This lesson plan uses group work, creative writing, and multimedia to teach subjects including History, Literature, Civics, Social and Political Education, Philosophy, Language etc. It is also useful in discussions about multiculturalism, war and peace, the Second World War, crimes against humanity, genocide and holocausts (e.g. the Jewish Holocaust), modern European history, moral and ethical issues, struggle for survival, etc.
This was an on-going, cross-cultural project consisting of several min- lessons taught over the course of the school year, designed and taught by Ilijan Kuzmanovic (Republika Srbska) and Jeff Renihan (US), who met at the 2014 Centropa Summer Academy in Sarajevo.
This final exam project culminates a semester of study and storytelling about Jewish life in Central Europe and the Holocaust that started with students presenting their own stories in picture collages, viewing Centropa films, and now creating films about Holocaust survivors. Using Centropa’s database, students choose one Centropa interviewee to research, reading the entire interview, viewing all of their photographs, reading Study Guide articles for historical context and other background.
This is a history project but because we want our students ultimately to teach each other, we started with an introductory video conference during which students asked each other questions and learned a little about one another. Students will then choose a biography from the Centropa website to read and study, as an example of what life was like for someone in a Central or Eastern European country during WWII.
Students bring in a family photograph they like. This can be from a vacation, a holiday celebration, a family life cycle event, any photograph that includes the student. In class, students look through the Centropa database to find a photograph that looks similar to the one they brought in – people might be posed similarly to the people in their picture, or doing the same thing, etc. Then they read about that photograph, as well as the Centropa interview to find out about the life of that survivor.
Between 2000 and 2010, Centropa interviewed 1,200 Jewish Holocaust survivors still living in Central and Eastern Europe, the former Soviet Union and the Balkans. Centropa then digitized 22,000 of their photographs and asked them to tell their stories about the entire 20th century -- as they lived it. This Treasure Hunt will help you familiarize yourself with the Centropa website and all it has to offer as you work on creating your project.