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OWP Young Adult Literature Workshop

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Holocaust Project Extension

This project would begin after the study of the holocaust and The Diary of Anne Frank.  Students would watch the movie, Hotel Rwanda to spark their interest and raise the awareness of a holocaust that has occurred since WWII.
 The students would then choose from the following novels to work within a lit. circle: 
Nobody's Child by Skrypuch deals with ethnic cleansing in 1915 with the Armenians in Turkey.
The Hunger  by Skrypuch is a sequel to Nobodys Child.
Freedom from Fear by Aung San Suu Kyi about the holocaust in Burma.
Letter from Burma by Aung San Suu Kyi.
A Witness to Genocide by GutmanBosnia-Herzegovina.
Children of Cambodias Killing Fields by Pran.
We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will Be Killed with Our Families: Stories from Rwanda by Gourevitch.
Season of Blood:  A Rwandan Journey by Keane.

I would provide a list of genuine questions for the students to answer about their book and the topic of the holocaust.  The students would read and discuss in their lit. circles, and at the conclusion of reading their novels would discuss with the other groups in the class about the causes of the holocausts the similarities and differences.  They would create a Venn diagram comparing the events from their book to either the holocaust of WWII or to another holocaust studied by another group.  They would write a compare/contrast essay for the
holocausts they have chosen for their diagram.  This could be done in pairs or individually.

The students would write a creative writing piece of the following choices:  a memoir, a poem, a feature article, an interview, or a letter to the editor about a character from the novel they read.  Students from the lit. circle groups that
would like to put together a mini-magazine could do so, but would write their articles individually.

Rationale:  Some of the benchmarks for the 8th grade curriculum that apply to this project are:
1)  to compare and contrast the treatment, scope and
organization of ideas from different sources on the same topic.
2)  to write responses to literature that organize an insightful interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images and support judgments with specific references to the original text, to other texts, authors and to prior knowledge. 
3)  write letters to the editor and informational essays or reports including research.

I want the students to come away with the idea that the holocaust of WWII was not the first, nor the last to occur.  I want them to apply their knowledge of their non-fiction research and reading to real life situations.  This could be
done in conjunction with the social studies teachers and their units of study.