Surviving Hitler Teaching Unit

Cathy Blake
Retired from Yeokum Middle School
Belton, Missouri

Gay Ramsey
Trailridge Middle School
Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Barbara Waldron
Trailridge Middle School
Shawnee Mission, Kansas

Grade Level
7th grade and up

Language Arts/Reading

Time Needed

Based on teacher use

The purpose of this guide is to help teachers create meaningful learning experiences for students reading Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps. Andrea Warren’s award-winning book is most appropriate for grades five through eight. This biography can be used as an introduction to Holocaust studies or as enrichment to a Holocaust unit.

Surviving Hitler teaches students why, how, what, when, and where the Holocaust took place. Through the experiences of a young Polish boy named Jack Mandelbaum, Surviving Hitler explores concepts such as prejudice, discrimination, stereotyping, racism, antisemitism, obedience to authority, the bystander syndrome, loyalty, conflict, conflict resolution, decision-making, humor in the face of adversity, peer pressure, individual responsibility, and justice. (Many of these themes appear in Teaching and Studying the Holocaust by Samuel Totten and Stephen Feinberg.)

Unit as One Document
Table of Contents
Education Standards
Overview: Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
Jack Mandelbaum – Brief Biography
Vocabulary Activity
Comprehension Questions
Comprehension Questions KEY
Jack’s Timeline
Suggested Answers to Jack’s Timeline
Map Activity
Possible Journal Topics
Timeline Activity for Classroom
Identity Maps
Book in a Box Activity

Researching the Children of the Holocaust: a Webquest based on  Surviving Hitler: A Boy in the Nazi Death Camps
Download the Entire Lesson
Researching the Children
Teacher’s Page

Additional Information
Enrichment Ideas
Alternative Assessment Ideas
Post Test
Letter to future generations from Jack Mandelbaum
Holocaust and World War II Timeline
About the Author
Additional Resources

This teaching unit was designed by members of the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre through MCHE’s Masters and Mentors Program. The Masters and Mentors Program is funded by the H&R Block Foundation, Bertha S. and Ida E. Adelson Memorial Fund, the Legacy Fund, and the Flo Harris Supporting Foundation of the Jewish Community Foundation of Greater Kansas City, the Jewish Heritage Foundation of Greater Kansas City, and the Oppenstein Brothers Foundation.

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