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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 is appropriate for ages 10 and up. It deals with the experiences of young people during the Holocaust.

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.

For this activity, view the artifact here.

Have your student first record 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.

This is a toy bunny taken by then-12-year-old Ludwig Biermann (born 1931) when he was deported from Berlin, Germany, to Terezin ghetto/concentration camp in the occupied Czech territories in 1943. He kept it in Terezin with him and brought it to the U.S. when he and his mother Hildegard immigrated in 1946. Why do you think Ludwig brought this bunny with him?

Writing prompt: Did you have a toy that meant a lot to you when you were younger, that you would bring everywhere with you? Explain what it was, and why it was so important to you.

We encourage you to share your student’s work with us! Please email education@mjhnyc.org so that we may feature it on our Museum blog!