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Distance Learning with Marcel Marceau

Posted by Kar-Ben Team on 4/3/2020
In last week’s episode of Unorthodox, Tablet Magazine’s podcast, Jesse Eisenberg spoke about his upcoming role as Marcel Marceau in the film Resistance. Not only was it an interesting conversation, but it also got us thinking about our Picture Book Marcel Marceau: Master of Mime and how we can bring this impactful book to you. Given the demand for lessons and ways to teach Judaism at home, we have created a modified lesson from the book’s eSource guide that teachers or parents can do at home! 

Learning objectives: 
  • Learning about the Holocaust through story
  • Using people and their lives to understand a certain time period
  • Understanding the gradual shift WWII had on people’s lives and how it affected them
  • What did this time period look like for Jews and how did they deal with struggles?


For before reading: 
1. Ask students if they have ever seen a mime performance. 
2. Ask students to think about what it means to have a dream and a goal. 

For reading together: 
1. Why was Marcel fascinated by Charlie Chaplin? 
2. What was causing Europe to change into a dangerous place? 
3. Who are the Nazis? What do they want? 
4. What special talents did Marcel have? 
5. What brave deeds did Marcel do? 
6. How did other people feel about miming? What did Marcel think? 

For post-reading discussion: 
1. How do the illustrations help tell the story? 
2. What does this story show about talents? 
3. One of the themes of this book is performing and pretending. What examples of that do you remember? What message about performing does the book suggest? 
4. What are some different examples of courage in the book? 

Create a Picture Book! 
Based on the story of Marcel Marceau and your discussions about WWII and the Holocaust, create a nonfiction picture book. 
1. Together pick a topic, relevant to the story of Marcel Marceau (Mimes, WWII, the Holocaust, etc.), and research it online. 
2. Use your research to construct a story on one aspect of the chosen topic, like a specific person or event. 
3. Once your story is crafted, it’s time to create the pages. Use any loose construction paper, crayons, markers, paint, whatever you’d like to illustrate your story and place it on the page. 
4. When this is done and you have all your pages, you’ll want to figure out what parts of the written story go on which pages. Then, write them on a separate piece of paper to glue onto the page. 
5. Staple or sew together and voila! You created your very own nonfiction picture book! 

This lesson is a fun and engaging way to talk about a more serious and complex topic with your students/children. Other eSource materials are available on our website under the Free Extras tab.
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