September 25, 2012

Holocaust Unit

The Holocaust unit has always been my favorite to teach. It's such a meaningful, sad, touching subject to discuss and learn about, and the students really get into it. My problem has always been that because it's such a serious topic, the class gets a little long and serious.

During other units, I'm cracking jokes, we play music, we have a good time while learning. I want that same feeling with the Holocaust unit, but it's not appropriate to have jokes going on during this time. So I was trying to think of another way to make the lessons engaging.

The other night I was watching the finale of So You Think You Can Dance [LOVE] and they replayed a dance routine that I had somehow missed during the season. The routine was entitled "Eli, Eli"-a contemporary number about the Holocaust. How PERFECT is that timing?!

I shared this idea of showing the video as an opener to the unit with my student teacher, and she loved it. But she took it to a whole other level! We/she's going to show either a clip or piece of art at the beginning of class everyday and have the students journal about that as our Journal Write for the day. I normally have fun, crazy prompts like: What would you do if you were a fish for a day? Or Persuade me why students should get free Starbucks [use Pathos, Ethos, or Logos].

I am so excited about this idea and can't wait to start the unit tomorrow! So here's the clip of the dance routine from So You Think You Can Dance.

Be moved,
Ms. W


  1. I love sytycd. When I saw the title of your post, I actually immediately thought about this dance!

    Kandi M

    1. It worked out really well! I got some great discussion out of it :)

  2. I agree with your thoughts on this unit. I'm curious about the other clips/art you used and the prompts you chose. I'm always looking for new ideas for this unit.