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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

120 minutes

LESSON PLAN:

Case Study – Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto


Introduction  

In this lesson, students investigate the Warsaw ghetto as a site of resistance. They explore the factors leading to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and its significance to Jewish residents of Warsaw. Using texts, video, and visual history testimony, students examine other examples of spiritual, cultural, and armed resistance and consider how these forms of resistance were interconnected and mutually reinforcing.

PART 1: WHAT WERE JEWISH PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR IN THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
1Prior to learning about resistance efforts in the Warsaw ghetto, students share their prior knowledge about the formation of and conditions in the ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto handout is either projected or distributed, and the class reviews this brief background. Students learn that they will study the Warsaw ghetto as a site of resistance, and examine some of the many ways in which the Jewish residents fought for their dignity and their lives.  pin1

  STUDENT HANDOUT
The Warsaw Ghetto View More »

  NOTE
View More »
2The handout Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto is distributed. Students watch the Video Toolbox segment on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, from 7:52-13:50. As they view, students add notes to the handout. Following the video, the class discusses some of the following questions.

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Armed Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps View More »

  NOTE
View More »
  • What factors led to the understanding among ghetto residents that death was certain?

  • How was the deportation of July 1942 a turning point? How did it change those who remained in the ghetto?

  • Sol Liber quotes an underground leader as saying, “I know we’re not going to win, but we’re not going to go anymore.” If the Jews knew winning was impossible, what were they fighting for?

  • The narrator asks if the youth movements had the right to decide the fate of all ghetto residents by choosing to fight. How would you answer this question?

  • What was the “choiceless choice” that ghetto residents faced?

  • What was your reaction to the description of the girl throwing grenades and Molotov cocktails from the roof? What feelings do you think actions like this inspired in ghetto residents?

  • What was the significance of the Polish and Jewish flags being raised in the ghetto?

  • What was destroyed along with the Great Synagogue on May 16, 1943?


OPTION: Instead of or in addition to the Video Toolbox, students read the handout Armed Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps.  pin1

PART 2: HOW WERE DIFFERENT FORMS OF RESISTANCE IN THE WARSAW GHETTO LIKE LINKS IN A CHAIN?
Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
 
3Students continue to investigate examples of resistance in the Warsaw ghetto. Stations are set up as indicated in the Warsaw Ghetto Stations handout and a copy of the handout is placed in each area for student reference. In small groups, students visit at least two stations. For each, they continue to work with their Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto handout introduced earlier in the lesson, or receive a new copy for this portion of the lesson.

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Warsaw Ghetto Stations View More »

  STUDENT HANDOUT
Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto View More »
4New small groups are formed that contain a mix of students who visited different stations. In those groups, students share highlights and insights from their investigation, and discuss the following questions:
    • What drove the Jewish people of Warsaw to resist?
    • What did you find to be most extraordinary about these resistance efforts? Explain your reaction.
    5As a summative task, students reflect on Vladka Meed’s quote in the handout A Chain of Resistance. The handout is projected and read aloud. Individually, students journal in response to the following prompt: “What is the relationship between physical and spiritual resistance? How are they connected like links in a chain?” Students draw upon lesson sources as evidence for their ideas. As time allows, students share and discuss their reflections in pairs, groups, or as a class.  pin1

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    A Chain of Resistance View More »

      NOTE
    View More »


      ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

    120 minutes

    LESSON PLAN:

    Case Study – Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto


    Introduction  

    In this lesson, students investigate the Warsaw ghetto as a site of resistance. They explore the factors leading to the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising and its significance to Jewish residents of Warsaw. Using texts, video, and visual history testimony, students examine other examples of spiritual, cultural, and armed resistance and consider how these forms of resistance were interconnected and mutually reinforcing.

    PART 1: WHAT WERE JEWISH PEOPLE FIGHTING FOR IN THE WARSAW GHETTO UPRISING?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    1Prior to learning about resistance efforts in the Warsaw ghetto, students share their prior knowledge about the formation of and conditions in the ghetto. The Warsaw Ghetto handout is either projected or distributed, and the class reviews this brief background. Students learn that they will study the Warsaw ghetto as a site of resistance, and examine some of the many ways in which the Jewish residents fought for their dignity and their lives.  pin1

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    The Warsaw Ghetto View More »

      NOTE
    View More »
    2The handout Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto is distributed. Students watch the Video Toolbox segment on the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising, from 7:52-13:50. As they view, students add notes to the handout. Following the video, the class discusses some of the following questions.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto View More »

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Armed Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps View More »

      NOTE
    View More »
    • What factors led to the understanding among ghetto residents that death was certain?

    • How was the deportation of July 1942 a turning point? How did it change those who remained in the ghetto?

    • Sol Liber quotes an underground leader as saying, “I know we’re not going to win, but we’re not going to go anymore.” If the Jews knew winning was impossible, what were they fighting for?

    • The narrator asks if the youth movements had the right to decide the fate of all ghetto residents by choosing to fight. How would you answer this question?

    • What was the “choiceless choice” that ghetto residents faced?

    • What was your reaction to the description of the girl throwing grenades and Molotov cocktails from the roof? What feelings do you think actions like this inspired in ghetto residents?

    • What was the significance of the Polish and Jewish flags being raised in the ghetto?

    • What was destroyed along with the Great Synagogue on May 16, 1943?


    OPTION: Instead of or in addition to the Video Toolbox, students read the handout Armed Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps.  pin1

    PART 2: HOW WERE DIFFERENT FORMS OF RESISTANCE IN THE WARSAW GHETTO LIKE LINKS IN A CHAIN?
    Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
     
    3Students continue to investigate examples of resistance in the Warsaw ghetto. Stations are set up as indicated in the Warsaw Ghetto Stations handout and a copy of the handout is placed in each area for student reference. In small groups, students visit at least two stations. For each, they continue to work with their Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto handout introduced earlier in the lesson, or receive a new copy for this portion of the lesson.

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Warsaw Ghetto Stations View More »

      STUDENT HANDOUT
    Resistance in the Warsaw Ghetto View More »
    4New small groups are formed that contain a mix of students who visited different stations. In those groups, students share highlights and insights from their investigation, and discuss the following questions:
      • What drove the Jewish people of Warsaw to resist?
      • What did you find to be most extraordinary about these resistance efforts? Explain your reaction.
      5As a summative task, students reflect on Vladka Meed’s quote in the handout A Chain of Resistance. The handout is projected and read aloud. Individually, students journal in response to the following prompt: “What is the relationship between physical and spiritual resistance? How are they connected like links in a chain?” Students draw upon lesson sources as evidence for their ideas. As time allows, students share and discuss their reflections in pairs, groups, or as a class.  pin1

        STUDENT HANDOUT
      A Chain of Resistance View More »

        NOTE
      View More »


        ESTIMATED COMPLETION TIME

      90 minutes

      LESSON PLAN:

      Independent Research on Resistance


      Introduction  

      In this lesson, students engage in independent research to deepen their understanding of Jewish resistance efforts during the Holocaust. In groups, students examine visual history testimony, primary source texts, and other resources on a topic, and create an artifact that represents what they have learned. Students gather their artifacts into a class exhibit and consider the meaning and impact of the actions taken by Jews to preserve their lives and humanity.

      PART 1: WHAT ARE ADDITIONAL WAYS IN WHICH JEWS RESISTED DURING THE HOLOCAUST?
      Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
       
      1In pairs, students discuss the following prompt: “What is an artifact? What is the role of an artifact in studying history?” Pairs share their thoughts with the larger class. The following ideas are highlighted:
        • Artifacts are objects made by people that have cultural or historical meaning.
        • Artifacts are essential parts of particular times or places that bring memory to life and make history real.
        • Artifacts tell stories and provide evidence that can help people to understand the past.
        2Students learn that they will complete an independent research project on a topic related to Jewish resistance, and create an artifact that represents what they have learned. The artifacts will be gathered into a class exhibition on Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. The handout Artifacts of Resistance is distributed and reviewed by the class.

          STUDENT HANDOUT
        Artifacts of Resistance View More »
        3Students form small groups and select a research topic from the Research Topics and Sources handout. In class and/or at home, they review the source material for their topic, record notes, and design their artifact and accompanying object descriptions. Students are encouraged to consult additional sources as needed to better understand their topic.

          STUDENT HANDOUT
        Research Topics and Sources View More »
        PART 2: WHAT IS THE SIGNIFICANCE AND IMPACT OF JEWISH RESISTANCE DURING THE HOLOCAUST?
        Post the supporting question above for students as you begin this part of the lesson.
         
        4Groups’ artifacts are gathered into a class exhibit. The Artifact Reflection handout is distributed. Students participate in a “gallery walk” as follows: Half of the groups stand by their work and provide a brief tour or explanation of their artifacts to the other half, who circulate and observe; students then switch roles so that the tour guides become the observers. Students observe at least three artifacts in this way, completing the Artifact Reflection for each.

          STUDENT HANDOUT
        Artifact Reflection View More »
        5Following the gallery walk, the class debriefs using the following questions:
        • What is one story or example of resistance that made a lasting impression on you? Explain why.

        • What was the immediate effect of resistance efforts? What was the long term impact?

        • Beyond survival or revenge, what conclusions did you reach about why Jews resisted during the Holocaust?

        • Holocaust survivor and scholar, Elie Wiesel, once wrote: “The question is not why all the Jews did not fight, but how so many of them did. Tormented, beaten, starved, where did they find the strength—spiritual and physical—to resist?” How would you answer this question?


        6As a summative task, students imagine they are preparing an informational brochure and write a “Fact” to counter the “Myth” below. Their fact should explain why the statement is false and convey at least three ways in which Jewish people resisted during the Holocaust, drawing upon unit sources for evidence.
          Myth: Jewish people were passive during World War II. They didn’t fight back or actively resist their own destruction.
            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) for testimonies, resources, and activities to help students learn more about survivors and liberators during the Holocaust.
            2During the Holocaust, many Jews resisted culturally by keeping their customs and traditions alive. Think about the role culture, traditions, and customs play in your life. Write about one or more traditions that are particularly important to you, explaining why they are important and how they have shaped – or continue to shape – your identity.
            3On November 20, 1942, Dolek Liebeskind, a commander of the Jewish underground in the Kraków ghetto, famously said: “We are fighting for the sake of three lines in history, [if only to show that] Jewish youth did not go like sheep to the slaughter. For this we find it worth our while even to die.” These words were spoken at a Sabbath dinner that Liebeskind’s group called “the Last Supper,” because they understood they were greeting the Sabbath together for the last time. The phrase became a rallying cry. Write a reflection on what you understand this statement to mean and how studying about resistance efforts during the Holocaust has influenced your understanding of these words and the sentiment they express.
            4Throughout history, music has been used as a form of resistance. During the Holocaust, Jews secretly composed and performed music to uphold traditions, escape their harsh existence, and document ghetto life. One composition, “Never Say,” created by Hirsh Glick, became the official song of the partisans. It was translated into several languages and was well known in both the ghettos and concentration camps. Review the “Never Say” lyrics (see the handout) and listen to the audio recording. Identify specific words, phases, or lines that reveal Glick’s intended audience and message(s). Research one additional song that was part of the Jewish resistance and write a brief report summarizing the language, mood, and message of the song. Sources include: Heartstrings (Yad Vashem), Music of the Holocaust (Yad Vashem), and Music of the Holocaust (USHMM).
            5Imagine you are a film critic for a local media outlet assigned to review one of the films below about Jewish resistance during the Holocaust. After watching the film, write a review and recommend whether people should see it or not. The review might comment on areas including acting and directing, but the focus of the review should be on whether the film is historically accurate based on what you have learned in this unit and through additional research on the topic addressed in the film.
            6Using a variety of print and digital sources, research additional examples of underground movements or partisan resistance during World War II: Italian, Slovakian, Polish, French, Yugoslavian, and others. Prepare a written, oral, or multimedia presentation summarizing your findings and identifying how the movement was both different from and similar to the Jewish resistance movements.
            7Gather relevant information from multiple print and digital sources about resistance efforts by enslaved African Americans in the 17th and 18th centuries or interned Japanese Americans during World War II and prepare a multimedia presentation. Include information about different types of resistance (e.g., armed, spiritual, and cultural) and feature a variety of source materials (e.g., news articles, photographs, interviews).
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