Guidelines for Teaching
13. Reinforce the objectives of your lesson plan
Before you construct your concluding lesson, please review your rationale statement. Consult the “Before You Teach” segment of this workshop as well as pages 11 and 12 of Teaching about the Holocaust: A Resource Guide for Educators.
Charlene Schiff describes waiting for entry into the United States after the war because of U.S. immigration policy. Students may reflect on U.S. policy then and now regarding immigration [1993 interview].
As in all teaching situations, the opening and closing lessons are critically important. A strong opening should serve to dispel misinformation students may have prior to studying the Holocaust. It should set a reflective tone, move students from passive to active learning, indicate to students that their ideas and opinions matter, and establish that this history has multiple ramifications for them as individuals and as members of society as a whole.
Your closing lesson should encourage further examination of Holocaust history, literature, and art. A strong closing should emphasize synthesis by encouraging students to connect this history to other world events and to the world they live in today. Students should be encouraged to reflect on what they have learned and to consider what this study means to them personally and as citizens of a democracy.
For a discussion of the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s commitment to alert the national conscience about possible genocide and related crimes against humanity, read about the Committee on Conscience.
- Welcome and Introduction
- Before you start teaching
- 1. Define the term ‘Holocaust’
- 2. Contextualize the history you are teaching
- 3. Translate statistics into people
- 4. Strive for precision of language
- 5. Avoid simple answers to complex history
- 6. Just because it happened does not mean it was inevitable
- 7. Try to avoid stereotypical descriptions
- 8. Strive for balance in establishing whose perspective informs your study of the Holocaust
- 9. Make careful distinctions about sources of information
- 10. Do not romanticize history to engage students’ interest
- 11. Be sensitive to appropriate written and audiovisual content
- 12. Select appropriate learning activities
- 13. Reinforce the objectives of your lesson plan
- 14. Avoid comparisons of pain
- Topics to Teach
- Sample Lessons
- Guest Lecture: Dr. William Meinecke Jr. discusses the topic "Nazi Ideology and Victims of the Holocaust and Nazi Persecution."