Today was a fabulous day for our middle schoolers. We had the unique opportunity to Skype with Linda Press Wulf, the author of the novel The Night of the Burning. Last year Linda Wulf happened to read my classroom blog where the sixth grade students’ reflected on her book. She was so impressed with their work that she reached out to me and we planned a Skype call with this year’s sixth grade students once they completed the book. Since all of the middle school classes have now read the book, they all participated in the call with Mrs. Wulf. The students all had an active role in the process. Several students were each able to ask questions. Arin wrote an introduction, while Samantha wrote the closing statements. Ayden and Noah were our photographers, and Elior was our videographer. The rest of the students took notes for a future discussion.
The sixth graders have all been working on their reflections. Here are a couple of unique examples:
This poem is written by Julia C
It started in a small Polish village,
where people did not have much privilege,
THere was a Jewish community,
that did not have immunity.
This was the story of Devorah,
she and her family were Jewish,
who knew their home would be in ruins?
There was Nechama, mom, aunt, grandpa, and dad
Their future would be very sad,
Across the village,
there were the Christians
Some were nice and some were bad,
One night they went completely mad,
They put the village up in flames,
The scene was horrific,
What a shame!
Nechama and Devorah escaped the village,
Just to be sent to an orphanage,
They traveled around the world,
And stayed in Africa,
Nechama enjoyed ballet,
She spun and twirled showing off her curls,
a family wanted to adopt Nechama,
This wasn’t fair,
But nobody would care.
Nechama leaves and changes completely,
Forgetting her past,
Forgetting her real family,
The next thing you know,
A family wants to adopt Devorah,
They weren’t rich,
But they’re nice people,
She began to twitch,
A new family?
A new home?
This was insanity,
Nechama changed her name to Naomi,
She was so spoiled and was never in poverty,
She forgot her past and looked into the future,
Forgetting the fun times, family, and the torture…
To find out more,
Read Night of the Burning by Linda Press Wulf
Mrs. Wulf explained to all of us that she did not choose her book cover. She really did not like it. The British version chose a completely different cover which she liked much better. See below:
This is a song written by Emily T to the tune of Blank Spaces by Taylor Swift
One, day, you come home, and you’re losing all of your money.
No more, meals, on the table.
Your parents are getting sick.
Papa dies, then mama too. Oh no.
What are you going to do?
You only have, Aunt Friedka.
Then one night you go outside.
And you hear screaming.
The peasants are atacking Jews.
Aunt Friedka just was killed. Now you’re not thrilled.
You are so young, with no parents now.
Panya Truda finds you and Nechama.
She takes you to an orphanage.
Where Mr. Ochberg wants to take you, and Nechama, to Africa.
Nechama, really wants to go.
You can’t stay here without her.
It’s not safe.
So you have to go with her.
Now you’re going with… Nechama and other orphans.
Your heading to Africa.
Now you’re on your way.
One of your stops was London.
You stayed in a hotel.
You had plumbing, toilets, showers.
This is so crazy.
You got to meet… the King and Queen.. but they weren’t as you expected.
You expected them to be more proper.
You got very.. upset.
You thought.. they’d be more like… the fairy tales in your book.
Then you leave London; your next stop is Africa.
You.. go..to school.. and have fun and play.
The best part about it…was you were always by your sister.
Then one day.. someone calls… for your sister to come to the office.
The Stein’s want to… adopt Nechama. Oh No! What are you going to do!
She’s the only one left… from your family.
They can’t take her away from you.
That’s not fair.
She is going to leave you… you don’t know if you can see her again.
She will forget… her old family.
And become rich.
The Stein’s are moving her… from her school.
They’re taking away… everything from her past.
This isn’t fair.
She shouldn’t want to leave you.
You need her in your life.
But now she’s gone.
Then one day… you get called.
The Kagan’s want to adopt you.
You don’t know… if you want to go.
But it’s a great new start.
The Kagan’s aren’t rich, but they’ve always wanted a daughter.
You stay at the same school, and don’t see Nechama anymore.
The Stein’s changed her name, to Naomi.
She’s become so different, and so rude.
She doesn’t even care, about her past.
She has a new family.
They even changed her last name.
Naomi only wants to be rich.
She doesn’t care …doesn’t care about her past.
Naomi only wants to be rich.
She doesn’t care ….doesn’t care about her past.
So it’s not going to be be forever.
It’s gonna be different now.
Naomi is my sister, but I won’t miss her now.
She made rude remarks, about my new family.
Her home style isn’t like ours, but she can’t be rude like that.
I’ve got a new family just like her, and I love them.