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Resource Overview

Pedagogy for Instruction

Lesson Plans

Timeline of the Holocaust

Audio Glossary


Schindler's List

Classroom Poster Series

We Share The Same Sky Companion Resource

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

PEDAGOGICAL PRINCIPLES FOR EFFECTIVE HOLOCAUST INSTRUCTION



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 that our poster series: Inspiring the Human Story, is now available in PDF format, free of cost.

The posters feature the powerful words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each poster promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom, whether in person or in a virtual setting, and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide agency and action as a result of studying this topic.

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.



Please fill out the form below to access and download your PDF posters.

WE SHARE THE SAME SKY

USC Shoah Foundation’s first podcast, We Share The Same Sky, seeks to brings the past into present through a granddaughter’s decade-long journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival. We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these women—the grandmother, Hana, a refugee who remained one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and the granddaughter, Rachael, on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history.



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 order to enhance its classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections have created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast to their students. This document provides essential questions for students, as well as additional resources and content to help build context and framing for students’ understanding of the historical events addressed in the podcast.

Access to the podcast, as well as 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.

Note: Due to the subject nature, the podcast is appropriate for older students, grades 10-12. As always, teachers should review the content fully in advance to determine its appropriateness for their student population.



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


  ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

60 minutes

LESSON PLAN:

The Memorialization of the Holocaust


Introduction  

In this lesson, students are asked to investigate the aspects of memory and memorialization. Specifically, why and how the Holocaust has been remembered and memorialized. They should be challenged to ponder how the way we as a society remember an event in history impacts the way we understand that history, provides information on the society that created memorials to an event in history, and impacts the way society functions in the present and in the future.

1Students engage with this quote from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain, that is posted: “There is a profound difference between history and memory. History is his story – an event that happened sometime else to someone else. Memory is my story – something that happened to me and is part of who I am. History is information. Memory, by contrast, is part of identity.”
    In small groups or as a class, students discuss the following questions to think more deeply and philosophically about the nature of memory and building memorials:
      1. Why do communities/states/nations build memorials?
      2. What is accomplished by constructing a memorial?
      3. How does a memorial inform us about the people who built it and the time period in which it was constructed?
      4. What roles do memory, museums, and memorials play in our world today?
      5. How do memorials seek to inform future generations’ understanding of a particular history or event?
      2In small groups, students analyze one or more of the memorials in the Holocaust Memorials in Europe handout. Students consider these questions for each memorial:  pin1
        1. What do you see in the memorial? What is understated, ignored, or perhaps missing from it? Why do you think the creator made those decisions?
        2. What thoughts / emotions / feelings are evoked by viewing the memorial? Do you think that was its intent?
        3. What does the memorial teach you about the Holocaust? What can you infer about the memorial’s message to its citizens?
        4. How does this memorial impact the way we remember the Holocaust?

          STUDENT HANDOUT
        Holocaust Memorials in Europe View More »

          NOTE
        View More »
        3As a summative task, students create a poster or other visual representation that addresses how we should remember and memorialize the Holocaust. What message do they hope to convey in their artwork? Students view and/or present their artwork to the class and discuss the following questions as a final reflection:
          • How will memory be affected once survivors of the Holocaust are gone?
          • Why do we have to remember or understand the past in order to move into the present/future, and what does it mean to confront history?
          • Does actively remembering the Holocaust and working to improve society for the better provide justice for the victims?


            ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

          60-90 minutes

          LESSON PLAN:

          Living with the Memory of the Holocaust


          Introduction  

          In this lesson, students grapple with the effects of trauma on Holocaust survivors and their courage, bravery, and willingness to share their stories, particularly after the arrest, trial, and execution of Adolf Eichmann in 1961-62. Students are confronted with various academic studies that were inspired by the Holocaust to seek to understand human behavior and the propensity for individuals to conform to the evil intentions of others.

          1Students learn about the growing documentation of the Holocaust through the testimonies of survivors. Students view the first two minutes of this short video of renowned scholar Deborah Lipstadt talking about how the Trial of Adolf Eichmann was based on the testimonies of survivors and became a catalyst for survivors to share their stories widely.

            STUDENT HANDOUT
          Adolf Eichmann View More »
          2Students watch the testimony of [L]Fritzie Fritzshall[/L] and discuss the testimony of Holocaust survivors with the following questions:
            FRITZIE FRITZSHALL
          • Why would a survivor want to tell their story?

          • How might telling such a traumatic story impact a survivor and their families?

          • What are the challenges, benefits, and detriments to sharing their stories?

          • Consider: What does hearing survivors’ testimony add to our knowledge of the Holocaust?


          3In small groups or in pairs, students read the Understanding Trauma handout. They highlight important phrases and annotate the handout with their thoughts and reactions. They discuss these with their partners or groups.

            STUDENT HANDOUT
          Understanding Trauma View More »
          4In small groups, students analyze the Artwork of Holocaust Survivors handout as a mode of expression to describe, cope, and survive through the trauma inflicted upon the victims and consider these questions to discuss each work of art:
          • Students participate in a See-Think-Wonder for each image.
          • What emotions are conveyed in the artwork?
          • What is missing from each work of art? How does this help convey its message?
          • How does each work of art demonstrate the persistent trauma with which survivors contend?

            STUDENT HANDOUT
          Artwork of Holocaust Survivors View More »

            STUDENT HANDOUT
          See-Think-Wonder View More »
          5Students watch [L]Sam Gottesman[/L] and discuss these questions:
            SAM GOTTESMAN


            IWITNESS ACTIVITY
          The Rights of Children
          here »
          • How did the death of Sam’s father affect him? How did it force Sam to confront the loss of his family from the Holocaust?

          • Describe some of Sam’s medical ailments. What was causing them?

          • How is Sam’s determination and resilience to work through his trauma demonstrated?

          • Emotion can be a powerful source of knowledge. What have you learned from Sam’s emotions and your own while watching his testimony?


          6Students consider the effect of the Holocaust and how its history affected and continues to affect our understanding of human behavior thorough the Studies of Human Behavior Inspired by the Holocaust handout. Utilizing the case studies and quotes within the handout, in pairs or in small groups, students create a diagram / graphic organizer / visual chart that seeks to understand the actions of individuals and groups and the responsibilities of said individuals / groups / governments.
            1. Students conduct a think-pair-share and discuss their response to the final reflection: How do we preserve hope in the midst of humanity’s failure in a world where the Holocaust was perpetrated?

              STUDENT HANDOUT
            Studies of Human Behavior Inspired by the Holocaust View More »


              ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

            60 minutes

            LESSON PLAN:

            The Memorialization of the Holocaust


            Introduction  

            In this lesson, students are asked to investigate the aspects of memory and memorialization. Specifically, why and how the Holocaust has been remembered and memorialized. They should be challenged to ponder how the way we as a society remember an event in history impacts the way we understand that history, provides information on the society that created memorials to an event in history, and impacts the way society functions in the present and in the future.

            1Students engage with this quote from Rabbi Lord Jonathan Sacks, Chief Rabbi of Britain, that is posted: “There is a profound difference between history and memory. History is his story – an event that happened sometime else to someone else. Memory is my story – something that happened to me and is part of who I am. History is information. Memory, by contrast, is part of identity.”
              In small groups or as a class, students discuss the following questions to think more deeply and philosophically about the nature of memory and building memorials:
                1. Why do communities/states/nations build memorials?
                2. What is accomplished by constructing a memorial?
                3. How does a memorial inform us about the people who built it and the time period in which it was constructed?
                4. What roles do memory, museums, and memorials play in our world today?
                5. How do memorials seek to inform future generations’ understanding of a particular history or event?
                2In small groups, students analyze one or more of the memorials in the Holocaust Memorials in Europe handout. Students consider these questions for each memorial:  pin1
                  1. What do you see in the memorial? What is understated, ignored, or perhaps missing from it? Why do you think the creator made those decisions?
                  2. What thoughts / emotions / feelings are evoked by viewing the memorial? Do you think that was its intent?
                  3. What does the memorial teach you about the Holocaust? What can you infer about the memorial’s message to its citizens?
                  4. How does this memorial impact the way we remember the Holocaust?

                    STUDENT HANDOUT
                  Holocaust Memorials in Europe View More »
                    NOTE
                  View More »
                  3As a summative task, students create a poster or other visual representation that addresses how we should remember and memorialize the Holocaust. What message do they hope to convey in their artwork? Students view and/or present their artwork to the class and discuss the following questions as a final reflection:
                    • How will memory be affected once survivors of the Holocaust are gone?
                    • Why do we have to remember or understand the past in order to move into the present/future, and what does it mean to confront history?
                    • Does actively remembering the Holocaust and working to improve society for the better provide justice for the victims?


                      ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

                    15-30 minutes

                    LESSON PLAN:

                    Has the World Learned Anything from the Holocaust?



                    1Students watch the testimonies of [L]Jan Karski[/L] and [L]Joseph Berger[/L] and discuss the following questions:
                      1. Jan Karski states that “great crimes start with little things” and then goes on to give examples of things people should not do. How does the memory of the Holocaust inspire us to oppose the little things Karski warns us about?
                      2. The lessons of the Holocaust continue to impact public and private life. How will its lessons shift with the passage of time? Will they?
                      3. What from your study of the Holocaust will you remember most and why?
                        JAN KARSKI
                        JOSEPH BERGER
                      MAKING CONNECTIONS  

                      The ideas below are offered as ways to extend the lessons in this unit and make connections to related historical events, current issues, and students’ own experiences. These topics can be integrated directly into Echoes & Reflections lessons, used as stand-alone teaching ideas, or investigated by students engaged in project-based learning.

                      View More +
                      1Visit IWitness (iwitness.usc.edu) to access additional testimonies, resources, and learning activities about other genocides and campaigns of mass violence that have occurred since the Holocaust. Utilize our Examining the Stages of Genocide resource to better understand the mechanisms that perpetrate genocide, how it occurs, and how Denial is the final and ongoing stage. Consider if the world has learned anything from the Holocaust.
                      2Research other Holocaust and World War II era memorials and the communities that created them using resources such as The National War Memorial Registry and Jewish Virtual Library. Where is the Holocaust in their memorialization? What does the creation of the memorial teach you about the community that constructed it and what does it tell you about what that community values today?
                      3Read the excerpts from Rudolf Hoess of his Farewell Letters to his wife and his children after he was found guilty and before he was executed in 1947. Questions to consider:
                        1. How did his experience being caught and found guilty change his worldview?
                        2. Do you find his acknowledgement of accountability genuine?
                        3. Would he have felt this way without receiving justice and punishment?
                        4. What advice does he give his children?
                        5. How can this help us understand the responsibility of those guilty of perpetrating genocide?
                        6. How can these letters help us understand human behavior and what motivates an individual to act?

                          STUDENT HANDOUT
                        Farewell Letters View More »
                        4Many communities have museums, centers, memorials, or survivors and refugees who can share their personal experiences with human rights violations and genocides in addition to the Holocaust, thereby promoting awareness on a range of topics and often encouraging civic action. Such resources are often representative of a particular community’s history and/or immigration experience. For example, the Oregon Nikkei Legacy Center in Portland (oregonnikkei.org) reflects the large Japanese-American population in the Pacific Northwest and their experience with internment during World War II. Identify such resources in your local area and consider the effect it has on your community. Engage with the leaders of that resource to elevate their voice with your peers and in your school. Plan a visit, explore their museum, or host a speaker that can share their experiences.
                        5To provide an opportunity for students to learn more about individuals who survived genocide and human rights violations, help them create a book club to meet on a regular basis either in person or online. Share selected titles with book club members, but let the students come to consensus on which book to read. Students should also decide when they will meet, how much of the book they will have read prior to meeting, and the role they will play in the discussion (e.g., decide if there will be a discussion leader for each title). Teachers are encouraged to help facilitate book club meetings, but resist turning the club into an extension of the academic day. Some options could include:
                          1. Maus (Art Spiegelman)
                          2. Rena’s Promise: A Story of Sisters in Auschwitz (Rena Kornreich Gelissen)
                          3. Zlata’s Diary: A Child’s Life in Wartime Sarajevo (Zlata Filipovic)
                          4. First They Killed my Father (Loung Ung)
                          5. I’m Not Leaving (Carl Wilkens)
                          6. The Girl who Smiled Beads (Clemantine)
                          7. Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir (Peter Balakian)
                          8. We Wish to Inform You that Tomorrow We Will be Killed with Your Families: Stories from Rwanda (Philip Gourevitch)
                          9. Farewell to Manzanar (Jeanne Wakatsuki Houston and James Houston)
                          10. Hidden Roots (Joseph Bruchac)
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