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Teaching the Holocaust to Middle Schoolers in an Effective and Impactful Way

Teaching the Holocaust to Middle Schoolers in an Effective and Impactful Way

While it’s a topic that’s not delved into as much as it is in high school history classes, it’s important to share information about the Holocaust with students who are in middle school as well so that they at least have a broad conceptual understanding of the events that occurred, why it happened and what can be done to prevent such events from ever reoccurring.

The following are some ways that you can teach about this historical event so that students are informed in an effective and impactful manner.

The Human Aspect

When you’re teaching the Holocaust to middle schoolers, try to include the human element so that they can relate to the feelings that people might have had at that time. Offer dates, names, and a few numbers as well to give them a base level understanding of the chronology of events but it is more important that they feel the emotional impact of the information rather than retain simple names and dates.

Those Responsible

Although you want to offer information about who was responsible, try to avoid putting all the focus on the perpetrators when teaching the Holocaust to middleschoolers. Hitler was a man who inflicted pain on many people so that he could gain power, but you should also discuss the Jews and what they went through. You don’t want students to think that all leaders are negative or make them afraid to abide by the government but rather to have a sense of the importance that we the people hold our leaders accountable to a standard of tolerance and inclusivity.

First Hand Witness Accounts

Consider diving into a selection of firsthand witness accounts from survivors of the holocaust. Such material can easily transcend generation and cultural divides by connecting directly to the core human element of the event. This creates a direct conversational relationship between the voices of the past and those of the youth of today.

Learn more about ways to teach middleschoolers about the Holocaust by contacting ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum at

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