World War II Mini Unit

Opening Doors to Social Studies with Children's Literature

Curriculum Developer

Jan Farmer

Lesson Plans for A Pocket Full of Seeds


1. Book Title: A Pocket Full of Seeds

2. Author: Marilyn Sachs

3. Publisher and Date: Scholastic Inc., 1973

4. Curriculum Developer: Jan Farmer

5. Summary: This is the story of Nicole Nieman, who realizes that her family's Jewish heritage will have a strong impact on her family and friends as the Nazis start to occupy France. Several refugees come to stay with her family while fleeing from Nazi soldiers. Nicole's parents wonder if they should also leave home to escape over the border to Switzerland or wait it out. Then one awful day Nicole comes home from school to find her parents and sister gone! The Nazis have taken her family and are looking for her. Nicole eventually goes into hiding at her school's dormitory.

6. Social Studies Relevance: This book would be excellent to use with a unit on World War II. This is also a good book with which to create a time line to help the students understand the sequence of events of World War II. Mapping could also be used to help the students understand where the events took place. This book would also be good in explaining the difference between a democratic society and an autocratic society.

7. Grade Level Focus: 4th and 5th grade

8. Relationship to Social Studies State Core: