We Remember the Holocaust
Teacher of the Lesson: Katie O'Malley
Lesson Topic: Social Studies/Art
Grade Level: Fifth
Approximate Time: 60 minutes
- Students will listen to the filmstrip "My Brother's Keeper."
- Students will reflect on the filmstrip and create their
own piece of art work representing something from the Holocaust.
Viewing this program will help students better understand:
the story of the Holocaust and specifically the Warsaw Ghetto
how widespread prejudice and propaganda can lead to destructive ends
why everyone must take responsibility to prevent the dangerous consequences
of prejudice and discrimination
- the filmstrip, "My Brother's Keeper" by Israel Bernbaum [22
- teacher questions for discussion
- 24 pieces of large manila paper
- water color paint, paint brushes, and cups
- each student will need: pencil and crayons
- Transition into social studies by asking students where an artist gets
his/her ideas from to paint a picture.
- Probe the students into the understanding that many artists take the
symbols or objects that they paint, from their own personal feelings or
ideas about a subject/issue.
- Explain that next we will be watching a filmstrip about one artists
ideas and feeling about the events of the Holocaust (in one specific area).
- Ask the students if they have ever heard of the famous words, "A
picture tells a thousand stories." Here, Israel Bernbaum (artist)
tells his story of the Warsaw Ghetto through his own art work.
- Briefly go over a little vocabulary with the students that is important
to understanding and reflecting on the filmstrip. Make sure that the students
know what a ghetto is in this context. Clarifying this word along with
others before beginning the filmstrip may be necessary.
Some of these words/concepts may include:
-- synagogue -- anti-Semitism -- propaganda -- ghetto -- allies --
liberation -- -- Anne Frank -- smuggle -- death camp -- Nazis -- Hitler
-- Poland --
- Begin the filmstrip. The filmstrip lasts approximately 25 minutes.
Sequence of Instruction --
- The man on the filmstrip speaks rather fast. During the program it
may be necessary to stop the strip in areas that may need more attention
- Once the program is over, initiate the follow-up discussion with the
question: In what ways can a painting express certain emotions that words
- Other excellent questions to add to this may be:
What other symbolism does the artist use to convey his message?
How do colors play a role in his art? Are the figures in his paintings
meant to be realistic or more abstract? Why?
- Tell the students that each of us are going to have the opportunity
to paint our own picture of our feelings about the events of the Holocaust.
We are going to do this using pencil, crayon, and paint and creating a
crayon resist piece.
- Remind the students what a crayon resist piece is. They were taught
this technique in a previous lesson they did with the art student teacher.
[For those who do not know...the purpose of a crayon resist is to draw
all of the images and objects with crayon and use water color paints to
fill in the background.]
- Pass out the paper, water color paint, brushes, and water cups to the
students. They are required to cover their own desks with newspaper that
will be supplied by the teacher. Have them begin their project.
- If the students have questions, bring out a model (done by the teacher)
and explain my own feelings shown in the picture.
- When the students are all finished with their pictures (most likely
this will be the next day), have each one come up in front of the class
and briefly explain it. They can tell what elements of art they used to
express their own feelings about events/issues of the Holocaust.
Evidence of Students Achieving Objectives:
If the students have effectively listened to the filmstrip, they will
be able to hold a mature and fruitful discussion of the program, answering
the questions probed with accuracy. The effective listening and discussion
will allow the students to reflect and create a meaningful piece of art
work on their own.
For the student who has a difficult time expressing themselves in this
style, it may be a good idea to have them draw their picture from a scene
they created in their mind using any one of the novels we are reading along
with this unit.
In my work and preparation as a preservice teacher, the issue of teaching
to all learning styles comes up often. It is my goal in this unit to try
my best at reaching some of the styles not typically focused on. Here,
in this lesson, I believe one of those is met, learning through artistic
expression. If the lesson is a success, in my opinion I have been successful
in meeting my goal.
***Resources: "My Brother's Keeper" by Israel Bernbaum. Society
for Visual Education, Inc. Chicago, Illinois.***
Return to the Holocaust
Return to the 96-97 Lesson Plan