Read the text Two Who Dared together with students, perhaps using the Read Aloud teaching strategy. Then refer back to the factual questions students shared after watching the film trailer. Does this reading answer any of their initial questions about the Sharps?
Be sure that students now understand the basic facts of the story: In February 1939, the Sharps left their young children and Unitarian parish in Wellesley, Massachusetts, to aid refugees from Nazism in Czechoslovakia. German troops occupied the entire country shortly after the Sharps’ arrival, but the couple remained for seven months, leaving only when threatened with arrest by the Gestapo. Just a few months after the Sharps’ return to Wellesley, they went back to Europe and spent a year helping refugees escape from war-torn France.
Why did the Sharps accept this dangerous mission? Students will have a chance to explore some of their reflective questions about identity and decision making in more depth as they create historical character maps for the Sharps. Arrange students in pairs and give them two brief primary sources: an excerpt from Martha’s memoir, titled Church Mouse to the White House, and the audio clip, The Mission’s Beginning, in which Waitstill describes the start of their relief work. These will provide additional material for students’ character maps. Each student can read or listen to one of these sources.
Give students the Historical Character Map handout. A character map is a graphic organizer that uses a simple drawing of a person, with questions connected to its symbolic features, to prompt reflection on a historical or fictional character. Here, students should choose to focus on either Martha or Waitstill and use information from the film trailer, audio recording, and readings to answer the questions provided in the handout.
After completing their historical character maps, students can post them in the classroom and participate in a brief gallery walk to view what their classmates created.