Teacher resources and professional development across the curriculum

Teacher professional development and classroom resources across the curriculum

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Teacher Resources/Literature
Teaching The Children of Willesden Lane

14 video programs for middle and high school teachers; Web site containing video programs, downloadable curriculum guide, and classical musical selections

These resources provide teachers of history, literature, social studies, and music with background, lessons, and ideas for studying and discussing the book The Children of Willesden Lane. This is the true story of pianist Lisa Jura, who traveled to London through the Kindertransport to escape Nazi persecution on the eve of WWII. A Web site provides access to all the resources including video programs featuring real classrooms and documentary background on the book and its author, Lisa Jura's daughter, Mona Golabek; information on the classrooms where lessons were filmed; a downloadable curriculum guide to help teachers build lessons around issues raised in the book; and classical musical selections that play a pivotal role in the book.

Selected videos from the series, and a 44-page Teacher’s Resource for the book, can be found on this page at the website of Facing History and Ourselves.

Produced by Lavine Production Group with EDC/Center for Children and Technology. 2006.

ISBN: 1-57680-824-6

This series was discontinued on July 1, 2018.

The Children of Willesden Lane provides an entry point for students to think about and discuss difficult issues.
The Children of Willesden Lane provides an entry point for students to think about and discuss difficult issues.

Individual Program Descriptions
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Individual Program Descriptions

1. An Introduction
An overview of the video and Web resources. For viewing by teachers and students.

2. What Is The Children of Willesden Lane?
Teachers and students talk about the impact of the book. For viewing by teachers and students.

3. What Is Facing History and Ourselves?
The curriculum guide was created by Facing History and Ourselves and the Milken Family Foundation. This program discusses the thinking behind Facing History's approach to learning. For viewing by teachers and students

4. Meeting Mona Golabek
A documentary profile of the author, presented in four short sections for ease of use in the classroom. For viewing by teachers and students.

5. Music, Love, and Survival
A special performance by the author, weaving together her mother's story, classical piano music that is central to that story, and family photographs. The performance is presented in six parts suitable for classroom viewing as students progress through the book. For viewing by teachers and students.

6. Introducing the "Universe of Obligation"—Middle School
Before her students read The Children of Willesden Lane, a sixth-grade social studies teacher in Memphis introduces them to the concept of the "Universe of Obligation." Students compare how they feel about people who are near the center of their universe—family and friends—with those who lie farther out.

7. Introducing the "Universe of Obligation"—High School
In New York City, a high school history teacher asks students to discuss the reasons they sometimes choose not to act when they witness a wrong. Each student defines a personal Universe of Obligation, and the class reflects on how events like September 11th and Hurricane Katrina have altered our Universe of Obligation as a nation.

8. Choices That Make a Difference
A staff member from Facing History and Ourselves joins an eighth—grade teacher in Memphis to help her class understand the growing persecution of Jews in 1930s Germany, and the shrinking—yet still vitally important—set of choices they had to make.

9. A First Impression of Judaism
A sixth-grade teacher in Memphis invites a local rabbi to share thoughts on Judaism with her students.

10. Exploring Lisa's Music
A high school teacher in New York brings in a music teacher to help history students appreciate the classical piano music that runs throughout The Children of Willesden Lane.

11. Upstanders and Bystanders
An eighth-grade class in Memphis explores the concepts of "upstander" and "bystander," and discusses the controversial Wagner-Rogers Bill of 1939, which, if passed, would have allowed 20,000 Jewish children safe haven in the United States. The class discusses historical factors that might have influenced the decision of the United States.

12. Gaining Insight Through Poetry
A high school English teacher in Pennsylvania uses poetry to connect The Children of Willesden Lane to themes he is exploring in his creative writing class, including the human condition, and what it feels like to be an outsider.

13. A Structured Conversation
A middle school language arts teacher in Massachusetts leads a conversation about The Children of Willesden Lane designed to encourage students to compare their own responses with those of others. The discussion begins to touch on what it means to be a citizen of the world.

14. A Concluding Discussion
A high school English teacher facilitates an open-forum discussion. Students grapple with difficult issues including, how we prevent genocide from happening again, what makes a person responsible for another person, and whether we can ever stop hatred.



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