8th Graders Explore Auschwitz Exhibit

8th Graders Explore Auschwitz Exhibit
Posted on 11/01/2021
8th grade explores auschwitz exhibit

8th grade ELA classes are currently reading The Diary of Anne Frank. To enhance their understanding of the play, 8th graders spent last Thursday at Union Station exploring the exhibit on Auschwitz. Thanks to generous donors to Union Station, tickets were provided at no cost for school field trips.  7th/8th grade ELA teacher, Molly Dugan, received an email notifying teachers of the opportunity; she applied and was awarded a slot for all SHMS 8th graders.

Students shared that they were not expecting an exhibit that big or that graphic. Learning about the food served in camps and the general treatment of Jews surprised some. The most thought-provoking experiences for many students were the testimonials and real life artifacts. Many felt thankful after the visit that their current situation is nothing like what European Jews faced. In general, the magnitude of the camp system and the effectiveness of Nazi propaganda on Germans was overwhelming but built a better understanding of the dangers the Franks were facing when they chose to go into hiding. Allowing students to see what fate the Franks were hoping to avoid by going into hiding will help students connect to the palpable fear that exists at different points in the play.

Dugan, together with Ashley Jasper, 8th grade ELA teacher, “hope with the exhibit and by reading the play, for students to have a better understanding of this monumental part of history. Even more so,” adds Dugan, “is for students to be able to tap into a new level of empathy and compassion within themselves. We hope that these opportunities will help guide our students on their journey of helping shape our world, as they are the next generation to do so.”