Big Sonia

Teenage Sonia Warshawski was living in Poland when the German army invaded. Her father and brother were shot, her sister disappeared; she and her mother became slave laborers and were finally deported to a death camp. Now in her nineties, Sonia is a vibrant woman who speaks to students and prison inmates about her story of unimaginable suffering, but also of hope, of resilience, and of a refusal to hate.


Buy MovieStream Movie
- +

Product Description

Big Sonia is currently streaming on PBS – Watch it now and bring this powerful film to your classroom! 

Curriculum Guide

Lesson 1:  An Introduction to the Holocaust in Poland (Social Studies)
Lesson 2: Getting to Know the Real Sonia (English Language Arts, Film Literacy)
Lesson 3: Learning from the Past: An Oral History Assignment (Social Studies, English Language Arts)
Lesson 4: Viewing a Documentary Film (Social Studies, Film Literacy)
Lesson 5: Maladaptive Stress Response and Intergenerational Trauma (Psychology, Human Development)

The Glossary of Film Terms linked below is a valuable resource to use with the Film Literacy lessons that are part of this curriculum guide.

Preview Curriculum Guide

To download your free curriculum resources, simply:

  1. Sign up for a FREE account   2. Click “Add to Cart” (top of page) 3. Click cart icon and select “checkout” 4. Then you can download your PDF(s)

Journeys in Film supports the Sustainable Development Goals.

This curriculum guide connects to the following United Nations SDGs. Learn more about teaching with SDGs:

Magenta background. 10 in the left-hand corner. Reduced Inequalities beside the number. Central image on the magenta background is a not quite complete circle with equal marks inside. Royal blue background with white 16 in the upper left hand corner. Text beside it, white, reads: Peace, Justice and Strong Institutions. Central image, all white, is a dove with an olive branch in its beak, legs resting on a gavel.

Big Sonia is one of six free resources in our library that feature Primary Source learning opportunities. Read this article about Teaching with Primary Sources Through Film:

Additionally, we also recently featured this film in the “news” section of our website announcing the films availability on PBS through 2025:

You may also like…

Content is protected. Right-click function is disabled.