Milkweed Allusions

Milkweed Allusions
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Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Lesson Plans by Liane Hicks

Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli is an award winning historical fiction novel written in 2003. The story is about a young boy fighting to survive the Warsaw Ghetto during World War II. The reader sees the brutality of the Nazis and the inhumane treatment of the Jewish people through Misha's innocent eyes. Since its publication,Milkweed has been lauded as a visceral and powerful re-telling of the Holocaust from the poignant perspective of a child. It is a compelling novel that teachers may use to facilitate meaningful discussions with their students about the Holocaust.


Storyboard Description

Create a storyboard that illustrates the allusions in Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli

Storyboard Text

  • Dr. Janusz Korczak was a Polish Jewish, doctor, social worker, educator, and author who is best known for his heroism when incarcerated in the Warsaw Ghetto. He refused offers of rescue and accompanied the nearly 200 orphaned children who were forced to the concentration camp at Treblinka.
  • Uri gives Misha the identity that he is from a large Roma family that was separated due to bombings. The Roma are an ethnic people who have migrated across Europe and have a rich, family-centered culture. They have faced discrimination and persecution for centuries.
  • Residents of the Warsaw Ghetto rose up to prevent the deportation of Jews to Nazi-run extermination camps using smuggled weapons from April 19-May 16, 1943. The Nazis razed the Ghetto with bombs and tanks, killing thousands, and blew up the Great Synagogue of Warsaw.
  • Belzec: 600,000 murdered
  • Aushwitz-Birkenau: 1,100,000murdered
  • Treblinka:800,000 murdered
  • Chelmno: 320,000 murdered
  • Hanukkah is a Jewish holiday celebrating the historic, incredible victory of the Maccabees over the large Syrian army. Just a day's supply of oil in a Temple lasted for eight days. The miracle is celebrated for 8 nights, with a candle lit on the Menorah each night.
  • Misha and Janina smuggled food by sneaking through a small hole in the Ghetto wall. It was extremely dangerous, but conditions were so dire that many children smuggled to keep from starving to death. The penalty for smuggling was execution.
  • bfood
  • Concentration camps held innocent people as prisoners. The Nazis set up camps in their effort to destroy the Jewish people along with LGBTQ, disabled, Russians, Poles, Roma, and anyone who opposed them. Their main function was genocide.
  • Sobibor:250,000 murdered
  • Majdanek:80,000 murdered
  • Image Attributions: ( - gisoft - License: Free for Commercial Use / No Attribution Required (
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