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Why A More Complicated Atticus Could Be A New Learning Opportunity

Posted by Laura Tavares on Jul 15, 2015 11:10:00 AM

Like so many literature lovers, I’d been eagerly anticipating yesterday's release of Go Set a Watchman. For nearly two years, I’ve been thinking about the world of Maycomb as I worked with colleagues to create Facing History and Ourselves’ resource Teaching Mockingbird. I couldn’t wait to read Watchman, which has been described as a first draft or “parent” of To Kill a Mockingbird, to learn more about how Harper Lee first imagined beloved characters like Atticus, Scout, and Jem, and to see how she depicts Maycomb in the 1950s.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, Reconstruction, News, History, Harper Lee, Go Set a Watchman

Waiting for Watchman

Posted by Dan Sigward on Jul 10, 2015 2:37:00 PM

Facing History has eagerly awaited next week's release of Go Set a Watchman since its discovery was announced this past February. Today we were treated to a sneak preview with the release of the book's first chapter. As earlier media reports indicated, the book features an adult Scout returning to Maycomb, Alabama, to visit her father 20 years after the events of the original book. It is written in third person and therefore isn’t limited to Scout’s point of view.

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Topics: To Kill a Mockingbird, Books, English Language Arts, ELA

Remembering Sir Nicholas Winton and Helping Students Think About Their Own Choices for Participation

Posted by Sarah Shields on Jul 8, 2015 1:55:00 PM

Sir Nicholas Winton, a British humanitarian who saved more than 650 children through the Kindertransport during World War II, died on July 1, 2015, at the age of 106. Winton always humbly insisted he wasn't a hero; yet his inspiring story illuminates how courage, initiative, and compassion drive people to make a difference.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Students, Teaching, Holocaust, Upstanders, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teachers, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Decision-making, Holocaust Education

What Exactly is Meant by “Religious Diversity”?

Posted by Yael Siman on Jul 1, 2015 4:11:00 PM

A first look at Latin America would lead us to conclude that it is predominantly Catholic with little religious diversity.

Data supports this notion. According to the Pew Research Center, 90% of Latin America’s population is Christian, while Muslims, Hindus, and Jews represent less than 1% each.

And yet, one of the 12 most religiously-diverse countries in the world, Suriname, is in Latin America. With a population of 520,000, Suriname is the smallest state in South America. According to Pew, it has a Christian majority (52% of the population), while the other half of the population is formed by two sizeable minorities: Hindus (close to 20%) and Muslims (about 15%). The rest of the population is made up of folk religions (5.3%), Buddhists (0.6%), and Jews (.2%). The unaffiliated represent close to 5%.

While exemplary in its diversity, Suriname shows us that the reality of religious diversity in Latin America is complex. So what exactly is meant by “religious diversity”?

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Topics: Antisemitism

5 Tips for Talking About Race With Children

Posted by Sachi Feris on Jun 23, 2015 9:17:00 AM

When my daughter was a baby, we would walk through the basketball court near our apartment building on the way home from the playground. Quite often, we would find a group of young boys shooting hoops. Usually, though not always, the boys were black. 

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Topics: Identity, Race and Membership, Raising Ethical Children, Diversity

Resilience in the Face of Hatred

Posted by Steven Becton on Jun 19, 2015 12:00:00 PM

It could have been me. In fact, it could have been any of us. By us, I mean the people all over this world who enter churches, synagogues, mosques, and other sacred places of worship to study, to pray, to listen, to sing, and sometimes even to mourn.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Choosing to Participate, Students, Teaching, News, Upstanders, Facing History and Ourselves, Teachers, Civil Rights, Critical Thinking, Community

Bringing Art into Holocaust Instruction

Posted by Brandon Barr on Jun 16, 2015 12:00:00 PM

As a teacher, I am constantly thinking of new ways to engage my students.

Before I started teaching my students a unit about the Holocaust this year, I thought a lot about how I could get them to think, process, and reflect meaningfully and critically about this history, and also inspire them to act in a manner that influences the world for good.

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Topics: Art, Books, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Holocaust, Teaching Resources, Survivor Testimony, History, Facing Technology, Chicago

Inspiring Student Voices Reflect on an Interfaith Exchange

Posted by Julia Rappaport on Jun 11, 2015 11:41:52 AM

This week, Facing History's Learn + Teach + Share blog featured a series of blog posts from the students and teachers involved in an exchange between two Los Angeles middle schools: Sinai Akiba Academy, a Jewish day school, and New Horizon School, a Muslim day school. 

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Topics: Classrooms, Student Voices, Students, Religious Tolerance, Teachers, Los Angeles, Jewish Education Program

Youth, New Media, and the Ethics Gap

Posted by Carrie James on Jun 9, 2015 12:13:00 PM

How do youth think about their own privacy and that of others as they post photos and comments on social media? To what extent do they think about the ethical dimensions of the digital content (music, text, video) that they share? How do they respond to routine displays of disrespect and incivility that characterize dialogue in many online spaces?

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Topics: Raising Ethical Children, Facing Technology

Why Stories of Rescue Matter

Posted by Fran Sterling on Jun 2, 2015 6:05:00 AM

Acts of moral courage are not common, they are exceptional. People actively create opportunities to rescue or choose to help others. It can happen in a blink of an eye or after long deliberation, but these moments are not accidental.

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Topics: Rescue, Facing History Resources, Teaching, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teaching Resources, History


Welcome to Facing Today, a Facing History blog. Facing History and Ourselves combats racism and antisemitism by using history to teach tolerance in classrooms around the globe.

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