(Re)Building Classroom Community Post-Election

Posted by Karen Barss on November 16, 2016


In the wake of the divisive United States election, educators are in a unique position to help students develop their skills as civic actors, thinkers, upstanders, and problem-solvers. This work isn’t easy in the best of times, but it’s particularly challenging during times of deep division and intolerance.

The following resources—from Facing History and our partners at StoryCorps—are designed to help your students gain critical thinking skills, empathy and tolerance, and a sense of civic responsibility.

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Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Resources, Community, difficult conversations, civil discourse

Practicing Civil Discourse During a Not-So-Civil Presidential Election

Posted by Kent Lenci on September 14, 2016

Each year at the Brookwood School in Manchester, a small coastal town in Massachusetts, we bring our seventh graders to a summer camp in Maine to kick off the school year. It’s a unique opportunity to build our class community and center ourselves for the challenges ahead. Our theme for the year is “responsibility,” one that is incredibly timely during this year’s heated presidential election. As we teachers encourage students to take responsibility for themselves and to care for others, it’s worth taking stock of our professional responsibilities during this electoral season. What is our role?

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Topics: Democracy, Facing History Resources, Teaching Resources, difficult conversations, civil discourse

Inspire Students with Hope In Times of Uncertainty

Posted by PK Dauer on September 7, 2016

As students head back to school this month, they’ll be carrying with them both their backpacks and unsettling visions of the violence that has erupted across America and abroad. Add to that, the hateful and divisive rhetoric that has marked the U.S. presidential campaign over the past year and it’s clear that teachers have their work cut out for them. They will need to create respectful classroom communities while encouraging civic participation in this challenging environment.

 These are events that can’t be ignored, especially in classrooms where a diverse student population is looking to understand and to be reassured. So how do you move students beyond the negativism, cynicism, and fear to a more positive and productive outlook?

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Topics: Teaching Resources

Three Online Tools to Shake Up Your Classroom

Posted by Caitlin Corrieri on June 1, 2016

In the spring of 2015, I took the online course "Teaching To Kill a Mockingbird." It was the first time I was reading To Kill a Mockingbird with my 8th grade students and I was looking for support to help me teach such an important text. What I gained from the course was so much more than I could’ve imagined. I received access to primary sources to illustrate the realities of the Jim Crow South; I participated as a learner in activities that I later assigned to my students; and I  learned about virtual resources I could implement in multiple lessons and units.  

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Topics: Online Tools, Professional Development, Teaching Resources, Online Learning, Zaption

The Evolution of Salvaged Pages

Posted by Alexandra Zapruder on May 9, 2016

 

*This post was adapted from the Preface to the Second Edition of Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust.

When Salvaged Pages: Young Writers' Diaries of the Holocaust was published in 2002, I expected that it would have a typical life span, generating some interest for a while and then tapering off. And then, something unexpected happened. Teachers, organizers of educators’ conferences, and Jewish community leaders who organized local Holocaust education wanted me to show teachers how to use Salvaged Pages in the classroom, and how it could complement instruction on Anne Frank’s Diary of a Young Girl. Salvaged Pages gradually developed into an educational tool over the next decade.

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Topics: Webinar, Professional Development, Teaching Resources, Holocaust Education, Online Learning, Salvaged Pages

Lost Voices of the Holocaust: Students Memorialize a Young Boy, His Family, and the Town that Saved Them

Posted by Lisa Bauman on April 7, 2016

 Guest blogger, Lisa Bauman, shares the importance of teaching voices of the Holocaust. As a United States Holocaust Memorial Regional Education Corps Educator, she and her colleagues - Bonnie Sussman, and Colleen Tambuscio - have been bringing students on Holocaust Study Tours in Europe since 1998. Hear how their students rallied together to plan a commemoration in the Czech Republic for Otto Wolf, his family, and the residents that saved them from deportation during World War II.

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Topics: Facing History Resources, Holocaust, Teaching Resources, History, Holocaust Education, Travel, Salvaged Pages

Creating Space for Student Voices: Chicago and Laquan McDonald

Posted by Sarah Shields on December 2, 2015

In a Facing History and Ourselves classroom, asking students to question and think critically is challenging every day, but especially when we read headlines about violence in communities close to home. During the week leading up to Thanksgiving, a video showing the 2014 murder of 17-year-old Laquan McDonald by Chicago police officer Jason Van Dyke was released on the same day that Mr. Van Dyke was charged with first-degree murder. Facing History offers essential questions to consider and strategies for helping students process the myriad thoughts, feelings, and opinions they are experiencing.

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Topics: Teaching Strategies, Facing History Resources, Facing History and Ourselves, Teaching Resources

Short Films on Race and Racism from the New York Times

Posted by Adam Strom on November 6, 2015

In an interview with Facing History and Ourselves, Sociologist Claude Steele explained that “stereotypes are one way in which history affects present life.” Stereotypes about race are among the most common. The challenge many of us face is that there are few opportunities to talk about the impact of stereotypes, where they come from, and how to break them down. Schools can provide opportunities for these important discussions, yet teachers too often lack both resources and professional development to help them navigate what can be difficult terrain.

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Topics: Classrooms, Race and Membership, Teaching Resources, Video, Eugenics/Race Science, New York Times

Bringing Art into Holocaust Instruction

Posted by Brandon Barr on June 16, 2015

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

Why Stories of Rescue Matter

Posted by Fran Sterling on June 2, 2015

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

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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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