Holocaust Museum Project

Posted May 16, 2019 at 5:48 pm

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By: Ellie Martinsen

The Akron-Westfield 8th grade English Language Arts class has been studying the Holocaust for the past two months. As a result of their work, they created a “museum” of Daniel’s Story, a book that tell the stages of a young Jewish boy’s life as he endures the Holocaust. The eighth grade students lead tours of the sensory museum on May 9th and 10th at the Akron-Westfield School auditorium.

Throughout the semester the eighth grade students have been researching and doing projects based on the Holocaust. As part of the research, they heard multiple speakers. One of them was Inge Auerbacher, a Holocaust survivor who currently lives in New York and goes all around the world to teach people about her survival experience. The students also traveled to the Sioux City Orpheum Theater to watch a short movie called Paper Clips, a documentary about students from a school in Tennessee who were inspired through their study of the Holocaust and decided to bear witness to the atrocities by filling a cattle train car with eleven million paper clips to represent lives lost during the tragic event. The principal from that school also spoke to the students.

In her English Language Arts class, Mrs. Westergard read the book titled Daniel’s Story, a historical fiction novel based on several stories of children who survived the Holocaust. This book describes a teenage boy’s perspective of the Holocaust. This book is similar to The Diary of Anne Frank, an autobiography of a young girl in hiding during the Holocaust, which the eighth grade students read in Mrs. Hoppe’s reading class.

As a culminating event to the Holocaust unit, Mrs. Westergard challenged her class to recreate the museum to share with students at Akron-Westfield, as an opportunity to bear witness to the atrocities of the Holocaust. This was a recreation of the same type of museum found on the first floor of the Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.

Tours of the Museum were lead by the students on May 9th and 10th at 11:20, 11:30, 11:40, 12:30, 12:40, 12:50. The community was invited to attend. Each tour lasted approximately 10 minutes and involved sensory items throughout. Also, students’ Holocaust projects were held on display and were available to view before and after the tours.

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