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 Lance Hiltz
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From: Tuesday, February 2, 2016 9:26 AM -0600
Subject:International Holocaust Remembrance Day at WDS
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January 27, 2016 was International Holocaust Remembrance Day. Grade 5-9 students at William Derby School participated in a number of activities over the course of that week in commemoration of the day.

"I taught the grades 6, 7, 8, and 9 classes about the origins of the Holocaust along with the rise and demise of the Nazis," said WDS teacher, Mr. Mikulcik. "We covered what it means to be anti-Semetic and how Israel was created after the Second World War and that the Jewish people created a nation of their own after the war. We also spoke of the justice after the war and the tracking down of the perpetrators. We looked at the pyramid of hate and identified how name calling, prejudice, and stereotyping are the beginnings of the path to the violence of genocide. We tied this into our goal of Safe and Caring schools in the Horizon School Division and how being a bystander in the Holocaust or being a bystander in a bullying situation is only supporting the bully/perpetrator even though there is a risk if we try to do it alone. From this we learned that we all have a responsibility to protect each other by refusing to be a bystander and by linking arms with others to say no to the bullies."

In each of the classes their teachers taught various lessons that were focused on Holocaust and Human Rights Pedagogy:

Mr. Edwards Grade 5
  • Gave the students an outline of the main events of the Holocaust with the focus on the loss of the children due to the evil goals of Hitler and the Nazi government of Germany
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Mrs. Gottselig Grade 6
  • Taught the class about what the Ghettos, Concentration Camps, Gas Chambers were. Identified terms like ‘Final Solution’, resistance, toleration, bystander, dictator.
  • Mr. Mikulcik gave a lesson about the history of the Holocaust
  • Read the children’s storybook “Tommy” which was created by a father for his son’s third birthday which was celebrated in Terezin.
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Mrs. Sauer Grades 7 and 8 ELA (English Language Arts)
  • Read short literary stories written by survivors telling a specific part of their stories
  •      Mr. Mikulcik gave a lesson about the history of the Holocaust
  •      Watched some testimony from iWitness survivor testimonies
  •      Watched Felix Opatowski’s video from the Azrieli Memoirs and heard Mr. Mikulcik summarize Mr. Opatowski’s memoir
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Here is what Ms. Oblander’s ELA 9 class has done with respect to covering the Holocaust:
  • Read Diary of Anne Frank.
  • Watched PBS Diary of Anne Frank movie.
  •       Investigated the Secret Annex at The Secret Annex online http://www.annefrank.org/en/Subsites/Home/     
  •       Read and discussed seven poems from “The Auschwitz Poems, An Anthology” edited by Adam A. Zych
  •      Watched IWitness survivor videos from “Children Behind Bars” lesson plan.~ These three women were survivors of Auschwitz.
  •      Book talked for students about the Azreili foundation survivor autobiographies.
  •       Read “Tommy” picture book to the class.
  •      Invited Mr. Mikulcik in to give students an introduction to the Holocaust talk.
  •      Participated in the Yad Vashem Twinning Project for Holocaust Remembrance Day.
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