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Why teach about the Holocaust?
The Holocaust is more than a historical event, it’s part of the larger human story. We are proud to partner with Echoes & Reflections, which engages students to reflect and think critically about how the Holocaust influences the social issues unfolding in the world today.
Through this program, educators will:
- Explore a sound pedagogy for the planning and implementation of Holocaust education in the classroom to fulfill Michigan’s Holocaust and genocide education mandate;
- Examine instructional enhancements to support student learning and understanding;
- Discover and utilize classroom-ready digital assets including lesson plans, visual history testimonies, and additional primary source materials;
- Enhance personal knowledge about the Holocaust, including the history of antisemitism; and
- Build confidence and capacity to teach this complex subject.
To schedule your FREE Educator Workshop, please fill out this form.
We offer workshops at The Holocaust Center, at your school or organization, and virtually. We are able to adapt our sessions to meet your needs. We are able to offer SCECH hours through Madonna University for all of our titles, and all titles can be conducted in 1.5, 2.0, 3.0, or full day formats. For more information, please contact Rick Schaffner, Manager of Education Outreach at 248.556.3663 or firstname.lastname@example.org.
Starred Educator Workshops are new sessions in 2022.
This workshop focuses on the effective pedagogical principles for Holocaust instruction and examines how teachers can use Echoes and Reflections and the USC Shoah Foundation’s iWitness survivor video testimonies to teach the Holocaust, connect learning to contemporary events, encourage inquiry-based learning, and foster empathy.
Teaching students about the Holocaust can be an emotional experience for both teachers and students. Thoughtfully approaching traumatic content must be a key consideration, and teaching strategies that factor in the role of trauma have the potential to foster connection, increase emotional balance, and improve resilience. This session prepares teachers by focusing on the five core values of trauma-informed practice as they relate to teaching Holocaust content. The pedagogy, strategies, and resources shared in this workshop allow educators to sensitively deliver Holocaust content while acknowledging diversity and the need for reflection. Teachers will learn to use resources such as poetry, literature, artwork, and artifacts to safely prepare, explore and conclude a lesson or unit on the Holocaust.
When surrounded by historical truths and clear contexts, literature can be a powerful tool for teaching the Holocaust in both social studies and ELA classrooms. Wrapping history around literature allows teachers to maintain fidelity to the historical setting within which the literature resides. This session will educate teachers on the key questions and factors to consider when selecting Holocaust literature to use with their students. Teachers will work with several types of literature, from novels and short stories to memoirs, poetry, and letters. Additionally, teachers will learn how to incorporate trauma-informed practices when choosing literature for their students and become familiar with a researched-based rubric that can be used to evaluate any piece of Holocaust literature.
How does genocide happen? Can we see it coming? Can we stop it in its tracks? By exploring the Holocaust as a case study, educators will examine how societies come to commit genocide. Using tools like the 10 Stages of Genocide and the Pyramid of Hate, educators will learn how to teach about genocide as a process that unfolds over time and exhibits hallmark early warning signs, such as the dehumanization of “others.” Educators will also explore how the lessons learned from the Holocaust have created a blueprint for contemporary genocide prevention strategies at the international, national, and individual levels. This session centers on how educators can teach students to recognize the warning signs and inspire them to become engaged citizens and upstanders in the world today.
Eugenics is the attempt to “improve” a human population by controlled breeding in order to increase desirable hereditary characteristics. Eugenics was a core principle of Nazi ideology. The Nazis believed that the Germans were a “master race” and wanted to eliminate the threat of “inferior” genes. This ideology required murdering fellow Germans who were deemed to be unworthy of life, in addition to eliminating entire peoples considered to be inferior races. This session focuses on the evolution of eugenics in Nazi Germany, which enabled everyday German citizens to believe in the devaluation of human lives. Teachers will learn about medical ethics during the Holocaust and how to teach students how the Nazis used (pseudo)science to justify genocide.
Read the news and it is clear: Antisemitism is not a relic of the past, but a hatred the world struggles with today. It is important that educators have the resources and tools to talk with students about contemporary manifestations of antisemitism and hate. This learning opportunity explores classroom materials to support effective teaching of contemporary antisemitism, its global reach, and its expression in the form of hate speech, violence, denial, and distortion of the Holocaust. Educators will also explore ways to teach students how to actively respond to and prevent antisemitism and other forms of prejudice in their communities.
Media literacy skills are essential tools for critically assessing media and social media today. Students are exposed to increasing amounts of information every day, and it is crucial for them to be able to distinguish between news, opinions, beliefs, and propaganda, and for them to understand how media, both historically and in contemporary society, can be used as a tool to incite hate and violence against certain groups. This learning opportunity examines the events of the Holocaust through the lens of media, by examining propaganda deployed by the Nazis to discriminate against Jews and other minorities. Educators will gain the tools to facilitate classroom discussions on the role and impact of Nazi propaganda during the Holocaust and teach their students to critically analyze media in today’s world.
Anne Frank’s Diary is one of the most read primary sources in schools and can be challenging to teach. The objectives of the workshop are to: (1) Understand the historical context within which Anne Frank and her family were living; (2) Develop a rationale for teaching Anne Frank; (3) Use resources and strategies to meet the unique challenges that arise when teaching Anne Frank specifically as well as the Holocaust overall; and (4) Understand the importance of choice and responsibility, while learning about different ways of taking meaningful and informed action.
How do we prepare students to read and understand Elie Wiesel’s Night within the larger historical framework of the Holocaust? This learning opportunity explores materials and instructional strategies available in Echoes & Reflections to support effective teaching of the memoir, as well as provides background to integrate into instruction. The workshop will explore the history of antisemitism and Jewish life in Eastern Europe to provide context for the memoir and will discuss and identify themes, life lessons and the current relevance of Night.
As the world struggles with the largest refugee crisis since WWII, Echoes & Reflections content can help examine the barriers to immigration, including political and bureaucratic obstacles and, in some cases, the unwillingness to accept Jewish refugees during the Holocaust. This relevant workshop will help teachers make meaningful connections to similar issues affecting people and nations today.
An examination of the range of choices and decisions made by individuals, communities and nations during the Holocaust is a powerful lens through which to study this period of history. This approach encourages deep critical thinking and analysis, and also serves as a catalyst to compel students to work toward making changes in their own lives and the larger society. This learning opportunity examines the consequences of inaction and highlights the courage and difficult choices of those who rescued and resisted during the Holocaust. Educators will gain the tools to help students implement an action-oriented project influenced by the lessons of this history.
What is Echoes & Reflections?
Echoes & Reflections, a partnership program of ADL, USC Shoah Foundation, and Yad Vashem, is the premier source for Holocaust education professional development and dynamic content that empowers teachers and students to question the past and impact the future. To support Michigan educators fulfill the recent Holocaust and genocide mandate, in 2018 the Museum began a partnership with Echoes & Reflections to deliver training programs across the state to amplify teachers’ skills and resources to teach about the Holocaust in a comprehensive and meaningful way. To date, this partnership has reached over 900 teachers from 417 schools and is on track to reach more than 1000 teachers in 3 years.
For More Information…
For more information on our Educator Programs, please contact Rick Schaffner, Manager of Education Outreach at 248.556.3663 or email@example.com.