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Resource Overview

Pedagogy for Instruction

Lesson Plans

Timeline of the Holocaust

Audio Glossary


Schindler's List

Classroom Poster Series

NEW: We Share The Same Sky

TEACH

LESSON PLAN
EDUCATOR RESOURCE: LESSON PLANS
Our Lesson Plans provide a unique experience for educators to teach about the Holocaust effectively and interactively. Lessons are organized by topics that represent major themes associated with the Holocaust in an order that is roughly chronological; the modular design of the Lessons allows for adaption and customization to specific grade levels and subject areas. The integration of rich content in each Lesson helps students construct an authentic and comprehensive portrait of the past as they frame their own thoughts about what they are learning, resulting in a deeper level of interest and inquiry. Each lesson includes:
  • Step-by-step procedures
  • Estimated completion time
  • Resources labeled by icons        direct teachers to the piece of content named in the procedures
  • Print-ready pages as indicated by  are available as PDFs for download
For more information, questions or concerns please contact us.
PEDAGOGY PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION

In order for students to understand the importance of the Holocaust as a historical event and as part of our shared human story, it is critical for teachers to have a sound pedagogy for instruction. Echoes & Reflections recommends the following “pedagogy-in-practice” principles for teachers to apply to their planning and implementation of a comprehensive Holocaust education program, allowing students to study this complex topic in a meaningful way and to ultimately apply what they have learned to their daily lives.

PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION

1Define terms
In addition to key terms like antisemitism, Holocaust, and genocide, review key terms and phrases necessary to fully understand the content being studied.
2Provide background on the history of antisemitism
Ensure students understand the role that antisemitism played in allowing the Holocaust to occur.
3Contextualize the history
Help students understand what happened before and after a specific event, who was involved, where the event took place, etc; this helps to reinforce that the Holocaust wasn’t inevitable but rather was the result of choices and decisions made by individuals, institutions, and nations over years.
4Teach the human story
While connecting people and events to the larger story, educators should:
  • Translate statistics into personal stories; use survivor and witness testimony whenever possible; emphasizing, however, that survivor voices are the exception.
  • Highlight examples of how victims attempted to retain their humanity in the face of dehumanization (efforts to maintain identity and continuity of life, expression of values/beliefs, forms of resistance).
  • Stress the “choiceless choices” of the victims with limited or no power to escape.
  • Introduce victims’ prewar life/return to life to provide context for their choices, dilemmas, and actions.
  • Focus on small and large decisions made by individuals who had the ability and the opportunity to choose between morally right and morally wrong decisions prior to, during, and after the Holocaust, including bystanders, collaborators, perpetrators, and rescuers.
5Use primary source materials
Enrich students’ understanding of the Holocaust by providing an abundance of print and digital resources from a variety of perspectives.
6Make the Holocaust relevant
Connect what students are learning to contemporary events, while distinguishing between the unique history of the Holocaust and what can be learned from this history.
7Encourage inquiry-based learning and critical thinking
Support students’ sharing of ideas and asking questions of themselves and others.
8Foster empathy
Challenge students to understand people and their attitudes and actions in a historical context using sound approaches and strategies, refraining from the use of simulation activities.
9Ensure a supportive learning environment
Guide students “safely in and safely out” of this study; use age-appropriate materials and always be mindful of the social and emotional needs of individual students.

For additional exploration of effective teaching approaches, please visit our Video Toolbox “Teaching about the Holocaust in Today’s World.”


December 2018 marks the 25th anniversary of the release of Steven Spielberg’s Schindler’s List, which depicts the true story of Oskar Schindler—a man who saved the lives of more than 1,200 Jews during the Holocaust. It was Spielberg’s experience making this film that inspired him to collect and preserve the testimonies of over 54,000 Holocaust survivors and witnesses, a pursuit which ultimately led to the creation of what is now USC Shoah Foundation.

In honor of Universal Pictures’ rerelease of Schindler’s List, Echoes & Reflections has created a short, classroom-ready Companion Resource, that will help educators to provide important historical background and context to the film, as well as explore powerful true stories of rescue, survival, and resilience with their students.

Additionally, the following videos, recorded at Yad Vashem, feature Schindler survivors who speak of the impact Oskar Schindler had on their lives.


EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
Eva Lavi was the youngest survivor from Schindler’s list. She was two years old when the war began.
WATCH
EVA LAVI TESTIMONY
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR
Nahum Manor met and fell in love with his wife, Genia, in Schindler’s factory. Watch him read a letter at Schindler’s gravesite, expressing what he meant to them.
WATCH
NAHUM & GENIA MANOR




Visit the IWitness page commemorating the 25th anniversary of Schindler’s List for numerous additional resources to support teaching with this film.

CLASSROOM POSTER SERIES
INSPIRING THE HUMAN STORY
Echoes & Reflections is excited to announce the launch of our new poster series: Inspiring the Human Story, for which teachers can request one free set (three posters) for their classrooms.

The posters (each 24’x 36’), feature the words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide and inform their steps forward.

To support you in these efforts, we have also compiled several suggested classroom activities from teachers in our network that may be of use and interest.

Order your set today at no cost!

Please note: In order to reach the maximum number of teachers with this limited opportunity, we are only able to provide one poster set per teacher. Additionally, we are only able to send poster sets to US addresses.


We are currently not taking orders at this time. Please check back for future opportunities.

WE SHARE THE SAME SKY

USC Shoah Foundation’s Podcast for the Middle and High School Classroom

We Share The Same Sky, USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, brings the past into our present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival.



A self-portrait of Rachael while she is living on a Danish farm that is owned by the granddaughter of Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2017

In 2009, Rachael Cerrotti asked her grandmother a question: Will you tell me your story? Rachael was a college student and her grandmother, Hana, was 84 years old—the matriarch of one family and the sole survivor of another. For the following year, Rachael recorded the details of her grandmother’s childhood, her escape from war and her immigration to the United States. After Hana’s death in 2010, Rachael became entrenched in her grandmother’s story, digitizing Hana’s personal archive of diaries, photo albums, immigration papers and more. When the digitizing felt nearly complete, she went out to retrace the history. Along the way, Rachael fell so deep into her grandmother’s life that it became the foundation of her own.

We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these young women—Hana as a refugee who remains one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and Rachael on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history. The seven-part series explores how the retelling of family stories becomes history itself and how acts of kindness during war can echo across generations.

Listen to We Share The Same Sky on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, Google Podcasts and most podcast streaming services, as well as on the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.

To support its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast with their students.

Additional supporting materials, including IWitness student activities, academic standards alignment, and general strategies for teaching with podcasts can all be found at the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.



After many years of research and digitizing the archive her grandmother left behind, Rachael set out to retrace her grandmother’s 17 years of statelessness. Her intention was to travel via the same modes of transportation and to live similar style lives as to what her grandmother did during the war and in the years after. That meant that when she got to Denmark, she moved to a farm. Rachael moved in with the granddaughter of her grandmother’s foster mother from World War II and traded her labor for room and board as Hana once did. This picture is from that first visit in the winter of 2015. Since this time, Rachael has spent many more months living on this farm. It is owned by Sine Christiansen and her family. Sine is the granddaughter of Jensine, one Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2015


A self portrait of Rachael overlooking the exact spot in Southern Sweden where her grandmother’s refugee boat came to shore in 1943. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2016
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