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The International School for Holocaust Studies

Online Courses

Holocaust Education for Elementary and Middle School

Online Course for Educators

This new pedagogical course focuses on the pedagogical philosophy for teaching the Holocaust, developed at the International School for Holocaust Studies. After familiarizing the participants with the core concepts, we present methods of implementation for the elementary/middle school ages (ages 7 through 14) using books and teaching aids created at the International School. Teachers who have completed the course will learn new approaches for teaching the Holocaust to younger students.

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Lesson One:
"How Do We Explain the Holocaust to a Child?"
In this introductory lesson, we discuss some fundamental questions about the Holocaust, how memory is formed and preserved, and the influence of the Holocaust on our public culture in western society.

Alvin H. Rosenfeld, "The Rhetoric of Victimization", in The End of the Holocaust (Bloomington: Indiana University Press, 2011), pp. 33-50.

Lesson Two:
The Educational Philosophy of Teaching the Holocaust for Younger Ages
In this lesson we explore the central principles and guidelines of the International School for Holocaust Studies' educational philosophy. This will form the framework through which we explore specific teaching units and educational tools.

Lesson Three:
Using Tommy for Younger Ages
This lesson introduces the teaching kit Tommy, suitable for late kindergarden and early primary school. In this lesson we domonstrate how to use the kit, through the spiral method introduced in the previous lesson.

Bedrich Fritta, Tommy, (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 1999).
Arno Parik, "Art in the Terezin Ghetto", in Seeing Through "Paradise": Artists and the Terezín concentration camp (Boston: Massachusetts College of Art, 1991), pp. 49-59.

Lesson Four:
I Wanted to Fly Like a Butterfly
Moving one step ahead in the age groups, this lesson covers ages 8-10 - now focusing more on the family unit. Through the book I Wanted to Fly Like a Butterfly, we demonstrate the appropriate subject matter for Holocaust education at these ages.

Naomi Morgenstern, I Wanted to Fly Like a Butterfly (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem 1998).
Nahum Bogner, At the Mercy of Strangers (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2009), pp. 99-113.
Irena Steinfeldt, "Between Families: Jews and Their Rescuers During the Holocaust", in Legacy, Vol 3 (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2010), pp. 14-25.

Lesson Five:
The Daughter We Had Always Wanted
In this lesson we discuss the book The Daughter We Had Always Wanted, and best practices for teaching ages 10-12.

Naomi Morgenstern, The Daughter We Had Always Wanted - The Story of Marta (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2007).
Dov Levin, The Lesser of Two Evils, [trans. from Hebrew by Naftali Greenwood] (Philadelphia: Jewish Publication Society, 1995), pp.293-303.

Lesson Six:
Through Our Eyes
In this lesson we encounter the world of children before the war, and in various stages of the unfolding of the Holocaust. Through these comparative measure we expand the circle of study beyond the individual child, and family, to include communities through Europe.
Itzhak B. Tatelbaum, Through Our Eyes (Jerusalem: Yad Vashem, 2004).

Lesson Seven:
Summary Lesson - The Application of the Multi-level Approach
Having learned the teaching techniques and stresses at the various age levels, we once again "zoom out" for a didactic cross-comparison of the sources discussed. The principles of the pedagogical philosophy can bow be better understood, hopefully allowing the teacher to make informed pedagogical decisions within their own classroom.

With the generous support of:
The Kennedy Leigh Charitable Trust
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