1. We will begin by discussing Hitler’s rise to power in order to understand the historical context of these events. I’ll explain the timeline so they understand the war in Europe was raging long before America entered World War II.
2. We will discuss Varian Fry’s background and how that played a part in his decision to volunteer for this dangerous mission. We will interact in a discussion about the influence one person can have in the lives of many.
3. While viewing stunning images (some photos taken by Fry) that bring this period of time to life, we will follow the actions of Varian Fry as he puts his life on the line every day in order to save the lives of as many refugees as possible. I will introduce them to a fascinating cast of real characters that made up Fry’s team.
4. I’ll share and discuss with the participants some of the amazing stories I learned about Varian Fry and the people he rescued. For example, I’ve become friends with the daughter of the former employee of the Berlin Electric Department and will show photos and documents from her family collection. In this way, the participants can understand more about original research and be engaged by the facts I uncovered.
5. Time will be given for questions and answers about Varian Fry, my research, or writing.
1. The participant will gain knowledge of this little known story of an American who rescued more than 2000 Jewish and non Jewish people. Varian Fry was the first of only three Americans honored by the Yad Vashem in Jerusalem as “Righteous Among the Nations.”
2. The participant will learn about how this real hero volunteered for a dangerous and exciting game of cat and mouse with the Nazis—and won.
4. The participant will understand about Hitler and his anti-Semitism affected the lives of real people.
5. The participant will connect emotionally with the work of one American who believed he could make a difference. And he did.
Common Core State Standards
Note: The presenter, Carla Killough McClafferty, is also the author of the book, IN DEFIANCE OF HITLER: THE SECRET MISSION OF VARIAN FRY, on which this program is based.
Teachers can use the video conference and book in the classroom in a wide variety of ways that align with the Common Core State Standards:
In conjunction with this interactive video conference, using IN DEFIANCE OF HITLER: THE SECRET MISSION OF VARIAN FRY as a mentor text in the classroom will accomplish the following CCSS Anchor Standards in Reading:
Key Ideas and Details
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.1 Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.2 Determine central ideas or themes of a text and analyze their development; summarize the key supporting details and ideas.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.3 Analyze how and why individuals, events, or ideas develop and interact over the course of a text.
Craft and Structure
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.4 Interpret words and phrases as they are used in a text, including determining technical, connotative, and figurative meanings, and analyze how specific word choices shape meaning or tone.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.5 Analyze the structure of texts, including how specific sentences, paragraphs, and larger portions of the text (e.g., a section, chapter, scene, or stanza) relate to each other and the whole.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.6 Assess how point of view or purpose shapes the content and style of a text.
Integration of Knowledge and Ideas
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.7 Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.8 Delineate and evaluate the argument and specific claims in a text, including the validity of the reasoning as well as the relevance and sufficiency of the evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.9 Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.R.10 Read and comprehend complex literary and informational texts independently and proficiently.
In conjunction with this interactive video conference, the book can be used as a mentor text as your students write arguments, explanatory texts, and narratives based on information found in the book, and by using research found in its source notes, and bibliography. Using the book in this way will accomplish the following CCSS Anchor Standards in Writing:
Text Types and Purposes
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.1 Write arguments to support claims in an analysis of substantive topics or texts using valid reasoning and relevant and sufficient evidence.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.2 Write informative/explanatory texts to examine and convey complex ideas and information clearly and accurately through the effective selection, organization, and analysis of content.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details and well-structured event sequences.
Production and Distribution of Writing
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.4 Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.5 Develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and to interact and collaborate with others.
Research to Build and Present Knowledge
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects based on focused questions, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources, assess the credibility and accuracy of each source, and integrate the information while avoiding plagiarism.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
Range of Writing
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.W.10 Write routinely over extended time frames (time for research, reflection, and revision) and shorter time frames (a single sitting or a day or two) for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences.
SPEAKING AND LISTENING
Following this interactive video conference with the author, class discussion about the topic and the speaker’s point of view of the topic will reinforce comprehension. Students can choose an event discussed during the video conference as a topic for a speech which will reinforce research skills, comprehension, collaboration, knowledge and ideas. This will accomplish the following CCSS Anchor Standards in Speaking and Listening:
Comprehension and Collaboration
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.1 Prepare for and participate effectively in a range of conversations and collaborations with diverse partners, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.2 Integrate and evaluate information presented in diverse media and formats, including visually, quantitatively, and orally.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric.
Presentation of Knowledge and Ideas
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media and visual displays of data to express information and enhance understanding of presentations.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and communicative tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate.
The video conference and book, IN DEFIANCE OF HITLER: THE SECRET MISSION OF VARIAN FRY, can be used to discuss standard English grammar and usage, domain-specific vocabulary words such as refugees, Nazis, intellectuals etc. This could also open the discussion of WW II, Anne Frank, discrimination, and more. These discussions will accomplish the following CCSS Anchor Standards in Language:
Conventions of Standard English
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
Knowledge of Language
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.3 Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening.
Vocabulary Acquisition and Use
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases by using context clues, analyzing meaningful word parts, and consulting general and specialized reference materials, as appropriate.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.CCRA.L.6 Acquire and use accurately a range of general academic and domain-specific words and phrases sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when encountering an unknown term important to comprehension or expression.
The author will adjust each program to fit the needs of each state’s standards