Monday, July 26, 2010


Today’s adolescents need to learn about the Holocaust in order to better understand their role in society as individuals, as citizens, and as participants in a world community. A study of the Holocaust allows students to attempt to understand prejudice, stereotyping, peer pressure, and racism in both their immediate and larger world.

In order to understand how terrorism, which has its foundations in deep-seated prejudice, stereotyping and hatred, can take place, we need to look at the origins of bias and how teaching about the Holocaust can further our understanding. This unit discusses how we teach tolerance in today’s world, the origins of bias, and provides ways to teach students to be critical thinkers specifically about prejudice and discrimination.

Ultimately, students should walk away from this unit with three things in mind:
  • Remembrance: The Holocaust is not just about the six million. It is also about the loss of future generations. As the Jews were killed, their progeny, our future leaders and our human potential were also lost.
  • Relevance: Students must understand that the lessons of the Holocaust are present in our daily lives and directly connected to world events. The names and places may change, but the lessons are still applicable.
  • Responsibility: Students need to recognize their own responsibility in making sure that genocide does not happen again. We must all take action and respond whenever we see hatred, prejudice, and antisemitism.
 To development of understanding of these three themes involves the following:
  • Student reading of a self-selected theme-related novel
  • Active participation in guided lessons
  • Critically responding to peers via a social medium (blog)

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