Janusz Korczak’s Children
By Gloria Spielman
Illustrated by Matthew Archambault
About the book: Young Henryk Goldszmidt dreamed of creating a better world for children. As an adult, adopting the name Janusz Korczak, he became a doctor, writer, and educator. Dr. Korczak introduced the world to progressive ideas in educating children, and established a Jewish orphanage in Warsaw. With the start of World War II, the Nazis came to Poland and occupied Warsaw. When Dr. Korczak heard that the children in his care were to be deported, he refused offers to be saved and marched with them to the trains that would take them to their death.
Pre-reading: Who do you think are Janusz Korczak’s Children? Do you think he is the father to them all? Why would someone want to create a better world for children?
Write a story that Dr. Korczak would approve of, that is- something that would help adults understand the world of children better.
Make a character web about Dr. Korczak. Under his qualities (like bravery) list the examples from the book that show this character trait and others.
Create a timeline of the life of Henryk Goldszmidt. Add color illustrations.
Create a collage from magazines, newspapers and other items to represent the life of Dr. Korczack. Explain your piece on the back.
Read other stories about children during the Holocaust and create a poster about what you learned.
Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen
Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne
Comments or feedback about the book? Contact author Gloria Spielman at www.gloriaspielman.com
This guide was created by Tracie Vaughn Zimmer, a reading specialist and children’s author. Visit her website to find hundreds of guides to children’s books.