Children of Genocide: Communicating Through Art

Cathy Blake

Retired from Yeokum Middle School

Belton, Missouri 

Grade Level

7th-12th grade

Subject

Language Arts

Social Studies 

Time Needed

Recommend at least 3 class period

Introduction

This lesson is designed to help students view/analyze the art created by the children in Theresienstadt during the Holocaust (the vast majority of whom did not survive) and child survivors of the genocide in Darfur. Using the artwork shown in I Never Saw Another Butterfly and the exhibit entitled Smallest Witnesses, students will use critical thinking and research skills to compare/contrast the subjects, themes, artistic characteristics, and experiences portrayed in the artwork. 

A minimum of three days would be needed for students to explore the sites and materials provided, review and/or gain background knowledge, and explore the children’s artwork in order to complete their analyses. The unit could easily expand depending where/how students might want to continue their research. 

Materials:

Teacher instructions

Children’s Art Powerpoint 

Looking At A Work of Art

Similarities and Differences Venn Diagram 

Ellen Handler Spitz Statement

Pedagogical note from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education: We encourage all educators to be familiar with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Guidelines for Teaching the Holocaust. When teaching this unit, please remember the guideline which tells us to avoid comparisons of suffering and pain. This includes both individuals and groups. 

This teaching unit was designed by a member of the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre.

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