10 Things to Help You Plan for the School Year
Echoes and Reflections offers powerful resources to enhance student learning and provide meaning across multiple areas of study. As you plan for the 2015-2016 school year, consider integrating Echoes and Reflections content to deepen students understanding of important concepts and events.
Connect to Current Issues
With the 2016 elections just around the corner, the upcoming months will feature presidential debates and a media flurry around candidates, current events, and contested issues in American society. Utilize Echoes and Reflections to encourage students to think critically about what they hear in the media, the role of government, and encourage meaningful consideration of what they think is important in a modern democracy.
Propaganda, by definition is, “False or partly false information used by a government or political party intended to sway the opinions of the population.” Use the following Echoes and Reflections resources to encourage students to consider the boundaries between political discourse and propaganda.
- Lesson 2: Antisemitism – Making Connections numbers 4 and 5 (Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide, p53)
- Esther Clifford shares that while walking to school she watched people read newspapers with pictures and articles full of stereotypes against Jewish people
- Lesson 1: Studying the Holocaust – Making Connections numbers 4 and 5 (Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide, p29)
- Utilize Dr. Seuss’s campaign in support of the United States entering World War II to encourage students to consider the influence and impact of political cartoons: Lesson 3: Nazi Germany – Making Connections (Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide, p77). Extend to contemporary events by having students analyze political cartoons in their local newspapers.
- The global response to the Jewish refugee crisis during the Holocaust offers a powerful framework to examine the role of the bystander and our collective response to the human impact of global conflict, of which there are many examples currently happening in the world today. Utilize IWitness, the Voyage of the St. Louis, and the Making Connections prompt from Lesson 8: Survivors and Liberators on the United Nations High Commissioner for Refugees (Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide, p206) to frame a conversation on immigration and the contemporary plight of refugees.
Utilize Paul Parks testimony to hear a veteran speak of his experience during the Holocaust and to gain insight on the role of the United States in International affairs.
- The Nuremberg Laws formally restricted access to German schools for Jewish children. Encourage students to consider what the role of government is in developing a just legal system? What is the role of citizens and in what ways is this still a work in progress?
- Use this resource in conjunction with What Rights are Most Important to Me – Support students in considering how their own access to certain rights and freedoms affect their ability to achieve their goals in life.
Dates to Remember
- November 20, 2015 – International Children’s Day
In 1959, the United Nations adopted the Declaration of the Rights of the Child. Utilize Echoes and Reflections Lesson 10: The Children for background on the Geneva Declaration and supportive materials to connect these resources to contemporary issues. Visit UNICEF for recently published reports on The State of the World’s Children (Echoes and Reflections Teacher’s Resource Guide, p266).
- January 27th is International Holocaust Remembrance Day and May 5, 2016 is Yom Hashoah
Echoes and Reflections provides an array of resources that offer context to acknowledge these anniversaries with your students. Honor January 27th by discussing the Anniversary of the Liberation of Auschwitz and commemorate Yom Hashoah with these powerful links and references.
- March 8, 2016 – International Women’s Day
Watch Mira Shelub describe her experiences as a partisan during World War II and utilize Echoes and Reflections resources to feature stories of women that inspire action in students today. Apply these resources to highlight their voices in history and celebrate the persistence, rebellion, and fearlessness demonstrated by remarkable women.
- April 2016 – Genocide Awareness Month
Genocide Awareness Month offers educators the opportunity to teach students about genocide, genocide prevention, and inspire them to take action towards building a better future. Visit IWitness to view testimonies from survivors of the Armenian and Rwandan Genocides.
- Reference 10 Holocaust Dates to Remember for a list of important dates and corresponding resources.