Monday, July 27, 2015

Brundibar Story and Opera - Overcoming Adversity

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We had tons of fun with the Poppins Book Nook blog series last year and we will be continuing that fun all throughout 2015. This month's theme was, "Composers" Keep reading to learn more about the books we read, craft we made and grab your FREE journal page. There is also a giveaway at the end of the post! To check out all of our past Poppins Book Nook posts click here.

This month we read Brundibar by Maurice Sendak. This book is based on the Czech opera of the same name (which is slang for Bumblebee), with libretto  by Adolf Hoffmeister, set to music by Hans Krasa. The opera was completed in 1938, and performed 55 times by the children of Terezin, a Nazi concentration camp. Krasa who was Jewish, was also imprisoned in Terezin. He died in Auschwitz in 1944.

Brundibar is a great story and a good way to introduce children to the holocaust since the composer was a Jew who lived and died in a concentration camp. The story however is not about the holocaust and teaches important lessons on bullying, friendship, self esteem, overcoming evil and more.

The story itself is a simple one. It is a story of two children who must find help for their sick mother in impossible circumstances. The town bully, Brundibar, prevents them from reaching their goal until a bird, a cat, and a dog advise them to join with their friends and work together to defeat the bully. The children join together, and good wins the day. This is not high drama.

We also utilized our Usborne Geography Encyclopedia to learn more about Germany and the Czech Republic.

Other book recommendations:

-Second World War Cards
-Second World War Sticker Book
-Story of the Second World War
-The World Wars

FREE Resources:
Here are some further resources for learning about this book as well as the holocaust.

-Brundibar lesson plan
-PBS - Brundibar and holocaust lessons
-WWII films for children
-Brundibár - The Children Opera - Holocaust Survivors back on stage!!!
-Original footage -Hans Krása: Brundibár - children's opera and Brundibar Clip   
-Brundibar: A Children's Opera

For our craft we made friendship necklaces since friendship and sticking together is one of the important lessons learned from the book.

  • Yarn
  • Connecting puzzle pieces (we used what we had on hand...I would recommend getting blank ones like these)
  • Markers
  • Scissors
  • Hole Punch
  1. Decorate the puzzle pieces and write "best friends," "friends forever," etc on the pieces.
  2. Punch a hole at the top of the pieces.
  3. String a piece of yarn through the hole.
  4. Give one piece to a friend. 

Free Journal Pages:
Here is a biography journal page and music journal page which both complement this book nicely. Download your copy by clicking on the the pictures below.

Here is a list of the wonderful bloggers participating in the Poppins Book Nook be sure to visit them for more fun ideas:

Note the Score with your Favorite Composer Giveaway!
Composers are important to music because they write the music the musician play in their orchestras, bands, and groups. This month the Poppins Book Nook is bringing Composer themed storybooks to life with fun activities and more! Every month this group will be offering readers a chance to win a brand new storybook or product that ties in with our theme for the month. This month one lucky entrant will win the Note the Score with your Favorite Composer Giveaway. The winner will receive one copy of The Story of the Orchestra by Robert Levine. So let’s all get our instruments ready and bring composer themed storybooks to life in this month with the Poppins Book Nook!

Entrants must be 18 years or older and reside in a country that receives U.S. Postal mail. This giveaway is brought to you by the company Enchanted Homeschooling Mom who is owner and founder of the Poppins Book Nook. By entering this giveaway you are also acknowledging that you have read and agree to all of the PromoSimple terms & conditions as well as Enchanted Homeschooling Mom's disclosures found here

Just enter the PromoSimple below to win:

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