Teachers Voices: Approaching Holocaust Remembrance Day with your Students


In preparing for Yom Hashoah, Holocaust Remembrance Day, on May 5, 2016, we asked educators to share their approach to commemorating this important day with students. Read some of the creative responses from classroom teachers here:

  • I have my students develop one sentence of remembrance on something we have studied about the Holocaust and then we have a candle lighting ceremony as each child reads his/her sentence. – English Language Arts & Drama teacher, California
  • Yom Hashoah Holocaust Remembrance Educator ApproachesOur students use what they have learned in class and plan a memorial service that integrates their favorite readings and their own reflections. They invite the grade below to attend. – Social Studies teacher, Michigan
  • My Holocaust literature students and I host a “Night Of Remembrance” at our school the week of Yom Hashoah in which we showcase projects they have created, memorials they have made, and bring in a speaker. – Holocaust Literature teacher, Nebraska
  • I have a survivor coming to give testimony and we will also read and discuss an excerpt from the Diary of Dawid Sierakowiak, highlighted in Echoes and Reflections. – English & Holocaust and Genocide Education teacher, New York
  • We read Night, The Diary of Anne Frank, and look at various other testimonies prior to Yom Hashoah, and bring in a Holocaust survivor to speak. My students then create their own memorials and share their reflections. – English Language Arts teacher, Colorado
  • We read chapter 11 of The Book Thief and we talk about Jesse Owens in the 1936 Olympics. My middle schoolers are well versed in racism. I use these resources to build their background knowledge about the Holocaust and talk about memorial. – English as a Second Language teacher, New Jersey
  • I teach Math, but spend the beginning of Tuesday and Thursday every week reading to my kids. We have read fiction and non-fiction books this year. Reading and World War II are my passions and I will educate every student I teach about what happened during the Holocaust… I show visual history testimony of as many survivors as we have read about… I also think it would be a powerful experience to take students to the Holocaust Museum in Dallas where they can hear a survivor speak. We will NEVER forget. – Mathematics teacher, Texas

For related resources on marking Yom Hashoah visit Yad Vashem’s commemoration page, Echoes and Reflections Lesson Components, and access these clips of Holocaust survivor testimony from the USC Shoah Foundation. This Op Ed from Abraham H. Foxman, Holocaust survivor and former National Director of the Anti-Defamation League, offers his perspective on the statement, “Never Again”. Share your ideas and classroom-tested approaches for commemorating Yom Hashoah with the Echoes and Reflections educator community here.