49. Fireflies in the Dark: The Story of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis and the Children of Terezin by Susan Goldman Rubin
Retell: Learn about the amazing life of Friedl Dicker-Brandeis, who taught art to children in the Terezin Camp during the Holocaust. The book includes several photos, drawings, paintings and writings from her students, many of whom did not survive.
Topics: art, holocaust, ghetto, Terezin, Nazis, school, poetry, drama, resiliency
Units of Study: Personal Narrative, Nonfiction, Content Area Reading and Writing, Social Issues
Tribes: personal best, mutual respect
Habits of Mind: persisting, thinking flexibly, creating-imagining-innovating, thinking interdependently, remaining open to continuous learning
Reading Skills: envisionment, determining importance, interpretation, inference
Writing Skills: launching writers notebook, zooming in on small moments
My Thoughts: One can learn many lessons from this book. I am impressed by Dicker-Brandeis’ devotion to learning. When she discovered that she would be sent to Terezin she chose not to bring items for herself, but art supplies for the children she knew would be in the camp. Through art her students were able to both escape and record the horrors around them. Though I don’t plan on teaching a unit about the Holocaust this year, I may choose to read a portion of this book when emphasizing how writers notebooks can be powerful places to record our memories, our thoughts and our struggles. It is important for our students to realize that their experiences, just like those recorded at Terezin, are important and should be recorded.
Entry filed under: Female Authors, Jewish Authors, nonfiction, Picture Books. Tags: "creating imagining innovating", art, content-area, determining importance, drama, envisionment, ghetto, holocaust, inference, interpretation, mutual respect, Nazis, nonfiction, persisting, personal best, personal narrative, poetry, remaining open to continuous learning, resiliency, school, small moments, social issues, Terezin, thinking flexibly, thinking interdependently, writers notebook.