Everything you need to understand or teach Letters from Rifka by Karen Hesse.
Letters from Rifka is the story of a young Russian-Jewish girl and her family who leave their homeland in 1919 to travel to America. Persecuted in Russia by the soldiers and others who dislike Jews, Rifka's family makes their way across Russia to Poland and the U.S.
However, Rifka encounters many difficulties along the way. Initially worried that they will not make it out of Russia, the family runs into guards on the train on the way out (whom Rifka successfully distracts), and unkind guards at the Polish border as well. In Warsaw, Rifka comes down with typhus and slowly the whole family, except her brother Saul, comes down with the disease and must be hospitalized. Thankfully, they all survive.
When the family arrives in Warsaw and goes to the steamship office, though, Rifka is not allowed to purchase a ticket: a doctor has diagnosed her with ringworm...
Letters from Rifka Lesson Plans contain 109 pages of teaching material, including: