The Number on My Grandfather's ArmThe Number on My Grandfathers Arm by David A. Adler with family photographs by Rose Eichenbaum. UAHC Press: New York, 1987.
This book, illustrated with photographs, is about a 7 year old girl who learns about her grandfathers experiences as a Holocaust survivor. She notices the numbers tattooed on his arm and begins to ask her grandfather questions. He tells her about the rise of Adolf Hitlerand the effects on the Jewish people. A discussion of the concentration campof Auschwitzis also discussed.Suggested activities:
1. Create a time line of the chronology of the Holocaust, using the events from pages 12 - 20 of the book.
2. Have students create titles or captions for the photographs found on page 13, 15, and 19. These photographs were courtesy of Yad Vashem.
3. Research the Auschwitz concentration camp: location, description, and statistics. An interesting site to see photographs of Auschwitz is Virtual Tour http://remember.org/educate/fotolist.html
4. To read first-hand account of an Auschwitz survivor, Primo Levi, read excerpts from Survival in Auschwitz by Primo Levi, published by Simon &Schuster, 1993 or go to http://www.inch.com/~ari/levi1.htmlThis is an actual interview with Primo Levi.
5. Locate all the European countries taken over by Hitler and the Nazi Partyon a map. Color and label each country and place a date in each one when the takeover occurred.
6. Interview a grandparent or great-grandparent. Have them describe what their life was like where they originally came from as a child. Locate all places on a world map.
7. This book can be an excellent companion with the novel, The Devils Arithmetic,* written by Jane Yolen. In this story the prisoners used the tattooed numbers to their benefit by associating each number and letter with something relevant in their own lives. For example, Rivka, a main character of the novel, says that the letter J is for Jewish and the #1 is because she is alone. Assign each student a letter with numbers and have them create a mnemonic to help them remember it based on their own lives. Use pages 100-101; 113; 119-120, on which the significance of the numbers is discussed. It is also important to discuss the significance of the title at the end of this novel.
* This is the novel read in all sixth grade Reading classes at the Voorhees Middle School.