Ten Thousand Children Lesson Plan
Students learn the true stories of children who escaped Nazi Germany.
- Grades: 6–8
About this book
This lesson plan combines language arts and social studies in activities that will help students understand the context of and personal stories in Ten Thousand Children (Reading Level: 4.2).
Who are the Kinder? After reading Ten Thousand Children, you will know the incredible true stories of the nearly 10,000 children who escaped the terrors of the Nazis in the Kindertransport. Fleeing from Germany to England, these brave children left their parents behind, risking their lives for a fleeting chance at peace. They never dreamed that war would wage for six more years or that it would culminate in the Holocaust where six million Jews perished under Hitler's rule. Written by Anne L. Fox and Eva Abraham-Podietz, two women who were part of the original Kindertransport, this book is a powerful, realistic, and touching tribute to these young unsung heroes and heroines.
Using facts from a nonfiction text and creative details, students will understand how to use primary-source material for research and develop a fictional response to literature.
- Gathers information for research purposes
- Writes a response to literature (narrative account)
This works best as a Final Writing Project.
- After reading Ten Thousand Children, ask students to imagine they are World War II historians who have discovered a secret diary written by a child in the Kindertransport. While most of it is intact, a few pages are missing. Explain to the class that for their final project, they will recreate those lost pages, based on their extensive learning about the people and historical events in the book.
- Students will create an "author" for their diary entries. Is it a boy or girl? How old? What is his/her background or family situation? Personality traits and interests? Brainstorm details about the invented author of the diary. Use the personal testimonies of the children in the book as a guide.
- They will choose a major historical event or moment to write about in their diary entry. This will serve as the focal point of their entry. Tell students to look at the chapter titles for ideas (e.g., "Kristallnacht" or "The Journey"). They will reread sections of the books that relate to their historical moment, mark them with sticky notes for quick reference, and take notes on important facts and details in those sections.
- Finally, students will write their diary entries. Remind students to use both invented details and historical facts to craft their entries. During the writing process, they will draft, revise, edit, and publish their pieces.
Following the format of the book, students will write an update for their invented author (e.g., see p. 17). The update should include details such as:
- What happened to this person after the war?
- Did he/she ever see his/her family again?
- Looking back, how does this person feel about his/her experience?
- What has he/she learned?
Other Nonfiction Books About Children in the Holocaust
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank and B.M. Mooyart (Translator)
The classic first-person account of a young Jewish girl who lived in hiding with her family to escape the Nazis.
Kindertransport by Olga Levy Drucker
This personal narrative chronicles the author's experiences as a child in Germany during World War II, focusing on the events that led to the evacuation of Jewish children to England.
Other Books by Anne L. Fox
- My Heart in a Suitcase
- Between the Lines: Letters from the Holocaust