I did have to take the time to join up with Collaboration Cuties for their weekly linky.
I'm sharing the book Terrible Things: An Allegory of the Holocaust by Eve Bunting. This is an incredible story of what happens when you stand by and do nothing. It opens up the discussion about being a bystander. The book is set in the forest and all the animals are happily going about their daily lives. One day these dark shadows, called the Terrible Things, come and take one group of animals. The other animals say things like "just be glad it isn't us" and turn their backs. Eventually, the shadows take away each group of animals until only the rabbits are left. The shadows come one last time again and finally take them away. Little Rabbit escapes and he runs away to warn the other creatures about the Terrible Things.
This book is appropriate for upper grades, but I have used it with my third graders. You can use it to introduce a study of the Holocaust or as a just a discussion about tolerance, bullying, or being a bystander. The story is very engaging with black and white drawings that are, I have to say, a little creepy.
After reading, we have a group discussion. Here are some questions I might ask:
*How did the animals get along before the Terrible Things came into the forest?
*What could they have done to protect themselves?
*Do the animals know what the Terrible Things are?
*How do the animals explain why each group is chosen to be taken away?
*What is Little Rabbit going to do? Do you think the other creatures will believe him?
*What message is the author trying to teach?
As a follow-up to the discussion, I assign groups the task of creating a poster with advice that Little Rabbit should give the other creatures he is warning. I think you will find this a deep, memorable story for you kids.