In this challenging time, many parents and guardians are looking online for meaningful activities for their children that don’t require too much prep or too many materials. Each weekday on this blog, the Museum of Jewish Heritage – A Living Memorial to the Holocaust will post an activity geared to a range of ages that guide children how to explore heritage, history, and learning through artifacts.
|Note to parents/guardians: This activity refers to the Holocaust but does not go into detail about it. Please use your judgment to decide if this activity is right for your student.|
This activity builds on the skills of making observations and using the observations to draw inferences. Our educational approach is grounded in the idea that every object tells a story, and we encourage students to observe and infer to try to determine what story each object is telling.
Have your student list objective observations (what they can see, without making any guesses or inferences). Encourage them to deepen their observations and record things they may not have noticed upon first viewing the artifact.
Next, ask students to make inferences: what do you think this object was? Who might it have belonged to? What story is it telling?
After discussing their inferences, asking for them to support their answers with evidence from their observations and prior knowledge, discuss the story behind this artifact.
The red glass is a kiddush cup, which is used to bless wine (or grape juice) as part of Jewish holidays. The metal bowl is a dish used to hold saltwater, part of the Passover Seder. The saltwater is meant to remind us of the tears of the Hebrew slaves in Egypt, and Jews today dip vegetables in it as part of the Passover Seder to remember this.
These two small objects belonged to Edith Lefor, who left her home in Germany in 1939 on a Kindertransport, which allowed children between the ages of 4-17 to leave Nazi Germany and find refuge in England. Like the other children on the Kindertranports, Edith had to leave her family behind in Germany. Her parents gave her these two objects to take with her.
Ask your student:
- Why do you think her parents sent these two objects with her?
- Is there a special object that you have at home that reminds you of your family? Of your heritage? Explain.
We encourage you to share your student’s work with us! Please email firstname.lastname@example.org so that we may feature it on our Museum blog!