Children in the Ghetto – Interactive Learning Environment


How does one convey to an elementary school-age child what life was like for children in a ghetto during the Holocaust?  In this lesson, learners will study a series of interactive photos, poems, and diary excerpts of childhood in the ghettos as seen through the eyes of the children who experienced it. They will gain an awareness of the hardships these children faced and learn about the ways in which they tried to create a day to day “normal” life. By tapping on the icons in the interactive learning environment, students will learn about various aspects of ghetto life;  hunger, school, crowding, theater, games, religious life, smuggling, and more. Educators can choose a few topics for a general class discussion or divide the class into groups, each with a different topic, who will then present their topic to the whole class.

The learner will:

  1. Understand how life in the ghettos radically altered children’s lives

  2. know what everyday life was like for children in the ghettos 

be able to give examples from the learning environment of children experiencing hardship and children having childhood experiences, despite their surroundings

When you click on the Yad Vashem resource link featured above, you will find a curated learning environment that contains the following educational building blocks for the creation of a lesson plan:

  1. A rationale that explains how to use this intentionally designed resource with children and why it is important to do so

  2. An introduction with historical background for the teacher

  3. A collection of primary sources, such as photographs, video, drawings, poetry, written testimonies and more

  4. Texts that embed the primary sources into a wider context

  5. Thought provoking questions that will stimulate classroom discussion

Learning Environments are created intentionally to enable educators to create their own educational units on the basis of these materials. This approach also allows for the targeted age group to vary.

Computer, projector, personal computers for each student (optional)

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