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Holocaust Project

Page history last edited by Mike King 10 years, 6 months ago


The purpose of our teaching unit is two-fold. First, we feel it our charge as responsible educators to bring the light of truth to our students, the truth about one of the darkest periods in world history---the truth about the Holocaust. For some time, English teachers had been using the drama, The Diary of Anne Frank, to teach literature and grammar. But this unit seemed to lack focus and depth. We wanted to make it more meaningful and more coherent to students.

We were also aware that many Americans, adults as well as young people, were uncertain as to what the Holocaust was, how many were murdered, why it took place, or how the German people could have allowed it to happen. Another more frightening catalyst behind this unit is that the revisionist movement, not given much credence in the past, continues to grow daily. Additionally, we feel that an interdisciplinary approach to teaching the Holocaust would enhance student learning. Studies by the prestigious Carnegie Foundation for the Advancement of Teaching tell us that... "students must be well-informed to live in our interdependent, interconnected complex world. Students must be able to collect ideas and information from across the disciplines, to organize their thoughts, to reach conclusions, and, in the end, to use knowledge wisely."

 

 

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In focusing on our audience, we considered the fact that developmentally middle school students are beginning to make choices and to form attitudes that will serve them lifelong. In a world full of prejudice, racism, ethnic rivalries, and a lack of tolerance, these attitudes can become very narrow. We felt that students should be given opportunities to consider the ramifications of prejudice and intolerance, particularly in an ever increasing culturally and racially diverse society. This is a crucial age at which to give students the tools to make these decisions.

 

As we began planning, we realized that many of the resources that would be needed were not available to us. Therefore, we applied for and received a traveling resource trunk from the Center for Holocaust and Genocide Studies (http://www.chgs.umn.edu/) and will use At Risk funds to purchase research materials for our school library and to defray the expenses of bringing a Holocaust survivor to our school and community. In "Resource Material, we have included a list of the materials which we will purchase and the material contents of the traveling which are will be available to all students and teachers in our school.

 

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