Pre Reading Questions
“Less than a year after World War II began, Germany invaded Denmark. It would serve as a ‘buffer’ to protect Germany from British attacks. Adolf Hitler also wanted the country’s fertile farmland.
At first, the Germans allowed the Danish government to continue ruling. But as time passed, the Danes [people from Denmark] grew tired of the Nazis and began to sabotage the occupation.
By 1943, the Nazi’s could no longer ignore the Danish resistance and took over the government. Shortly after, they began to round up the estimated 8,000 Danish Jews to send them to concentration camps.
Danes hid Jew in private homes, warehouses, barns, hotels, and churches. Then they secured boats and hired fishermen to transport them across the sound to nearby neutral Sweden. Almost all of the Jews were smuggled out of Denmark.
About 1,700 Jews escaped from the small fishing village of Gilleleje. One moonless night the town’s citizens stood in doorways and whispered directions to the harbor.”
Post Reading Questions
Overview: In the book The Whispering Town, we learned about a village in Denmark who helped Jewish families escape from the Nazis to freedom in Sweden during WWII. The Danish villagers helped the families escape by standing outside of their doorways and whispering “This way” to help the families get to the dock where boats took them to safety. In this activity, we will create paper cup phones to pass messages from person to person.
● 3 paper clips per student
● Two paper cups per student
● String or yarn of various colors pre-cut into pieces
● Color pencils/crayons/markers
Duration: 45-50 minutes (for staff: 5 pre-activity set up, 10-minute prep)
● 5 minutes: Introduce the activity using the book and examples
● 10 minutes: Decorate the cups
● 2 minutes: Create holes in the bottom of each cup with one of the paperclips.
● 5 minutes: Run the string through each cup and tie paper clips to the end of each side of string/yarn
● 3 minutes: clean up
● 15-20 minutes: Use cups to pass messages from person to person
● 5 minutes: Reflect