Humanities Project A Walk Through World War II

Humanities Project A Walk Through World War II

A co-curricular project at Wantagh Middle School resulted in eighth grade students deeply exploring human rights violations which occurred during World War II and sharing their findings with peers during a Humanities Project Gallery Walk through history.  

For five weeks, social studies teachers led students in an exploration of the war in conjunction with English classes reading, “The Diary of Anne Frank.” Social studies teacher Victoria Hargreaves explained that this project supports the shift in the Regents curriculum students will see in upcoming years. 

“Focusing on thematic elements, students will have the opportunity to make interdisciplinary connections,” Ms. Hargreaves said.  

In social studies, students explored “issues” such as conflict and power and then focused on human right violations during this period of history. Topics included the European concentration camps, the Japanese internment camps in the United States, how African Americans were treated in the military and more. Reading “The Diary of Anne Frank,” students were further enlightened about the war and its significant impact on the world and the injustices toward Jews. Having focused and researched a particular human rights violation, the students then cogently delivered their reports through art, videos, essays, graphic novels, reports and presentations. Leaving their Chromebooks on tables, classmates perused their peers’ work and made connections to their own research.    

English teacher Christine Hult said the project was not only exciting but extremely successful. “The students acquired a sense of responsibility and independence while researching their issues, a skill they will need moving forward in their education,” Ms. Hult said. “Most importantly, they were able to make connections between literature and history.”