Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

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Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane
Resources to help you teach the book in middle schools and high schools

Chapters 1–3

Mona’s Related Performance
Part 2: Leaving Family Behind

In this part of her performance, Mona describes the terrible decision Lisa’s parents had to make after the violence of Kristallnacht. As Lisa prepares to leave home on the Kindertransport, she takes careful note of every detail of her family’s home. She takes solace in the music of Debussy, and makes her mother promise not to change a thing in the apartment.

Note: In this part of the performance, Mona refers to events from Chapters 1 through 3 of the book.

Questions to Discuss with Students

  • When Lisa arrives home saddened at the news that her lessons must end, her mother encourages her to play a nocturne by Chopin.  A “nocturne” is a composition for piano that is inspired by, or that evokes, the night. Nocturnes can have many moods—tranquil, expressive, lyrical, gloomy. Now that you have heard this nocturne by Chopin, why do you think Lisa’s mother encouraged her to play it at this moment?
  • Imagine that you are about to leave your home, never to see it again. Close your eyes and imagine each specific detail of a room in your home. Write briefly about the details that are most important to you.

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Mona reads while sitting at the piano

Music Mona Plays in Part 2

Nocturne, Opus 9, No. 3
by Frédéric Chopin

“Clair de Lune”
by Claude Debussy

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