Echoes and Reflections Resources to Help Students Prepare National History Day Projects
This year’s National History Day theme gives students an opportunity to engage in meaningful research, critically analyze sources, and build historical understanding as they develop creative projects about fascinating people and groups who have taken a stand in history. For students who are interested in learning more about the Holocaust, Echoes and Reflections can support their investigation of those who took a stand―and those who didn’t―during the 1930s and 40s and consider the impact of such actions.
In a recent webinar with educators in New Mexico, high school history teacher and facilitator Jen Goss, shared strategies and resources from Echoes and Reflections that can help students think deeply about what it has meant historically to “take a stand” and, in particular, what it meant during the Holocaust. “Taking a stand means adopting a firm position through force, or words, or even economic power,” Goss shares. “This theme is interwoven in Echoes and Reflections.”
Jen highlights that resistance can take many different forms. “Students often ask, ‘Why didn’t the Jewish people fight back during the Holocaust?’” and wonder whether there are examples of armed resistance. She unpacks the role of the partisans in Europe and armed resistance in the ghettos and the camps, which are among the better known examples of resistance to the Nazis. Jen also highlights some of the lesser known examples of resistance that include cultural and spiritual resistance. Using Echoes and Reflections’ resources, including visual history testimony and other primary sources, students can examine the “Political, social, and economic events that led up to that era and take a look at the sources that are necessary for students to better understand the choices that individuals made when they chose to take a stand.”
National History Day will continue throughout the 2017 academic year. Information about the national contest and affiliate programs is available on their website.