CBC Digital Archives

Lesson Plan: For Teachers: Hana's Suitcase?

History, English Language Arts
2 lessons
To formulate an opinion
Students compare and contrast the merits of the message of an award-winning story in light of recent findings.

Lesson Plan

Before Exploring

Ask students what they know about how children were treated at Auschwitz and other concentration camps. What feelings do their answers invoke? Are any of the feelings hopeful?

Outline the Opportunity

Have students visit the topic Life After Auschwitz on the CBC Digital Archives website. They will view the clip "Hana's Suitcase" as well as the Story and Did You Know? sections and the clip "Hana's suitcase turns out to be a replica." As they view the clips they will answer the questions on the download sheet 'Hana's Suitcase.'

Revisit and Reflect

Lead a class discussion about the original story of Hana's suitcase and ask students to list and justify the ways in which the message of that story could be described as one of survival, perseverance, and hope. Ask students if their list is still relevant in light of the more recent discovery that Hana's suitcase is actually a replica. What items if any are now irrelevant? Why?

Have students write a letter to the editor of a parenting magazine to express their viewpoint about how to share with children the recent discovery about Hana's suitcase.


Students can write a preface that might be used in a new edition of Hana's Suitcase to inform readers about the newly discovered facts about the suitcase.


Download PDF

Related Content

D-Day: Canadians Target Juno Beach

They sailed in under cover of darkness to smash down the walls of "Fortress Europe." On June 6...

Life after Auschwitz

Six decades after Auschwitz was liberated, the biggest and most brutal Nazi death camp remains...

1942: War effort spreads to butter

Government adds butter to the growing list of rationed food.

1944: 91 die in sinking of HMCS Shawinigan

A Second World War veteran recalls the day a German U-boat sank the ill-fated Canadian warship...

1944: Polish resistance launches Warsaw Upris...

Forty years later, Polish-Canadians remember their 63-day struggle against Nazi rule during th...

Sun, Swimming and S'mores: Summer Camp in Can...

Swimming, canoeing, campfires and making new friends: these summer camp activities have been a...