*Names and identifying details have been altered to protect the innocent people who could sue me.

February 19, 2012

There is no why, children. (I'm sorry.)

Night, Elie Wiesel's autobiography of his experience at the Auschwitz concentration camp during WWII, is difficult to read. In fact, the only thing more difficult than reading it might be teaching it. And the only thing more difficult than teaching it once is teaching it 4 times a day. And perhaps the only thing more difficult than teaching Night four times each day is teaching the Holocaust to kids who have never studied it before. There's been a lot of, 'But whyyyyyyyy teacher, whyyyyyyyyyy? in my life these days.

All this is to say, I haven't wanted to think much about teaching in my off hours.

In lieu of a high-low-high, I've got a KWL for you. KWL is a standard teaching technique that activates background knowledge (K), encourages students to engage with the material by asking about what they want to know (W), and then provides a post-lesson wrap of what they've learned (L). We're not quite finished with the unit yet, but here are some sampled answers from the past few weeks that will give you a sense of what this month has been like.

K: What do I know about World War II? It involved fighting. The whole world took part. It was a sequel to World War I.

W: Why did Hitler hate the Jews so much? Why did Hitler prefer blonde hair and blue eyes? Why didn't anybody stop him from doing what he wanted to do? How was he able to do all of this? How can one person cause so many deaths?

L: Ms Gettlin, I figured out why Hitler hated the Jews. On the internet it said he was a vegetarian. So I think that's probably why he hated the Jews, right?

1 comment:

  1. I'm trying to connect the dots here. Might the student think that vegetarians don't like kosher butchering? I want to believe that there was some missing thoughts here to connect the question with the answer.