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Pippa McGeoch

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A Literary Leaf for After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside


KS: Upper KS2

Year Group: Year 6

Literary Theme: Crossing Borders

Author(s): Tom Palmer

Overview and Outcomes:

This is a 15-session Literary Leaf for After the War: From Auschwitz to Ambleside by Tom Palmer which covers all aspects of the Upper Key Stage 2 content domains.  Children will begin by contextualising the story, identfying both Auschwitz and Ambleside on a map and defining the term 'Holocaust'.  Through the series of lessons children will consider the emotional impact of such harrowing experiences on the main characters and explore the differences in living a life of captivity vs. a life of liberty.  The book provides opportunities to practise skills of retrieval, inference and summarising, as well as considering how the author uses language choices to portray a mood.  Although appropriate for primary age children, it will be important for teachers to read the novel through before beginning to teach due to the sensitive nature of some of the content.

Synopsis of Text:

We chose After the War as a Literary Leaf as it presents children with an important opportunity to explore the themes of Holocaust and wartime survival in a sensitive and thought-provoking way.  Based on the true story of The Windermere Boys, this moving book set in the summer of 1945 tells the story of Yossi and his two friends, Leo and Mordecai. The children are among 300 who have been evacuated from Theresienstadt, Czechoslovakia having survived the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps in Poland, to find a place of peace and safety in the Lake District. The plot follows the boys as they adjust to a life in their new environment and battle to cope with the flashbacks to and nightmares of the atrocities they both witnessed and were subjected to. Can they learn to trust others again? Will their physical and emotional scars eventually heal?

Links to Curriculum areas, other Literary Leaves and Planning Sequences:

A Beautiful Lie by Irfan Master (Y6 planning sequence in the Literary Curriculum) would be an ideal text to teach this alongside.

Holocaust, World War Two, survival, friendship, captivity, liberty

Literary Leaves within the same Literary Theme

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