[Bb 190327 PHS Students Reactions to “Love…”]
In March 2019, high school students from the Pembroke Hill School participated in a beta test of Unit 1 of our new T&S Curriculum. History teacher Ms. Jeanette L. Jones asked her students to read the introduction and first scene of the historical drama “Love in the Age of Hitler: a Courtship in Letters, 1938–40,” which lay out the characters and their situation. The students also watched the premier performance of the first scene. They then discussed the prompts provided in the first activity:
Activity Nr. 1: Identify the Protagonists (45 Minutes)
- Identify the two protagonist. What do we know about them from this scene in terms of their age, class, gender, occupation, race, religion, and residence?
- In what ways are they similar or different? How do you see these differences in the way they express themselves?
- Where do these identities place them in German society in terms of wealth and status? Remember that we are talking here about the Third Reich in 1938.
Activity Nr. 2: Explore the Setting (20 minutes)
- What does each person or thing on the stage represent?
- How do the characters and objects move on the stage? What does this tell us about their everyday life?
- What about the “invisible” elements of their social context like family relations, attitudes about work, gender roles, and sexual norms?
- What can you infer about their historical context from their actions?
Ms. Jones invited Dr. Bergerson to speak to the class by Skype. The students were given a chance to ask questions directly to one of the leaders of the T&S project. The conversation was lively, focusing mostly on questions of gender relations, sexuality, and the postman.
As a homework assignment, Ms. Jones then told the students to write a short response on a blog that she hosts for their class. Their responses can be read here. Ms. Jones’ unit description for her students can be read here.