Thursday, January 12, 2012

Providing historical context for a memoir study

When I first really started learning more about the Holocaust through the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education, we learned about the main events in “10 Core Concepts,” which I then used and adapted (“stole”) to create a PowerPoint presentation that defines these 10 Core Concepts to use with the memoir I teach about the Holocaust. The Concepts are broken down chronologically to help students better understand the time frame of what happened before the Nazis took power all the way to what happened after World War II.

These Concepts also make it easier to teach the Holocaust if you are not a social studies teacher, which I am not; I teach English/Language Arts/Communication Arts. Another nice objective of teaching the history using these Core Concepts is that the Concepts align with the objectives that the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum asks teachers consider when teaching the Holocaust. I include a few video clips when I teach the notes to make them a little more visually appealing to students, but teachers can definitely personalize the notes to make them fit their own classroom instruction. I want students to understand the book we are reading socially and contextually in history, so these notes allow me to put the book in perspective (I teach Night by Elie Wiesel, but this unit could easily be used with any memoir of the Holocaust). These notes and the lessons are available on the MCHE website as well and I welcome questions.

Student Worksheet
Teacher Lecture Notes

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