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United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
Pros: The museum's site has everything a teacher needs to create a comprehensive and engaging unit about the Holocaust.
Cons: The amount of resources available is overwhelming; it's difficult to find some materials due to the the site's overall organization.
Bottom Line: As a valuable resource for anyone teaching or learning about the Holocaust, time to explore and plan is necessary in order to make the materials effective.
There are an almost endless number of ways to use the resources U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's site. For starters, teachers can increase their own background knowledge, before moving on to access lesson plans, integrating the site's multimedia into lectures, or designing student-centered activities.
For direct student use, the site's online exhibitions, as well as the links to videos and podcasts, are a great bet. To best support your students' learning, create some graphic organizers with guiding questions to help them navigate the site and retain what they learn for follow-up activities. Furthermore, the site could be an excellent starting point for students' independent research. On top of all this, the site's capabilities allow translation into a number of different languages, offering ELL students increased accessibility.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum website offers educators a wealth of resources and guidelines for teaching about this sensitive topic. In addition to detailed lesson plans and a comprehensive Holocaust Encyclopedia, the site's lesson plans cover a wide-range of topics including Nazi Propaganda, and Responsibility and Resistance. Additionally, all of the plans come with detailed procedures and are standards aligned.
The site also hosts a series of online exhibitions that include written content, images, and videos. There are a variety of topics, including Nazi Persecution of Homosexuals, and Hidden Children of the Holocaust. In addition, the site offers some resources to teach about genocide, with detailed case studies and an examination of both current world events and what's being done to prevent future events. It should be noted that some of the site's content may be difficult for some students to read about or view.
The U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum's website is the next best thing to actually visiting the museum in Washington D.C. The materials featured on the site are up-to-date and ready for classroom use. The online exhibitions and lessons provide engaging content through first-hand accounts, powerful images, and compelling videos and podcasts.
Best of all, beyond just reviewing the facts, the resources encourage critical-thinking and examine multiple perspectives. For example, in a lesson on responsibility students assess the actions of a range of people and determine their level of involvement and possible punishments. There are also extension activities that require students to explore the same issues in more recent genocides. Many of the articles on the site are written at a high level, and teachers may need to preview and provide the necessary support to ensure student understanding.