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Bobcats stepped back in time to learn about the Holocaust

Posted on: May 21, 2018 12:00 pm
Students review posters in hallway

Eighth-grade students at Bridgetown Middle School dug deeper into history with classroom activities that will stick with them for years to come. While some of their peers traveled to Washington, D.C. and visited the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, students in Cincinnati experienced similar in-school exhibits and learned more about the path to Nazi Genocide, life in the camps, Holocaust denial, Zionism and medical experimentation in the camps.

To better understand more about what happened in Germany in 1933, students were given a card with the name and photograph of a Holocaust victim. Language arts teacher, Melissa Vassallo, set up stations for students to visit and learn about what happened to people during the 12-year timespan. After discussing what life was like and completing worksheets, they made predictions about their individual and then moved to the hallways to find more details and if their assigned person survived. They also listened to an album entitled, "Uplifting Discoveries From a Generation Lost" composed by musicians who died during The Holocaust.

"While I am committed to the daily success of my students, it is their long-term flourishing that drives me,” Vassallo shared. “I want them to find their voice and utilize it as a citizen of a Democracy. Sparking conversations outside of themselves is the beginning of that journey."

The classroom exercises were a moving experience for all.

After the activities, some students chose to share the impact of what they learned saying:

“It’s just shocking that some people just stood by and watched this happen. It is a reminder to always care about other people.”

“I was very interested in this but felt bad about that… I was drawn to the stories of the survivors… the human spirit is inspiring.”

“A three-year-old died… this can’t be repeated.”

“This is going to stick with me… We have to learn from our history to make sure we don’t make the same mistakes again.”

“I can’t believe I am actually saying this, but I think I am going to read about this and study it over the summer!”

We love the creativity of our teachers to ensure all students have equal opportunities to learn.