Sunday, 27 January, 2013

This assembly outlines the purpose of commemorating Holocaust Memorial Day, emphasising that by remembering bad things we can try to stop them from happening again.  It also introduces the theme for HMD 2013 Communities Together: Build a Bridge, asking people to take action and reach out to people in other communities. 

It is intended to be delivered by a mixture of students, adults and hopefully visitors from other communities. 

It is multi sensory and meditative, providing time for contemplation and reflection.  Sections from the No Man is an Island work, and Miep’s story can be added to enrich it if time in your setting allows. 

Holocaust Memorial Day Communities Together: Build a Bridge Assembly

You can download a printable version of the assembly here.

Target Audience: For delivery by students in special educational settings, to as wide an audience as possible
Approximate duration: 10 – 25 mins 

Rationale
This assembly explains the purpose of Holocaust Memorial Day and introduces the theme for HMD 2013 Communities Together: Build a Bridge. It is a reflective, meditative experience, achieved through its multisensory elements, pace, and sparseness of language.  Those who understand what the words refer to can contemplate these events.  Those accessing the material in a sensory way will experience a sense of hope appearing out of darkness. 

Resources

  • six students to read – these students will be split into two groups of three.  If possible, there should be a difference between the two groups (older / younger or boys / girls).  The first group need to sound somber and authoritative, the second group optimistic and hopeful
  • the spoken text printed out for students to read (or students can learn their lines if appropriate).  Spoken text is included at the bottom of this document, for ease of printing
  • a candle
  • the capacity to darken the room, either by turning out the lights or closing the curtains
  • powerpoint images and a means of displaying them

You may also need

  • HMD music
  • HMD image presentation
  • HMD take away items - Stickers
  • building blocks
  • access to the internet
  • jigsaw animation

The best resource

  • guests from different communities

Sensory element

Delivered material

Darkened room

HMD music playing

HMD images on PPT

As people arrive

A candle on a small table where it can be clearly seen by the assembled people

(extra nightlights can be used individually with students accessing the assembly in a sensory way, but unable to clearly see the candle at the front)

When everyone has settled in:

Students 1-3 deliver the following lines.  These should be delivered steadily, with time for people to think.  You may want to provide students with a cue so that they know when to start speaking.

(A guest from another community could take one of these places)

1)      Today is Holocaust Memorial Day

2)      On this day we remember the bad things that happened during the Holocaust

3)      We do this to prevent them from happening again

After delivering this line student 3 lights the candle

Allow a pause for people to look at the flame.  Extinguish the flame before continuing to the next section

HMD images

You may choose to show the HMD images in PPT or as the students speak in the following section.  Check that images are suitable for your students prior to use.

 

The smell of smoke drifting in the room from the extinguished candle.

The candle.

1)      During the Holocaust communities turned against each other

2)      This happened again during the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur

3)      We remember the bad things that happened because we do not want them to happen again

After delivering this line student 3 again lights the candle.  Allow a pause for people to look at the flame. Move the candle away - it can continue to burn throughout the assembly

Change in tone of voices.

Light.

Raise the lighting in the assembly hall.

Students A-C deliver the following lines:

(A guest from another community could take one of these places).

A)     When bad things happen, some people make good choices.

B)     We remember these people because we want to be like them.

C)     We would now like to share with you what we have learned about one (two) of these people.

Share Miep Gies’ story in one of the following ways.  Encourage those delivering the material to keep any talking sections brief.  Involve guests from other communities if possible.

  • share the role play of Miep’s life
  • share the display you have made
  • share Miep’s story.  A shortened version of the story can be found in Miep Gies lesson link.

The jigsaw animation can provide a brief view of this work, and links to the jigsaw lesson.

You may also want to share the story of Sir Ludwig Guttmann – founder of the Paralympic games which was featured in the HMD 2012 resources.

Darkness and the candle.

Students (guest) 1-3 repeat their six lines.

 

Notes:

The following section is intended to be delivered by an adult, with guests from other communities as involved as is possible.

The adult leading the assembly may choose to deliver different content, tailored to suit the needs/interests of your particular students/audience.  The following content may also take longer to deliver than the length of time available to you.  Please select material based on your available time.

 

Movement

Voices

Light

`Communities are groups of people who have something in common.  We have many communities in school.’

Illustrate the communities by having different groups respond in different ways, communities are a good thing so allow a celebratory feel to this section, for example:

`Stand up if you’re in class____’

`Wave if you’re part of the _____team.’

`Cheer if you’re on the school council.’

Note that some communities have adults in as well as students.  Note the different things that bind the communities together – activities, interests.

Ask everyone to hold hands, `Together we are the school community.’

Power point images, or photographs, newspaper articles.

Share examples of other communities in your local area, and further afield, think about global communities.

eg other schools, old people’s homes, clubs, societies, religious groups

Miep jigsaw.

 

You could have building blocks to illustrate the idea of building a bridge.

`This year on Holocaust Memorial Day we are asking you to build bridges between communities.’

Have Miep jigsaw on display in the background to refer to.

`Do you think we can build a bridge between _____ and  _____?’

Choose two places in your community to illustrate this point.

`What do we mean by building a bridge?’

If students have answers, take them and incorporate them into your delivery.

`Bridges make connections between things, and they go over anything that gets in the way.’

`What might get in the way of________and _________being friends?’

Take answers, and explain that it is often differences that stop people being friends.

`The way to overcome differences is through understanding.’

The internet

 

Guests – encourage guests to bring things representative of their community that can be shared, eg pictures, foods, tools, objects etc.

`How can we understand other communities better?’

Take answers such as finding out about them, and talking to them, making friends.

Model this between two communities in school, for example having a student on the school council ask a student from the football team how their game went, or having a student from an afterschool club ask one of the lunchtime staff how their day is going.

`How can we do this with other communities?’

Choose an action to take.

·           use the internet to find out about another community

·           invite the local newspaper to report on your assembly, helping other communities learn about you

·           join a local club

·           support a local event

·           visit another community

·           Skype / Facetime / phone someone from another community

·           chat to your guests and find out about their community

 

`Sometimes people forget they are a part of a community, this can make them feel sad and lonely.  When we ‘build bridges’ we can help.  By making links between communities we protect ourselves and others from the bad things that happened during the Holocaust.’

Share No Man is an Island work.  Students or teacher/guest briefly summarise what they have learned during their No Man is an Island work.

Explain that at the end of the assembly there is going to be a movement meditation where everyone can reflect upon the things discussed in this assembly.

If this work has not been done by students simply read the poem here.

Darkness

Candle

Students (guest) 1-3 once again repeat their six sentences.

 

Poem

Movement

Students (and guests if involved) perform the No Man is an Island movement meditation.

You may want to end on a prayer or final thought:

Help us to use our memories of bad times to stop bad things from happening again.

Today we remember the people who suffered because of the Holocaust.

We also remember the people who were brave enough to make good choices.

Help us to use what we have learned to make good choices, to stop bad things from happening.

Help us to build bridges between all our different communities.

Help us to be good.

Take away resources - stickers

HMD music

Candle

You may want to remind people to take action, especially if you have picked a particular action to commit to.

As people leave have the take away resources available for them to take with them.

Have the candle burning somewhere where it can be seen.

Print this text for your groups of students

1)      Today is Holocaust Memorial Day

2)      On this day we remember the bad things that happened during the Holocaust.

3)      We do this to prevent them from happening again.

 

1)      During the Holocaust communities turned against each other.

2)      This happened again during the genocides in Cambodia, Bosnia, Rwanda and Darfur.

3)      We remember the bad things that happened because we do not want them to happen again.

 

A)     When bad things happen, some people make good choices.

B)     We remember these people because we want to be like them.

C)     We would now like to share with you what we have learned about one (two) of these people.

Age: 

  • SEN

Genocides

Relevant to all