House” also composed by Franta Bass.
The project will start with the teacher reading Number the Stars to the students after lunch every day as a cool down and refocus time. The students will keep notes on what their thoughts are about the part they’ve heard each day. This will be a functioning learning log/journal for the students. This will begin in September. When the book has been finished the students will write a literary response utilizing their notes from their learning log/journals.
Once that piece is complete we will complete the first music lesson (October) tie in where the students will write a short story of what they envisioned when listening to the songs “Butterfly” and “Birdsong” (Laitman “Butterfly” and “Birdsong”) including detailed descriptions of the setting and events from the perspective of their given character. Then the students will analyze the songs and compare them to each other. They will document this comparison in writing by first completing the Plotting the Story graphic organizer and then writing a short story from the perspective of their assigned character.
Then comes the second music lesson (November) tie in where the students will compare and contrast “Yes, That’s the way things are” with “Man, Proposes, God Disposes” (Laitman “Yes, That’s the way things are” and“Man Proposes, God Disposes”) using the Song Comparison graphic organizer and the Story behind the musicactivity. Then the students will analyze and research the songs.
In December we will complete the third music lesson where the students will compare “The Garden” with “The Old House” (Laitman “The Garden” and “The Old House”) using the Finding Patterns graphic organizer and theStory behind the Song activity. Then the students will compose a response and compare that on the graphicorganizer as well.
In January we will read as a class The Diary of Anne Frank keeping notes in the learning logs/journals still. Once that is complete the students will write a literary response to this book and their feelings about it using their notes. Now they are prepared to write their comparison essay where they compare and contrast the two books.
Throughout the entire project students are researching information on the Holocaust and its effect on children. They will interview other students in our school or class from other countries to see if they’ve experienced anything like this and what impact it’s had on the interviewees. They will contact their pen pals in Sweden to see what their thoughts on the Holocaust are as well as possibly interview survivors.
Now that all the elements are complete the students will work in small groups to compile information into a multimedia presentation. They will use a technology tool of their choosing (i.e. Glogster, Flipcam videos, Animoto, Prezi, or any other tool they opt to use) to answer the overall question, “How can I prevent a Holocaust in the future?” They will include in this multimedia project the pieces they worked on throughout the eight months tying in the two books, three music lessons, interviews, research, and any other information they gathered.
Finally, there will be a commemoration ceremony where the students will share out their projects and feelings to others in the class. Their presentations will be recorded to be sent to their pen pals in Sweden.
For each song, answer the following questions:
What strikes you most about these two songs?
What do you hear (instruments/voice)?
Why do you think that is important?
How might the songs’ messages or meanings change with different people or in different
What emotions do each of these songs express?
In comparing two songs, consider the following criteria:
Music, Words, Message, Time and place, Audience, Performance
For each poem or song, identify the following:
Symbolism, Audience, Voice, Feelings
Laitman, Lori. “The Butterfly” “Yes, That’s the way things are” “Birdsong” “The Garden” “Man Proposes, God Disposes” and “The Old House.” Krasa: Brundibar (Bumble-bee) – Laitman: I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Deluca & McKay, Laura & Maureen. Naxos, 2007. CD/MP3.
(This recording recommended for the vocal clarity over Lauren Wagner’s more operatic sound for whom these arrangements were originally written).
1) Volavková, Hana. I never saw another butterfly: children’s drawings and poems from Terezín Concentration Camp, 1942 – 1944. 2nd ed. New York: Schocken, 1994. 9, 14, 27, 39, 70, 80 – 81. Print.
(This is a collection of drawings and poetry by children in Terezin Concentration Camp 1942 – 1944)
2) Laitman, Lori. I Never Saw Another Butterfly: Texts by children of the Holocaust.
Washington, D.C.: Arsis Press, 1996. Print.
(This is a 6 piece song cycle utilizing the poetry from the above mentioned book)
3) Laitman, Lori. “The Butterfly” “Yes, That’s the way things are” “Birdsong” “The Garden” “Man Proposes, God Disposes” & “The Old House.” Krasa: Brundibar (Bumble-bee) – Laitman: I Never Saw Another Butterfly. Deluca & McKay, Laura & Maureen. Naxos, 2007. CD/MP3.
(This recording was chosen for the vocal clarity over Lauren Wagner’s more operatic sound who these arrangements were originally written for).