Students in grades six and above demonstrate the ability to empathize with individual eyewitness accounts and to attempt to understand the complexities of Holocaust history, including the scope and scale of the events. While elementary age students are able to empathize with individual accounts, they often have difficulty placing them in a larger historical context.
Such developmental differences have traditionally shaped social studies curricula throughout the country. In most states, students are not introduced to European history and geography—the context of the Holocaust—before middle school. Elementary school can be an ideal place to begin discussing the value of diversity and the danger of bias and prejudice. These critical themes can be addressed through local and national historical events and can be reinforced during later study of the Holocaust.
The Museum’s exhibition Remember the Children: Daniel’s Story introduces students in grades four and above to the history of the Holocaust, chronicling real events based on the experiences of Jewish children from Germany. Its multimedia approach was carefully designed to provide late-elementary school students an introduction to this history rather than an in-depth examination.