Students can expand their social justice history studies and use their current perspective of ‘sheltering in place’ to relate to the characters in the books and the people during the WWII era with this reading and writing project.
We recommend two historical fiction books that are phenomenal: The War Outside and Girl in the Blue Coat, both by Monica Hesse. The first is about two girls in a Japanese American internment camp and the other is about teenagers in the resistance movement in Nazi Germany. Students can also read a short story by Alice Walker called Everyday Use.
The writing assignment is to create a story that revolves around a family heirloom, similar to Alice Walker’s story, which is focused on a family quilt.
Parents and students can hold a discussion about what it may have been like for the Jewish people who had to go into hiding, or the Japanese Americans who were forced to leave their homes, and what they were able to take with them.
We’re all spending a lot of time at home right now, so students should either focus on a real family heirloom, or fictionalize one, or create a hybrid.