Ninth Grade Grammar Lesson

Who would have expected that my book, Found in Translation: Common Words of Uncommon Wisdom, would make its way into a 9th grade English class?  Well, when you hear how this happened, it will seem less unexpected:

My mom was called for a long-term substitute teaching assignment in a Central Florida high school.  Like any supportive, proud-of-her-daughter Jewish mother, she read a few essays of the book to her students, to demonstrate how to write using their vocabulary words.  Teens in Florida—many of whom never met a Jew other than my mom—learned some Yiddish words and sat down to write. Since they were reading a book about the Holocaust, many of the students wrote about fear, prejudice and genocide.

With the students’ permission, my mom shared their work with me.  I share it now with you.  I am both flattered and honored to have my book included in a 9th grade grammar lesson and used as a model of good writing.

Thanks, Mom. I wouldn’t have made it this far, or anywhere, without you.

* * * * * * *

Wayne’s story:

Genocide: (noun) the deliberate and systematic extermination of a national, racial, political or cultural group.

There have been many genocides, but none as bad as the Holocaust. Millions of Jews died in the Holocaust. My story begins with a man named Luke. Luke was a normal Jewish boy with a mom, dad, sister and little brother until the Nazis came to power. First they made him wear an armband with the Star of David on it. Then they moved him to a ghetto where bad things happened.  Luke was walking home one day and some Nazis were driving a truck to his home. When he got there, they were taking his family away. Luke hid by a trash can until they left. Luke never saw his family again.

Mariah’s poem:

Fear: (noun) a distressing emotion aroused by impending danger, evil, pain, etc.fear

Fear. Fear in the dark.

My fire burns without a spark.

Whispers. Shadows in the night.

Goosebumps creeping up in fright.

Fear of pain.

Fear of hurt.

Fear. Fear in the air.

People dying everywhere.

Things lost to never be found.

Scream, shout but never a sound.

Fear. It’s my emotion.

Watch me brew my darkest potion.

Fear, Fear to do what’s right.

So grab my hand and squeeze it tight,

so when darkness calls

to catch my fall.

But when you ask my fear, I can say nothing at all.



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