Welcome to the Liberation75 Educator Toolkit, where teachers can access Holocaust & Genocide lesson plans and resources for their classrooms (in-person or virtual)!
Our educational partners are excited to share their online best practices and programming with you during this time of social distancing and online teaching.
We will continuously add to this resource collection. To submit your own lesson plan, please contact Liberation75's Education Committee at firstname.lastname@example.org.
THE MEMORY PROJECT SPEAKERS BUREAU
ALL GRADES (Canada)
This volunteer-based speakers bureau arranges for veterans and Canadian Forces members to share their stories of Canadian military service with students.Speakers are currently available for virtual interactive presentations. To schedule a speaker, please click the button below (please provide at least two weeks advance notice).
INDIVIDUAL LESSON PLANS
GRADES 6-12 (USA)
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.
With 6 units featuring 33 chapters, this resource teaches students to learn from history and speak out against oppression. "Voices into Action" is an online curriculum-based educational resource dedicated to providing students with access to information on issues regarding human rights, prejudice, and hatred. Designed by curriculum experts, this program utilizes a wide variety of media to present compelling information on a history of human suffering, stemming from social injustice that is still a growing problem today.
VOICES INTO ACTION
GRADES 9-12 (Canada)
HOLOCAUST VIDEO RESOURCES
Second Story Press authors - including intended Liberation75 speakers, Kathy Kacer and Jordana Lebowitz - have created educational videos about their books that can be used for online teaching. Options are available for all age groups and are categorized into Picture Books, Middle Grade Books, and Teen Books. Many of these videos also include free downloadable teachers' guides! To access the videos published thus far (more to come!), click the button below.
SURVIVOR TESTIMONY FILMS
These new age-appropriate online resources may be viewed by students, ages high school and up. These Yad Vashem films highlight the personal stories of Holocaust survivors who came from across Europe,
PRIMARY VOICES: TEACHING THROUGH HOLOCAUST SURVIVOR TESTIMONY
This web-based educational resource provides access to Holocaust survivors’ accounts from the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre’s testimony collection. It offers learners the opportunity to engage with thematic excerpts of survivor testimonies, suggested discussions, activities, and downloadable work sheets. The provided lessons facilitate increasing levels of engagement. Students may choose to interact with the testimony excerpts in one lesson, in a larger unit, or as part of an independent research project.
TOOLBOX VIDEO: SURVIVORS RETURNING TO LIFE AFTER THE HOLOCAUST
This video toolbox highlights the story of the survivors, following the fundamental dilemma - "What Now?" - through to life and culture within the DP camps. The film places a focus on the reality and remarkable phenomena within the DP camps, as well as the survivors' strong resolve to restore a sense of personal identity and early steps towards a new beginning. This toolbox is geared for middle and high school teachers.
ONLINE EXHIBITIONS AND COMPANION TEACHING RESOURCES
The online exhibitions produced by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) explore a number of topics, including: the internment of Jewish refugees during the Second World War, the immigration of Holocaust war orphans to Canada and Canada’s response to the 1936 Olympics. These virtual exhibitions feature integrated lesson plans and supporting material for student engagement.
GRADES 8-12 (also for educators)
Teacher’s guides developed by the Vancouver Holocaust Education Centre (VHEC) have offered accompanying classroom learning for past VHEC exhibition tours. These free of charge, downloadable resources can be adapted for independent theme-based distance learning, using the suggested activities, discussions, readings and primary sources. The resources address a range of Holocaust related themes including: Canada’s responses to the Holocaust, the immigration of Jewish war orphans to Canada, Canada and the 1936 Olympics, the internment of Jewish refugees in Canada, Nazi persecution of homosexuals, Anne Frank, Korczak and the children of the Warsaw ghetto, Albanian Muslim rescuers during the Holocaust, and many more.
ANNE FRANK VIDEO DIARY
*not available in USA, Mexico or Spain
This YouTube series teaches the story of Anne Frank in a modern and relatable way. These videos are approximately 5 minutes in length and may be used as a complementary resource for teaching 'The Diary of Anne Frank', the Holocaust, and/or Genocide. The fifteen episodes of the video diary are accompanied by seven educational videos that emphasize the non-fictional nature of Anne Frank's story and explore its major themes. The educational videos are spoken in Dutch, and available with subtitles in English, German, Spanish, and Portuguese.
On March 29, 1944, Anne Frank is 14 years old and has been living in hiding for over a year and a half. Anne films herself and the events in the Secret Annex, looks back on the time before they went into hiding, talks about the war, and shares her deepest thoughts and feelings. The video diary ends on 4 August 1944, when Anne and the seven other people from the Secret Annex, as well as two of their non-Jewish helpers, are arrested by the Nazis.
READY-TO-PRINT EXHIBITIONS ON LIBERATION
This easy to print exhibition, available in both English and in French, features 11 artworks that were created immediately after the liberation and up until 1947. The exhibition attempts to investigate how survivors reacted to the liberation through art.
When liberation finally arrived, the survivors found themselves torn between their desire to return to life and their need to face the devastation and mourn. As artist Jakob Zim declared: “I live with the shadow and create with the light.” His evocative words exemplify that for the survivors their choice to paint epitomized their renewed embrace of life. The exhibition is based on the Yad Vashem Art Collection, showcasing the personal story behind each one of these paintings.
GLOBAL PLATFORM FOR TESTIMONY-BASED EDUCATIONAL RESOURCES AND DIGITAL TOOLS
GRADES 5-12 (also for educators)
IWitness provides educators with readily accessible activities, clips of testimony, student worksheets and other digital tools to help students learn across the curriculum through testimony of survivors and witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides. With access to virtual classroom management tools to engage students online or offline, educators can access what they need when they need it.
TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST AND HUMAN BEHAVIOUR
GRADES 7-12 (also for educators)
This unit consists of 23 lessons and an assessment designed to lead middle or high school students through an examination of the catastrophic period in the twentieth century when Nazi Germany murdered six million Jews and millions of other civilians, in the midst of the most destructive war in human history. It draws upon and adapts resources from the book Holocaust and Human Behavior and its related media collection, and it follows the Facing History and Ourselves scope and sequence.
Students begin with an examination of the relationship between the individual and society, reflect on the way humans divide themselves into “in” groups and “out” groups, and dive deep into a case study of the Weimar Republic and the Nazi Party’s rise to power in Germany. Students then bear witness to the human suffering of the Holocaust and examine the range of responses from individuals and nations to the genocidal mass murder of the Nazi regime.
In the unit’s later lessons, students draw connections between this history and the present day, weighing questions like how to achieve justice and reconciliation in the aftermath of atrocities, how painful histories should be remembered, and how this history educates us about our responsibilities in the world today.
Another version of this unit is offered specifically for educators in Jewish settings:
WHO WILL WRITE OUR HISTORY
GRADES 7-12 (also for educators)
Who Will Write Our History tells the extraordinary story of the Oyneg Shabes, a clandestine organization composed of sixty Jewish leaders, artists, and intellectuals living in the Warsaw ghetto during the Nazi German occupation of Poland.
Creating an archive that was discovered only after the war, the Oyneg Shabes collected diaries, essays, jokes, poems, and songs—anything that would counter Nazi propaganda and help the world understand life in the Ghetto from the perspective of its Jewish inhabitants. As the war progressed, the Oyneg Shabes’ role changed from preserving culture to documenting atrocity: they began to collect evidence of Nazi mass murder and send reports to London via the Polish underground. All but two of the members of the Oyneg Shabes were murdered by the Nazis, but their buried archive survived, and it provided a window into Jewish experience, resistance, and resilience that would fundamentally alter the scholarship and legacy of the Holocaust.
Facing History’s two lesson plans for Who Will Write Our History support students to be thoughtful, reflective viewers of the film, and guide them to explore the profound courage and resistance of a group of people who seized control of their own narrative even as they faced certain death. While acknowledging the singularity of their story, students will consider key questions raised by the example of Oyneg Shabes: What story about my community should I preserve for future generations? Whose story do I tell, and how do I tell it?
TEACHING THE HOLOCAUST, EMPOWERING STUDENTS
GRADES 6-12 (USA)
Participate in a three-part online course developed for the busy teacher. Led by a facilitator, you’ll explore a range of classroom content and consider instructional enhancements to support students’ rigorous study and reflection of the history of the Holocaust and its ongoing meaning in the world today.
All content is easily accessible at no cost. Some assets may include downloadable and printable files, as well as worksheets that can be filled out online.
THINK LIKE A HISTORIAN:
THE LIBERATION OF THE NETHERLANDS
GRADES 8-12 (CANADA)
The Think Like a Historian project is a series of videos and accompanying learning tools designed to help educators and students analyze and interpret primary sources. This edition of the series focuses on Canadian experiences in the aftermath of the liberation of the Netherlands. Historica Canada has created these resources to help educators and students think critically about primary sources as they learn about this period in Canadian history. The resource consists of an education guide with activities to accompany the Think Like a Historian: The Liberation of the Netherlands video series (available on YouTube)
SALVAGED PAGES: YOUNG WRITERS' DIARIES OF THE HOLOCAUST
GRADES 7-12 (also for educators)
Teaching "Salvaged Pages: Young Writers’ Diaries of the Holocaust" provides primary sources and lesson plans for language arts and history teachers to complement Alexandra Zapruder's award winning collection of diaries written by young people during the Holocaust. Some of the writers were refugees, others were in hiding or passing as non-Jews, some were imprisoned in ghettos, and nearly all perished before liberation. The diaries, documents, and lesson plans in this collection offer a personal window into the history of the Holocaust and raise enduring questions about human behavior.
The lessons in this collection can be taught as a set, following the chronology of the Holocaust, or used individually. Each lesson uses core academic skills to engage learners in a careful study of the text as an entry point to an exploration of a key event or theme in the history of the Holocaust. Each lesson has been constructed around an academic focus: Learn the History, Read and Reflect, or Use your Voice.
UNITED AGAINST GENOCIDE:
"UNDERSTAND, QUESTION, PREVENT" VIRTUAL EXHIBITION AND PEDAGOGICAL ACTIVITIES
Through testimony and rare archives, the United Against Genocide: Understand, Question, Prevent virtual exhibition invites audiences to identify the similarities and differences between four genocides: the Armenian Genocide, the Cambodian Genocide, the Genocide against the Tutsis in Rwanda and the Holocaust (Shoah). We can prevent future recurrences of genocide by being informed and remaining vigilant.
The activities give students an opportunity to reflect on what genocide is, better understand the stages that lead to it, and learn about different means of resistance and intervention.
Students are asked to work on a definition of genocide and analyze its stages. Then, after researching examples of resistance during genocide, they better understand how individuals can play an important role in prevention and intervention. Finally, students continue their study of genocide by further reflecting on four subjects: the media, resistance, justice and prevention.
HOLOCAUST LIFE STORIES:
ONLINE EXHIBITION AND LEARNING ACTIVITIES
The Holocaust Life Stories website is designed to provide Canadian primary and secondary teachers with tools to facilitate learning about the history of the Holocaust and promote sharing between communities and generations across the country. The site includes many teaching tools to help students discover survivors’ stories and follow their migration. It is also intended for members of the general public who wish to learn more about this genocide through life stories
KEEP CHECKING BACK FOR NEW ADDITIONS
STUDYING THE HOLOCAUST FROM HOME
The Montreal Holocaust Museum has developed a brand new pedagogical activity for studying the Holocaust from home! Based entirely on our online collection and resources, this activity awakens an understanding of the historical context as well as the different stages of the Jewish genocide. By discovering objects that belonged to survivors and by listening to their testimonies, students analyse the Holocaust while developing a historical and humanist perspective.
5 ACTIVITIES FOR LEARNING ABOUT THE HOLOCAUST AT HOME
The Montreal Holocaust Museum has curated a selection of internal and external resources to support your at-home study of the Holocaust through a wide range of activities: visit, watch, listen, read and create.