In the spring of 2010 we received an email from Pam Crockett, an art teacher at LaBelle Middle School. Pam wrote that she was getting ready to teach a unit on the Holocaust to her 7th grade class and she wondered if we had any suggestions on how she might include Moshe Rynecki’s work in her unit. We exchanged several emails and some different ideas. In the end, the idea was all Pam’s. In her own words, here is a description of the project. Below are photographs of the resulting quilt project.
I made a copy of the page long biography of Moshe Rynecki, which was on your website. We read it and discussed it as a class, then I showed examples of his artwork to the class and we discussed those. For the assignment, I asked students to imagine they were a child who was at one of the camps and to think of one word that might express how they would feel. This was to try to get them to think seriously about what it would have been like to be a child at one of these camps. They were then to illustrate that one word and put the word on the paper provided. They used markers and I made all of the paper 11″ x 11″, then spaced it out evenly on colored paper so it gave the effect of a quilt. We had a holocaust survivor come to our school one evening and speak and put the “quilt” on display in the library for the parents and other students to see. We also had a boxcar that was renovated and available for touring by the public brought to our school for the students and parents to see. I think the students learned a lot from our unit and were definitely affected by what they learned. I appreciate your website in helping me make the kids more familiar with the art produced from that time and showing them that the people who were taken to these camps were, in very many ways, just like them. I hope you enjoy the pictures of some of our artwork.