Teaching the Holocaust Through Picture Books in Middle School
Throughout my years of teaching social studies, I have found that the use of picture books can be a very powerful tool. Picture books were originally written for young children, but many of the newer books require the higher level of intellectual and emotional maturity that most middle school age students possess. Many of the books I have chosen, and will discuss, deal with extremely sensitive and complicated subjects. These books encourage interest and insight into historical events that the average textbook does not do. When middle school students are immersed in a picture book, it can promote critical thinking skills, and lead to excellent discussions of complex and controversial issues. In selecting these books, I used the following criteria: literary and artistic quality, historical accuracy, and that the story and/or pictures encourage higher level thinking from the adolescent audience.
This website is intended for both teachers and parents, with the hope that by reading aloud and sharing these books, your children will not only learn about historical events, but be motivated to explore further to find out more about these topics. The first topic to be addressed is the Holocaust. I have given suggestions for activities that are appropriate for middle school students, including numerous Internet links, books, and movies that will enhance the teaching of the picture book selected. The picture book is meant only to be an introduction to the topic. Hopefully, your children will delve further into the complexities of the Holocaust.
Thank you for visiting.
Please share any additional ideas or questions you might have.I would love to hear your comments after trying some of these activities.
Age-appropriate activities have been created for the picture books listed under the heading of Picture Books and Actvities.