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< Teaching Materials Using Primary Sources and the Museum’s Collections

The Holocaust: History and Memory

Virtual Field Trip and Lesson Plan

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The Holocaust: History and Memory provides students with a new way to learn about Holocaust history. Developed in cooperation with Houghton Mifflin Harcourt and powered by Google Expeditions, this field trip allows students to virtually experience the US Holocaust Memorial Museum.

The virtual field trip includes nine different scenes from the Museum—covering our permanent exhibition, The Holocaust, our Hall of Witness and Hall of Remembrance, and a conservation lab where students can examine how our staff preserve and present Holocaust history.

Scenes in the app.

Get Started

There are two ways to access this virtual field trip. It was originally developed, and is still best experienced, as an immersive VR experience for use with the Google Expeditions mobile app. However, you can now explore the field trip as a virtual tour using the web browser on any computer or mobile device. You can learn more about the Google Expeditions field trip below or explore in your web browser here.

Download the Google Expeditions App

Google Expeditions is a free virtual reality teaching tool that lets you lead or join immersive virtual trips all over the world. For guidance on setting up and using the app, visit the Google Expeditions Help Center.

  1. Download the app for your iOS or Android device.
  2. When you open the app, you will be prompted to sign in with a Google account.
  3. After signing in, click Discover.
  4. In the search bar at the top of the app screen, search for The Holocaust: History and Memory.
  5. Click on the search result to save the virtual field trip.

Download for iOS Download for Android

Download the Lesson Plan

Lesson length: One to two class periods

In this lesson, students examine how the Museum uses artifacts and photographs from its collections to present the history of the Holocaust and memorialize its victims—including artifacts and photographs that illustrate important aspects of Holocaust history such as Torah scrolls rescued during Kristallnacht, a train car, prisoner barracks from Auschwitz, and a gas chamber model. Students also tour the Museum's architecture and discuss what makes the Museum a living memorial. Through their exploration of the Museum's exhibitions, students gain a greater understanding of key events and topics related to the Holocaust and are able to explain the systematic nature, scope, and consequences of the Holocaust.

Download Lesson Plan

Frequently Asked Questions

What will I experience during this virtual field trip?

  • Using VR headsets and mobile phones, The Holocaust: History and Memory immerses you in several 360-degree virtual spaces within the Museum, including sections of the permanent exhibition, memorial space, and conservation lab.
  • Each stop along the tour provides prompts for you to take a closer look at selected photographs and objects, as well as details in the building architecture.
  • Narration, as well as questions and answers, are provided for teachers to focus student attention and encourage critical thinking.

What equipment do I need to view the Museum's expedition?

  • Google Expeditions were originally designed for use in a classroom with teachers acting as a guide and students following along. They are best experienced as guided tours with the teacher acting as the guide. However, students may also independently take self-guided tours.
  • A compatible iOS or Android phone or tablet is required. Some Chromebooks work as well. While the tour works without a VR headset, for the full immersive experience, they are required. The best setting is one in which teachers use a tablet to narrate the tour, and students use mobile phones or similar WiFi-enabled devices and VR headsets. Learn more about recommended devices and mobile phone requirements.
  • To explore on your own, the minimum requirement is a compatible mobile phone, tablet, or Chromebook and a WiFi connection. Learn more about exploring on your own.

Are there other technology requirements to use this expedition?

  • Yes. You need a WiFi connection in order to download the tour within the Google Expedition app. Once the tour has downloaded, WiFi is no longer required.
  • In order for a teacher to provide a guided tour experience, the teacher's device and all of the students' devices must be connected to the same WiFi network. The WiFi must allow peer-to-peer communication. This is how the teacher is able to use their tablet to direct students to visual details during the tour. Learn more about setting up your WiFi network.