During these unprecedented times, we remain committed to supporting you to teach about the lessons of the Holocaust. As many of you move to a virtual environment, we recognize that this creates added challenges to teaching about this complex topic effectively.
As you navigate this new education landscape, please find our recommendations for revised approaches to Echoes & Reflections lesson instruction that will best support students’ social-emotional well-being and bring them “safely in and safely out” of their learning. Furthermore, we offer some general strategies for Holocaust instruction in an online format:
- Take a “pulse check” of your students: use the “chat” function or a verbal check-in to ask students to share how they’re feeling at the top of the lesson
- Focus on the expansiveness of the “human story”: what lessons about strength and resilience can we apply to today?
- Provide spaces for reflection like journaling, personal connections, and break-out conversations
- Fully utilize the features of your distance learning tools: chat boxes, word clouds, quizzes, and breakout rooms can put students at the center of the conversation.
While all Echoes & Reflections content is digital and accessible to you and your students, we want to highlight a few student-facing resources that can be readily brought to your students:
- Interactive Timeline of the Holocaust and accompanying activities.
- Video Toolboxes – short videos with guiding questions that provide historical context on various Holocaust topics.
- We Share the Same Sky Podcast and Teaching Guide.
- USC Shoah Foundation’s IWitness resources that are specially curated for distance learning and teaching.
- Stronger Than Hate Challenge – also from USC, students create a poem, story, video or artwork that uses the power of testimony to counter hate; with up to $10,000 in prizing.
As a reminder, we hope you’ll join us on an upcoming session of our newly formed Professional Learning Community to connect with colleagues and share best practices over the next month. This includes a series of 30-minute virtual meetings that support educators who plan to teach about a specific Holocaust topic online, such as Antisemitism and Nazi Germany, The Ghettos, The “Final Solution”, Jewish and Non-Jewish Resistance,and Survivors and Liberators. Registration information for these meetings and our regularly scheduled online offerings can be found on our program calendar. Please note, if you are unable to attend any of the meetings or webinars, all will be available to view on-demand.