Jacob's Rescue

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Once Jacob Gutgeld lived with his family in a beautiful house in Warsaw, Poland. He went to school and played hide-and-seek in the woods with his friends. But everything changed the day the Nazi soldiers invaded in 1939. Suddenly it wasn't safe to be Jewish anymore.
Curriculet Details
26 Questions
27 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for fifth grade students contains interactive videos exploring inference and simile/metaphor, as well as annotations describing textual connections, character traits and key vocabulary. Students will explore the themes of discrimination and survival. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1 - The Old Man and Woman

Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story, is based on the true story of a young Jewish boy, Jacob, who lived with a non-Jewish family to survive the Holocaust for four years. Before you read, think about what you have previously learned about the Holocaust.  
Which of the following Holocaust events does Jacob share with Marissa?  

Chapter 2 - Trapped in the Ghetto

Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
What does the word, "Judenrein" mean?  
The highlighted passage is significant because it reveals the horrors that Jewish people faced during the Holocaust. The following images depict a Jewish ghetto during World War Two.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 3 - The Disappearance of Jacob

Compare and constrast the setting of Jacob's home and environment in Warsaw, Poland before the Nazi invasion and after the Nazi invasion.  
Now that Jacob will be living and hiding with Alex's non-Jewish family, he must assume a new identity so no one will know he is Jewish.  
What religion will Jacob practice now that he is living with Alex's family?  

Chapter 4 - Jew Boy

As you read, you will be asked to draw inferences from the text. The following video will explain how to make inferences.  (This annotation contains a video)
Why can't Alex attend school, like Yurek and Marishka?  

Chapter 5 - A Nosy Neighbor

Think about the following phrases that Yurek has said to Jacob: "You're not so bad for a Jew," and calling him "Jew boy." Did you notice how these phrases indicate the discrimination against Jews during the Holocaust?  
Explain the consequences that the Roslan family will face if others discover that they are hiding a Jew. Include quotes from the text to support your explanation.  
Pay attention to the highlighted quote, where Jacob contrasts his current situation of having to hide with the childhood game of hide and seek. Think about what a frightening time this was for Jacob, and how hiding is necessary for his survival.  

Chapter 6 - A White Roll

Based on the lack of food in the Roslan home, you can infer that they are _________.  
As you read, you will be asked to determine the meaning of words and phrases in the text, including similes and metaphors. Watch the following video to help you distinguish between similes and metaphors.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 7 - Rat’s Eyes

Which of the following is a rule of Alex's that Jacob breaks when he comes out of his hiding place?  
Good Friday is the Friday before Easter, a holy day of the Christian church, observed as the anniversary of the day Jesus was crucified. The Roslan family practices Christianity.  
Quiz 1 
Summarize how Vladek helps save the Roslan family from getting in trouble for hiding a Jew.  

Chapter 8 - The Mouse in the Couch

The following video will show you some historical images of children of the Holocaust and the terrors they faced. This will help you understand why Alex wants to take in another boy to save his life.  (This annotation contains a video)
Read the highlighted passage. The phrase, "lulled Jacob like a baby in a cradle..." is an example of  _______.  

Chapter 9 - Sholom

As you read, think about how the chapters in the story are structured. Does each chapter build on the previous chapter? What does each title reveal about the events that will take place in the chapter?  
How does Shalom feel when he arrives at the Roslan home?  

Chapter 10 - Scarlet Fever

Scarlet fever is a bacterial infection that was an epidemic in the 1800's. Today it is treated with antibiotics.  
Compare and contrast the feelings and attitudes of Alex and Mela about hiding Jewish children in their home. Focus on the reasons why Alex feels it is necessary and Mela is reluctant.  
As you read, think about the personality traits of each of the characters in the story. The following video will explain how to determine character traits.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 11 - Yurek’s Secret

What is the meaning of the highlighted phrase, "Poland still lives?"  
The Resistance movement (Partisan Movement) in Europe during World War Two played an important part in defeating Nazi Germany's military strength. The movement consisted of secret armies who gathered intelligence for the Allies, destroyed communication lines, assisted escaped prisoners of war and attacked the German soldiers. Resistance movements were found in all Nazi-occupied countries. 

Chapter 12 - The Operation

Which of the following character traits does Yurek exhibit when he joins the Resistance movement?  
Read the definition for the term, "zlotys" and think about how much money it will cost to pay for the operation that will save Jacob's life. How do you suppose the Roslans' can earn the money?  
Describe the character traits of Alex, focusing on how he responds to challenges such as protecting and hiding Jacob, convincing Mela to take in Shalom, paying for Jacob's operation, etc. Include quotes from the text to support your description.  

Chapter 13 - Hospital

The image below shows the location of the mastoid bone, where Jacob needed surgery.  (This annotation contains an image)
Read the highlighted passage. You can infer that ___________.  

Chapter 14 - Runaway

Have you noticed any themes emerging in the story, such as disrcimination against Jewish people? The following video will explain how to identify themes in literature.  (This annotation contains a video)
Mela's attitude about moving to a slum apartment changes from furious to ________.  
Quiz 2  

Chapter 15 - David

Have you noted who the narrator of the story is? As you read, think about how the narrator or speaker's point of view influences how events are described.  
Explain why Jacob feels jealous of his brother, David. 
Read the highlighted passage and think about Marika's feelings of confinement. Have you ever been confined to the home? Can your relate to her feelings? How does she feel when she gets to go outside?  

Chapter 16 - The Fight

How does Jacob feel when Marishka and David get to go outside and he does not?  
Have you read the definition for the word, "Gestapo?" The following image shows what the Gestapo looked like in their uniforms.  (This annotation contains an image)

Chapter 17 - Uprising

Which of the following describes what is happening during the uprising?  
The following video shows images of the devastation of Warsaw during the Polish uprising of 1944. As you watch the video, think about how the images depict the setting of the story.  (This annotation contains a video)
Describe the relationship between Jacob and Yurek, focusing on their feelings toward each other and their interactions with each other.  

Chapter 18 - Escape

The Roslan family is leaving their home in Warsaw because it is the only way they can survive. Think about all of the hardships they have faced on their quest for survival. Have you noticed the theme of survival in the story?  
Read the highlighted passage and think about Vladek's attitude toward Jewish people. What theme in the story does his attitude reveal?  
Think about the highlighted passage. In what ways has Alex been a fool? In what ways has he exhibited that he has guts?  

Chapter 19 - Freedom

Why is Alex feeling pessimistic?  

Chapter 20 - My Sons

The following video will explain how World War Two came to an end.  (This annotation contains a video)
Explain why Jacob and David don't want to leave Alex and why they consider him to be their father.  
Palestine is located in Western Asia between the Mediterranean Sea and the Jordan River. After World War Two, thousands of Jews emigrated to Palestine.  

Chapter 21 - Reunion

How does the story structure change in Chapter 21?  
The image below shows the medal that was given to recipients of the Righteous Among the Nations award.  (This annotation contains an image)


As you read the Afterword, think about the genre of the story, which is Historical Fiction. The Roslan family and the Gutgeld brothers are real people, yet the story is considered fiction because it is not an exact recreation of the events that they experienced. Have you read other Historical Fiction books on the Holocaust and World War Two? The video below will explain the genre of Historical Fiction.  (This annotation contains a video)
Summarize how Alex and Mela Roslan exemplify the theme of herosim in the story.  
Quiz 3