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Six Million Paper Clips
by Peter Schroeder
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1.Why do you think almost everyone in the very small town of Whitwell, Tennessee, came together to make this special memorial?
2.Before you read this book, what did you imagine six million of anything to be like? Did the idea of six million paper clips help you to think more about how many six million people is?
3.When the students at the school had only collected 160,000 paper clips at the end of that first school year, and when they calculated it would take them more than 37 years to reach their goal of six million at that rate, what did you think?
4.When the authors wrote letters to companies in Europe, asking for their help to make the memorial, some people replied, "It's time to forget what happened 60 years ago." Why is it so important that the world has Holocaust memorials?
5.By the end of the first school year, the students had only collected 160,000 paper clips. When the authors of the book got involved and wrote news stories in Germany, the students received almost fifty thousand paper clips in just a few weeks. Then when another story appeared in a major newspaper in the United States, paper clips started coming in beyond their wildest dreams. What do you think about the power of the press to make things happen?
6.One of the students told how being involved in the paper clip project helped the children realize that even though they thought something like what happened during the Holocaust couldn't happen in their community, the student noticed how they had treated one girl differently for no good reason. Do you think people in your school are sometimes treated differently for the wrong reasons? Do you think you might act differently now, after reading this book, if you see someone bullied or left out?
7.Do you think it would be easy to forget that each paper clip collected represented a person who was killed in the Holocaust? Do you think some students in Whitwell Middle School might have started to think of collecting paper clips as a game?
8.What would you recommend we do to see that no one is ever again treated as the Jewish people were treated by the Nazis?
9.What did you know about the Holocaust before reading this book? Did reading this book help you to learn more about this time in history?
10.Many things happened in this book due to the kindness and generosity of strangers. Do you think that most people are generally good people? Why or why not?
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