2022 Summer Academy


Fees for SCECHs through Madonna University are waived with early bird registration, which closes June 15th.

The Zekelman Holocaust Center invites Michigan educators to register for our Holocaust Education Summer Academy from August 1-4, 2022. Whether you are new to teaching the Holocaust or an experienced Holocaust educator, the Summer Academy has specialized professional development sessions with resources for your classroom. You can choose from 13 different sessions and earn up to 30 SCECHs in one week. All sessions are completely free to Michigan educators.  

At the Summer Academy, you will gain a deeper understanding of Holocaust history and pedagogical practices, and also receive: 

  • Free teaching materials for multiple disciplines 
  • SCECH hours for each session completed (additional fees may apply) 
  • Opportunities to collaborate with other educators around the state 
  • Lunch provided by The HC each day 
  • Access to new workshops being released this fall 
  • Customized museum tour (if attending the full week) 
  • Opportunities to hear from our Next Generation Speakers (Children of Holocaust Survivors) 
  • Access to our bus subsidy program for your visit with students next school year 

The Summer Academy is offered in-person at the museum in conference-style format, with two morning and two afternoon session options available each day. You can customize your Summer Academy experience by selecting the topics most applicable to your classroom. Register for individual sessions or for all four days.

On either Monday or Thursday, educators can enroll in the full-day program “Teaching the Holocaust, Empowering Students,” which provides an overview of Holocaust education principles and resources. At the end of the week, educators can register for two practical concluding sessions, including “Integrating the Museum Experience into the Classroom” and “Designing Your Holocaust Education Plan.”  

Specialized elective sessions offered throughout the week include:  

1. Choices Matter: Complicity and Action During the Holocaust (Monday Morning)

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. 

2. Jewish Refugees and the Holocaust (Monday Afternoon)

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. 

3. Creating Context for Elie Wiesel’s Night (Tuesday Morning)

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. 

4. Creating Context for Anne Frank’s Diary (Tuesday Afternoon)

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. 

5. Analyzing Propaganda and Teaching Media Literacy (Tuesday Morning)

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. 

6. Spotlight on Contemporary Antisemitism (Tuesday Afternoon)

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. 

7. Eugenics and the Holocaust: The Biology of Hatred* (Wednesday Morning)

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. 

8. Preventing Genocide: Lessons from the Holocaust* (Wednesday Afternoon)

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. 

9. Trauma-Informed Practices and Teaching the Holocaust* (Wednesday Morning)

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. 

10. Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature* (Wednesday Afternoon)

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. 

*New sessions offered in 2022


Fees for SCECHs through Madonna University are waived with early bird registration, which closes June 15th.

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