Two years ago, the Anderson School in New York City partnered with Facing History and Ourselves to bring the Holocaust and Human Behavior curriculum into our eighth grade Social Studies and English Language Arts classes. This period of history is so widely studied but often the dark nature of it is hard for young students to grasp. That’s why we were excited to bring an interdisciplinary approach to our students’ learning that not only taught them the basics of the history but also engaged them on a deeper level of reflection on issues in their own lives.
*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.
On Yom HaShoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, it is our job as teachers to ensure that the memory of the Holocaust is not forgotten. It is our hope, as a society, that the preservation of these memories will prevent these events from happening again, any place in the world, and that the words of the survivors will ring out as alarm bells today.
This month – National Poetry Month in the U.S. – is a great time to explore just how powerful words can be. When it comes to understanding difficult moments in history, poetry and writing can help students process and express their own thoughts about the world. Explore these three ways you can bring poetry into your classroom using tools from Facing History’s partner, USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education.
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.
April is Genocide Awareness and Prevention Month. Throughout the month, we’ll be featuring stories on Facing Today that reflect upon genocide throughout history. Hearing personal stories of survival can be a powerful learning experience. In this post, we’re shining a light on the inspirational stories of two genocide survivors.
On International Women’s Day, bring the unique voices of women who survived or stood up against some of the worst atrocities of the 20th century into your classroom. Facing History is partnering with USC Shoah Foundation – The Institute for Visual History and Education to help educators access more than 1,500 video testimonies of survivors and witnesses to the Holocaust and other genocides using the Institute’s online learning tool, IWitness.
Today - International Holocaust Remembrance Day - marks the 71st anniversary of the liberation of Auschwitz-Birkenau, the concentration camp that became the unofficial symbol of World War II. Yet, beyond the sobering images that typically come to mind, there is a complexity to understanding the choices people made that led to such death and destruction.
Warsaw, May 2014:
Staring at two rusted milk cans at the Emanuel Ringelblum Jewish Historical Institute, I feel overwhelmed by the weight and significance of the history they carry. These one-time ordinary artifacts stand in front of an archive of unbelievable power, documenting daily life in the Warsaw Ghetto from 1940 to 1943.
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.
Topics: Classrooms, Teaching Strategies, Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Students, Teaching, Holocaust, Upstanders, Genocide/Collective Violence, Teachers, Holocaust and Human Behavior, Decision-making, Holocaust Education