The Children of Willesden Lane

Educator and Family Activities

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Testimony and Artistic Expression

In this lesson, students will develop a greater understanding of the link between testimony and artistic expression. By analyzing excerpts from The Children of Willesden Lane and pieces of artistic expression from genocide survivors, students will build upon their sense of empathy, historical understanding, and discipline-specific literacies. Throughout the lesson, students will analyze clips of testimony and different forms of artistic expression through the lens of perseverance and resilience.

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The Jewish Refugee Crisis of the 1930s

Through this activity students will analyze accounts of Jewish refugees who attempted to flee Nazi territories between 1933 and the beginning of World War II. Students engage in discussion to understand challenges that may have been presented to refugees. After brainstorming policies and programs that could have minimized these challenges, students will analyze international agreements written after World War II to protect refugees and how these efforts affected their lives.

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Confronting Refugee Challenges

Designed for middle and high school students, this classroom activity guides students through why some people are forced to flee from their homes to seek safety from persecution and genocide. They will analyze a variety of sources to document challenges confronted by refugees and dive deeper into what assistance and support was made available to refugees.

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The Sound of Willesden Lane

In this activity, families will explore the story of Lisa Jura, a talented young musician who dreams of becoming a concert pianist. Through her story, families will build on their understanding of the Kindertransport and work with their students to dive into the concepts of perseverance and resilience. Together families will deepen the connection between music and testimony.

Listen to Mona play the piano

Related Topic Activities

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Conflict and Refugees

What does it mean to be a refugee – and what challenges do refugees, displaced persons, and asylum seekers face? Explore topics related to human rights with activities that open up the lines of communication and empower students to take action.

Supporting Testimony Clips

About The Partners

USC Shoah Foundation

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USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute's current collection of 55,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes. 

Discovery Education

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Discovery Education is the global leader in standards-aligned digital curriculum resources, engaging content, and professional learning for K-12 classrooms. Through its award-winning digital textbooks, multimedia resources, and the largest professional learning network of its kind, Discovery Education is transforming teaching and learning, creating immersive STEM experiences, and improving academic achievement around the globe. Discovery Education currently serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in over 140 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and like-minded organizations to empower teachers with customized solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.