Monday, December 16, 2013

The hidden girl: A true story of the Holocaust

Thank you Julissa Sargent, for a biography reflection.
Kaufman, L., & Metzger, L. (2008). The hidden girl: A true story of the Holocaust. New York: Scholastic.
On September 17,1939 when Russian soldiers entered a small hometown of a young girl named Lola when she was only five years old.  Before she reached her 10th birthday, she lost her father, then her mother one right after the other as well as watched extended family and friends disappear. Yet Lola was one of the few “lucky” children because so many did not survive the devastation of Hitler’s regime that wiped out six million Jews living in Europe in 1939.  The book talks about how Lola’s grandmother entrusted Lola to a Ukrainian woman who hid her in a back room until the Nazi threat came too close. It then goes on to explain how Lola fled again to the home of another brave family, where she spent nine months buried in a dark hole beneath the family barn.  Throughout this time in hiding, Lola wore a hand embroidered dress that her mother made for her.   After her escape she and some extended family immigrated to America to start a new life.  It wasn’t until years later that she was able to share her haunting testimony with others.  This book is a heart wrenching journey that will allow older children and adults to understand one of the most tragic events in history.  According to the book, you will now find the hand embroidered dress that Lola wore in the Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C.

Literary Terms:
            This book is a biography, which means it was written by someone about another person’s life.  The really neat thing about this book however, is that the author used actual first hand stories and quotes from the person whom she was writing about.  The theme of this book has a huge significance in the history of our world.  It tells the story first hand of what it was like to survive the Holocaust, which was something very few were able to do.  This book is definitely worthy of attention from readers of all ages.  The imagery in the book will keep you coming back to read more, the author uses words that portray how things looked, smelled, and sounded for Lola during this miraculous journey.

Curriculum Connections:
RI.5.1. Quote accurately from a text when explaining what the text says explicitly and when drawing inferences from the text.
RI.5.9. Integrate information from several texts on the same topic in order to write or speak about the subject knowledgeably.
After reading this book and having conversations about the events of the Holocaust in a class for upper elementary students, I think it would be great for the students to do more research on the events of the Holocaust.  They can use the internet, journals, other books, and possibly even interviews of any known survivors.  I then think the students could make a podcast to deliver a summary of their findings.  Students learn best when applying given content knowledge and teaching others, this would be a great activity to do so as well as incorporate technology too!

Big Questions:
How would you create a new life after so much suffering?
  Could you imagine living in fear for your life?

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