One of the great challenges teachers have is getting their students to connect with the material, especially when it comes to teaching history. But at the Andover Middle School, one teacher is using art to teach about the Holocaust.
During World War II, the Nazis forced European Jews into concentration camps where six million of them died. Andover Middle School teacher Dyane Smokorowski is having her students create butterflies to represent one of the children who died.
"Often in the books of 'Diary of Anne Frank' and 'Night' by Elie Wiesel, there's quite a bit of imagery that's dark," she explained. "It's very emotional. Now they can use this art work to process that information and use it to help them think of the good things that happened and some of the heroic stories and why we should remember these children."
The butterflies are colored in with imagery representative of the Holocaust. Several feature yellow Stars of David, which Jews were forced to wear under the rule of the Nazis.
The students say it helps them learn the victims of the Holocaust were real people, not just statistics in a text book.
"It made me realize how much it's real," said Emi Hayashi. "All these kids had to go through this."
"Creating these butterflies made me realize these people were real too and it's not just some story that's told," said Grant Willford.
The butterflies will be donated to the Holocaust Museum in Houston, Texas for an exhibit. It will be on display in the Spring of 2014. A documentary made by the students about this process will also be part of the exhibit.