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Blanca Rosenberg

School: Shutesbury Elementary School

City/State: Shutesbury, MA

Grade(s): 5, 6

Format(s): Interview(s)

Subject(s): English Language Arts, Social Studies

Project Overview

This memoir-style book was created by a 5th/6th grade student at Shutesbury Elementary School in Shutesbury, Massachusetts, and tells the life story of a Holocaust survivor. This book was created as part of a biography project that also included a large-scale timeline and a museum.

As part of this expedition, students created a “living history museum” in which students represented a historical figure by dressing up as that person and answering questions as if they were that person. Most students chose well-known historical figures. The student whose work is shown here, selected a friend of her grandmother – a woman who was a holocaust survivor. This student was the only one to interview the actual person represented in the living history museum. Blanca, the subject of this slim book, was also the author of a memoir about her experiences, which the student read in researching Blanca’s life.

Blanca Rosenberg is the biography of Blanca written in first person narrative, as told to the student via an extensive interview. This narrative tells the life story of a Jewish woman from Poland who survived the holocaust though many around her did not. This deeply personalized account of World War II is a unique means for understanding the human impact of war. 

How This Project Can Be Useful

  • Beautifully written narrative of this person’s life – captures the suffering she experienced as a young Jewish woman in Poland.
  • Wonderful example of a first person memoir.
  • Exemplifies the power of interviewing a real person.
  • Highlights the importance of capturing historical details of a person’s life while they are still alive - a precious resource – and highlights the need to gather this information before the people die.
  • Demonstrates a format in which individual work can be assessed.

Common Core State Standards

Standard Long Term Learning Target
  • I can write narrative texts about real or imagined experiences using descriptive details and clearly sequenced events.
  • I can provide a list of sources I used to gather information.
  • I can accurately use 5th grade academic vocabulary to express my ideas.
  • I can use correct grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • I can use correct capitalization, punctuation, and spelling to send a clear message to my reader.
  • I can use resources to build my vocabulary.
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