never shall we forget... | olive june

never shall we forget...

every january, our 8th grade language arts department at my school teaches the memoir, Night by Elie Wiesel, with our students- which is a real life account about Elie's time in a concentration camp during the Holocaust at the age of 15~ it's usually a somber, emotional, and life changing month for several of our students. 

as we wrap up this unit, i wanted to share some of the materials and synthesis projects that my students presented to their peers this past tuesday 2.5.13 ... their creativity and effort on this project, never seems to amaze me. i was so proud of them... after their presentations, our class discussions were so powerful and moving. i pray and hope that they are walking away as better citizens after reading this exceptional memoir - and most of all, reminded about the evil acts of hatred that occurred; in hopes that it will never be repeated again. 

black and white photos line my walls during january to create a strong and relevant visual 

Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night seven times sealed.
Never shall I forget that smoke.
Never shall I forget the small faces of the children whose bodies I saw transformed into smoke under a silent sky.
Never shall I forget those flames that consumed my faith for ever.
Never shall I forget the nocturnal silence that deprived me for all eternity of the desire to live.
Never shall I forget those moments that murdered my God and my soul and turned my dreams to ashes.
Never shall I forget those things, even were I condemned to live 
as long as God Himself.

Never Shall I Forget from Night by Elie Wiesel.
Copyright © 1958 by Les Editions de Minuit.
Translation copyright © 2006 by Marion Wiesel.
i notice that even students who never pick up a book, come up to the board to look at these resources... 
*i bought the anne frank book at her actual home in amsterdam ... great experience!! 

the students were to create a synthesis for the memoir, night. to synthesize is one of the highest levels of learning - they needed to connect numerous literary elements in the novel together - showing connections, along with showing how these connections affect the overall text. 

the two boys who created this project spent over 10 hours on their project- and even had a train circling the camp that they made to display their synthesis ... all of the kids loved it!! ... and watching their glow as they presented their final project was priceless. 

it's moments and lessons like this that make it all worth it. 

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