How to teach the Holocaust

When teaching genocide studies, educators need to keep one thing top of mind: bring your students safely in and safely out.

Bringing your students safely in is most easily accomplished with an activity that addresses the Holocaust with a wide lens. Consider a video or Ted Talk (feel free to peruse our Instructor Resources) to provide context.

This subject matter can be disturbing or traumatic for some students.When bringing your students safely out, it’s important to remind them of humanity’s triumph during dark times. We like to show films about rescuers (such as Nicholas Winton, who rescued over 600 Czech Jewish children), or read stories of loving reunions.

You can always take your studies one step further by collaborating with other educators in your school and integrating art, music and other disciplines into your unit. In fact, the SBHEC offers an arts education program.

The celebration of life, the happiness of finding a loved one, the resilience of humanity, and our own connection to such joy will help students to appreciate their own lives and to understand that they play a significant role in a future world absent of genocide, hate, bigotry, and intolerance. They can explore further contemporary applications of what they’ve learned by exploring the Genocide Education Project.