The Butterfly Peula - -

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Resource Type: Peula in: English
Age: 12-17
Group Size: 5-20
Estimated Time: 30 minutes

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Resource Goal
Activity with the Poem "The Butterfly"

Resource Contents

The Butterfly

The last, the very last,
So richly, brightly, dazzlingly yellow.
Perhaps if the suns tears would sing
against a white stone....

Such, such a yellow
Is carried lightly way up high.
It went away Im sure
because it wished
to kiss the world good-bye.

For seven weeks Ive lived in here,
Penned up inside this ghetto.
But I have found what I love here.
The dandelions call to me
And the white chestnut branches in the court.
Only I never saw another butterfly.

That butterfly was the last one.
Butterflies dont live in here, in the ghetto.

Pavel Friedman, April 6, 1942

Born in Prague on January 7, 1921.
Deported to the Terezin Concentration Camp on
April 26, 1942.
Died in Aushchwitz on
September 29, 1944.

Activity I

Read aloud the poem, The Butterfly, (p.39 of the book).
Have it on a transparency so the students may read along with you.

Questions to discuss:

1. Who do you think wrote this poem?

2. What experiences do you think generated this poem?

3. To what is the poem referring?

4. How does this poem make you feel?

Activity IV

Give the students many sheets of colorful paper, glitter, glue, scissors and string. (Any decorative items will do.) Have the students create a butterfly that is a representative of the author of their own poem. Students should write the name of their child on the butterfly if the childs name is available.

Have the students prepare to discuss why they chose the enhancements of each of their own butterflies. (It is important to let each child be creative and encourage them to make whatever butterfly they feel comfortable making.)

Then with string, have the students hang their butterflies from the ceiling on string. (You may use a hole punch to make a place to attach the string to the butterfly.) Every students butterfly (soul of the author of their poem) should be displayed.

By the end of the class period you will have many bright and beautiful butterflies hanging from the ceiling that represents the children of Terezin.

Related Resources can be found under:

» All > Jewish Holidays > Holocaust Day

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