Holocaust Center for Humanity Professional Development Programs for Teachers
Suitable/Adaptable for teachers of grades 5-12
The Holocaust Center for Humanity offers a variety of interactive professional development opportunities for teachers of grades 5-12. Individual sessions range between one hour and two and a half hours and can be combined for half day or full day programs. All sessions can be facilitated in-person or virtually.
All professional development programs are offered free of charge to schools and groups in Washington State. Donations to support these programs so that we can continue to offer them for free are always appreciated. Make a donation to support professional development.
Best Practices for Teaching about the Holocaust (foundational)
Participants will learn about the Washington State-required “Best Practices” for teaching the lessons of the Holocaust, and how the Holocaust Center for Humanity and its many resources help prepare them, regardless of prior knowledge and teaching experience, to create positive, necessary student learning outcomes.
Participants will also learn the impact of quality Holocaust education on students’ social and emotional learning needs, including their attitudes towards diversity, tolerance, and upstander behavior in the face of hate and intolerance, as well as on their critical thinking skills. (1.5-2.5 hours) (Can be divided into two or more sessions, including one or more of the options below.)
The Pyramid of Hate Activity: Understanding the Dangers of Where Hatred Can Lead
This interactive lesson, imbued with primary source video clips and images, engages students to consider that bias-motivated violence and genocide are not inevitable, encouraging them to realize that their actions (and inactions) have consequences, and that they CAN make a difference. Students make connections between history and current events, using the lessons of the Holocaust to apply in their lives. (1-1.5 hours)
Teaching about the Holocaust through English Language Arts
Participants will dive deeper into specifics of successfully teaching the lessons of the Holocaust through ELA. ELA teachers will consider the guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust, teaching and learning objectives, rationale, differentiation, the use of graphic novels, the need for historical accuracy and recommendations by grade level, including text-specific context. We will spotlight and discuss key components or themes of two or three central texts, including but not limited to Night, Maus, Anne Frank, White Bird, and more! Finally, we will consider culminating work that connects back to our rationale, and the integration of speaker testimony and/or field trips. (1-1.5 hours)
Teaching about the Holocaust through History/Social Studies
Participants will learn how to skillfully and successfully go from one or more necessary contextual lessons into key “deep dive” lessons applicable to US and/or World History classes. Premised on the foundation of the guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust and genocide, such lessons and interactive activities may include The US Response to the Holocaust; Pre-War Jewish Life; The Challenges of Escape (answering the frequently asked question, “Why didn’t the Jews just leave?”); Nazism and Jim Crow; and Examining the Stages of Genocide/Other Genocides. (1-1.5 hours)
Growing Up Black in Nazi Germany
Students often ask about groups other than the Jews whom the Nazis targeted during the era of the Holocaust. This workshop centers around a new series of lessons spotlighting one such group: Black people in Germany, also known as “Afro-Germans.” This session invokes questions of racism, hatred, prejudice in both Germany and the United States, identity, the role of educators, and how to combat hatred. As such, it transcends the Holocaust alone, and is an invaluable resource both for educators and students looking for examples that further speak to them about their own lives, the choices they make, and consequences of actions and inactions. Teachers gain numerous tools for using one or more of these lessons with their students! (1-1.5 hours)
Teaching about the Holocaust Using Survivor Testimony
During this session, participants will learn about the impact of survivor/speaker testimony towards social and emotional learning, critical thinking, and upstander behavior. This session will feature a presentation from a member of our speakers bureau, with opportunities for questions and answers. This session demonstrates the importance of the human story, translating the typically unascertainable numbers associated with the Holocaust and other genocides into individual people, their families and stories. (1-1.5 hours)
Teaching about the Holocaust Using Field Trips
In this session, participants will engage in a virtual field trip of the Holocaust Center for Humanity, led by one of our docents. Following an introduction about the educational power and relevance of primary sources, including artifacts, participants will “tour” our museum space, spending time considering the stories of many of the survivors who ultimately settled in Washington state. (1 hour)
Teaching with Artifacts: Learning about the Holocaust through Inquiry
This workshop approaches the history of the Holocaust through one small shoe: a seemingly very ordinary thing. It provides guidance and practical classroom approaches to empower learners to read artifacts as evidence.
Through guided group discussion, we will uncover intimate details about the owner of this little shoe, using skills of deduction, inference, and the analysis of historical sources. Relating what we discover to what is known from other sources we will explore meaning in the historical narrative and consider how this can help young people learners to ask significant and important questions about this complex and emotionally challenging past.
The activity is designed to stimulate deep personal reflection and the questions raised will provide a stimulus for deeper exploration of the Holocaust in further classroom lessons. (1-1.5 hours)