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If you need to use coloring books to keep kids' attention while teaching about the Holocaust, then maybe the kids aren't ready to handle it.

Nothing surprises me anymore. I recently stumbled across this Anne Frank dot-to-dot on my local newspaper’s education page. Aside from the fact that it is a ludicrously designed dot-to-dot — I mean, why not just draw more of her face and body and leave nothing to connect — this is not the best way to introduce the Holocaust to children.

I have no doubt that the Universal Press Syndicate’s Mini Page has the best of intentions to share Anne’s life story. However, to toss it in the mix with peanut butter pudding recipes, word searches and other activity book games and puzzles only trivializes the tragedy.

Perhaps the most outrageous part of this “Fun Page,” is the Holocaust Word Search. Hey kids, can you find the phrases FINAL SOLUTION, GENOCIDE and DEATHCAMP? Are you kidding me?

Holocaust education is not supposed to be fun. If you have to placate kids with coloring books and puzzles, they are probably too young to learn about it in the first place.

What do you think? When and how should kids first be introduced to the Shoah? And are dot-to-dots and word searches offensive in this context or am I the one who is off-base here?

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This blog is dedicated to preventing another generation from dreading Hebrew School. I seek to exchange stories, ideas and tips with other parents, teachers and everyone who shares my love for Jewish history, culture, spirituality, arts, and Israeli produce. Care for a pomelo, anyone?

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