What was it like to grow up in a shtetl? In this lesson students will learn about Jewish life during the 19th century in a rural and religious town surrounded by a hostile population that periodically brings violence against them.  Thought provoking discussion questions and creative activities such as a think pair share exercise and a follow up debate on the pros and cons of shtetl life are included in this resource.

The learners will:

  1. understand how anti semitism and poverty can have both negative and positive impact on the vibrancy of a community 

  2. know how and why Jews came to live in shtetls where non-Jewish rulers could do as they pleased with Jewish residents in their lands

be able to argue for and against living in a shtetl

Unpacked for Educators materials include:

  1. An educator’s guide that  contains many rich components. These are organized under the following titles: 

  • review (questions that relate to the video)

  • discussion

  • activities

  • reflection

  • further learning

  1. A video designed to spark interest in the topic.

  2. A lesson plan (link in the attachment above) that incorporates additional building blocks for the construction of an engaging and interactive lesson.

Computer, Projector, Student Handout , Whiteboard, Exit ticket

The website link includes a “further learning” section in the educator’s guide.

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