Social Studies and Children's Literature

Book Title: The Big Lie

Author: Isabella Leitner

Publisher and Date: Scholastic Inc., 1992

Curriculum Developer: Angela Groberg

Summary: This is a true story of an Hungarian Jewish girl and her family during the time of World War II. The Nazis had invaded Europe and were relocating all of the Jews to Nazi death and concentration camps. Isabella Leitner, her mother, 3 sisters, and brother were among those placed in these camps. Isabella relates her experiences of the deaths of her mother, two sisters, and friends. In her own small way she was able to fight the German Nazis and "The Big Lie" by simply staying alive for the last year of the war. "The Big Lie" was devised by Nazi Party Leader, Adolf Hitler. He was a Jew hater who blamed the Germans high unemployment rate on the powerless minority of Jews present in Germany. Hitler planned to ultimately exterminate the entire Jewish population.

Social Studies Relevance: This book could be used with a unit on the Holocaust or World War II. It could also be used with a unit on the study of people and their ability to use past experiences to improve their way of life. It is a book that covers the strong bonds of family, culture, and how human beings behave within groups. It would also be useful when teaching about customs of a group and why members of a group are willing to put aside their own beliefs to follow the rules of a group.

Grade Level Focus: 5th grade

Relationship to Social Studies State Core:

Daily Lesson Plans: