Resource Overview

Pedagogy for Instruction

Lesson Plans

Student Activities

Podcast for Students

Timeline of the Holocaust

Audio Glossary

Upper Elementary Guidelines

Schindler's List

Classroom Poster Series

We Share The Same Sky Companion Resource

Review our FAQs to learn more about our approach to professional learning and classroom instruction with Echoes & Reflections.

Our Lesson Plans provide a unique experience for educators to teach about the Holocaust effectively and interactively. The modular design of the lessons found within each unit allow for adaption and customization to specific grade levels and subject areas. The integration of rich content helps students construct an authentic and comprehensive portrait of the past as they frame their own thoughts about what they are learning, resulting in a deeper level of interest and inquiry. Each lesson includes:
  • Step-by-step procedures
  • Estimated completion time
  • Resources labeled by icons        direct teachers to the piece of content named in the procedures
  • Print-ready pages as indicated by  are available as PDFs for download
If you are new to teaching about the Holocaust, we encourage you to participate in one of our online course offerings to support instruction ahead. As well, for teachers with limited instructional time seeking a starting point, we offer a sample One Day Lesson Plan, as well as a sample Day Two Lesson Plan for a 2nd class period of instruction.
For more information, questions or concerns please contact us.

In order for students to understand the importance of the Holocaust as a historical event and as part of our shared human story, it is critical for teachers to have a sound pedagogy for instruction.

Echoes & Reflections recommends the following guidelines for teachers to apply to their planning and implementation of a comprehensive Holocaust education program.

Print the handout here:


1Define terms
In addition to key terms like antisemitism, Holocaust, and genocide, review key terms and phrases necessary to fully understand the content being studied.
2Provide background on the history of antisemitism
Ensure students understand the role that antisemitism played in allowing the Holocaust to occur.
3Contextualize the history
Help students understand what happened before and after a specific event, who was involved, where the event took place, etc; this helps to reinforce that the Holocaust wasn’t inevitable but rather was the result of choices and decisions made by individuals, institutions, and nations over years.
4Teach the human story
While connecting people and events to the larger story, educators should:
  • Translate statistics into personal stories; use survivor and witness testimony whenever possible; emphasizing, however, that survivor voices are the exception.
  • Highlight examples of how victims attempted to retain their humanity in the face of dehumanization (efforts to maintain identity and continuity of life, expression of values/beliefs, forms of resistance).
  • Stress the “choiceless choices” of the victims with limited or no power to escape.
  • Introduce victims’ prewar life/return to life to provide context for their choices, dilemmas, and actions.
  • Focus on small and large decisions made by individuals who had the ability and the opportunity to choose between morally right and morally wrong decisions prior to, during, and after the Holocaust, including bystanders, collaborators, perpetrators, and rescuers.
5Use primary source materials
Enrich students’ understanding of the Holocaust by providing an abundance of print and digital resources from a variety of perspectives.
6Make the Holocaust relevant
Connect what students are learning to contemporary events, while distinguishing between the unique history of the Holocaust and what can be learned from this history.
7Encourage inquiry-based learning and critical thinking
Support students’ sharing of ideas and asking questions of themselves and others.
8Foster empathy
Challenge students to understand people and their attitudes and actions in a historical context using sound approaches and strategies, refraining from the use of simulation activities.
9Ensure a supportive learning environment
Guide students “safely in and safely out” of this study; use age-appropriate materials and always be mindful of the social and emotional needs of individual students.

For additional exploration of effective teaching approaches, please visit our Video Toolbox “Teaching about the Holocaust in Today’s World.”

To support teaching with Schindler’s List, Echoes & Reflections has created a short, classroom-ready Companion Resource, that will help educators to provide important historical background and context to the film, as well as explore powerful true stories of rescue, survival, and resilience with their students.

Additionally, the following videos, recorded at Yad Vashem, feature Schindler survivors who speak of the impact Oskar Schindler had on their lives.

Eva Lavi was the youngest survivor from Schindler’s list. She was two years old when the war began.
Nahum Manor met and fell in love with his wife, Genia, in Schindler’s factory. Watch him read a letter at Schindler’s gravesite, expressing what he meant to them.

Discover flexible teaching tools on IWitness from Schindler's List education partners designed to accompany student viewing of the film.

Echoes & Reflections is excited to announce that our poster series: Inspiring the Human Story, is now available in PDF format, free of cost.

The posters feature the powerful words and experiences of Holocaust survivor and memoirist Elie Wiesel, Holocaust survivor Kurt Messerschmidt, and Anne Frank rescuer, Miep Gies. Each poster promotes meaningful conversation and reflection in the classroom, whether in person or in a virtual setting, and inspires students with powerful human stories of the Holocaust that can continue to guide agency and action as a result of studying this topic.

To support you in these efforts, we have also compiled several suggested classroom activities from teachers in our network that may be of use and interest.

Please fill out the form below to access and download your PDF posters.


USC Shoah Foundation’s seven-part podcast, We Share The Same Sky, seeks to brings the past into present through a granddaughter’s journey to retrace her grandmother’s story of survival. We Share The Same Sky tells the two stories of these women—the grandmother, Hana, a refugee who remained one step ahead of the Nazis at every turn, and the granddaughter, Rachael, on a search to retrace her grandmother’s history.

A self-portrait of Rachael while she is living on a Danish farm that is owned by the granddaughter of Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2017

In order to enhance classroom use, USC Shoah Foundation and Echoes & Reflections created a Companion Educational Resource to support teachers as they introduce the podcast to students. This document provides essential questions for students, as well as additional resources and content to help build context and framing for students’ understanding of the historical events addressed in the podcast.

Access to the podcast, as well as additional supporting materials can all be found at the We Share The Same Sky page in IWitness.

Note: Due to the subject nature, the podcast is appropriate for older students, grades 10-12. As always, teachers should review the content fully in advance to determine its appropriateness for their student population.

After many years of research and digitizing the archive her grandmother left behind, Rachael set out to retrace her grandmother’s 17 years of statelessness. Her intention was to travel via the same modes of transportation and to live similar style lives as to what her grandmother did during the war and in the years after. That meant that when she got to Denmark, she moved to a farm. Rachael moved in with the granddaughter of her grandmother’s foster mother from World War II and traded her labor for room and board as Hana once did. This picture is from that first visit in the winter of 2015. Since this time, Rachael has spent many more months living on this farm. It is owned by Sine Christiansen and her family. Sine is the granddaughter of Jensine, one Hana’s foster mother from World War II. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2015

A self portrait of Rachael overlooking the exact spot in Southern Sweden where her grandmother’s refugee boat came to shore in 1943. Photo by Rachael Cerrotti, 2016
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