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Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission

Approved Lesson Plans and Other Resources for the Classroom

SB 1828 assigns the THGAAC the task of approving lesson plans that can be used in the classroom. The following resources are approved. SB 1828 allows each Texas school districts to decide which materials are age-appropriate for their students.

Introduction:

There is no expectation that classes need to cover all or even most of what is listed below. For some educators, it may be sufficient to choose one or two items to teach during this year's Remembrance Week. A good rule of thumb might be to add more of the materials each year for Remembrance Week.
All materials featured on this page are approved for Holocaust Remembrance Week.

Approved Lesson Plans for 2022:

If you are looking for user-friendly lesson plans from the organizations listed on this page, here are some great selections. (You are also free to choose other lesson plans from the organizations listed on this page.)

Lesson Plans from Echoes & Reflections:

For educators looking for a fully mapped out unit, Echoes is an excellent option. Echoes consists of nine thorough lessons in sequence, and not all nine must be taught for the unit to be effective. In Texas, Anti-Defamation League and Yad Vashem provide Echoes training and support to educators.
Lesson Plans: Echoes & Reflections

Highlights of Lesson Plans from USHMM:

Lesson Plans: Foundational Lesson Plans
Lesson Plans: Teaching Materials for Americans and the Holocaust
Lesson Plans: Oaths and Opposition: Education under the Third Reich
Lesson Plan: US Newspapers and the Holocaust

Lesson Plans from Other Organizations:

Lesson Plan: Jewish Life Before the Holocaust (by FHAO)
Lesson Plan: Lala - Reflections on Prejudice (by USC Shoah Foundation)
Lesson Plan: Teaching About the Perpetrators (by Yad Vashem)
Lesson Plan: The Kindertransport, Ask a Survivor (by DHHRM)
Lesson Plan: Teaching About the Holocaust through Children's Diaries (by Yad Vashem)
Lesson Plan: Hiding (by USC Shoah Foundation)
Lesson Plan: Hunger in the Łódź Ghetto (by USC Shoah Foundation)
Lesson Plan: Music as a Survival Tool (by FHAO)
Lesson Plan: The Life and Art of Samuel Bak (by HMH)
Lesson Plan: Righteous Among the Nations: Chiune (Sempo) Sugihara (by Yad Vashem)

Other Approved Resources for 2022:

The THGAAC is aware that there are numerous available resources on the Holocaust. Seeking to give educators a range of choices, the THGAAC has created certain materials and approved others, many of which present firsthand accounts. Also, the THGAAC has restricted the list to works that are readily available, are a productive use of a class’s time, offer a wide variety of perspectives, and can reach students in different subjects, not just social studies.

Middle school and high school materials from the following listed organizations and museums are approved by the THGAAC. Most also provide educator training and support, and some present online survivor video testimonies of various lengths.

Resources by the THGAAC:

All THGAAC-created materials are recommended for classroom instruction in Holocaust Remembrance Week. The following resources that have been developed by the THGAAC are available for use.

  • Printable written overview of the Holocaust
  • Printable written vocabulary materials Red Flag Terms
  • Online Digital Library for Educators (ODLE)
    *This is a password-protected collection of materials selected by the THGAAC. Registered educators may access materials for classroom use at no charge. Materials include essays, poems, book chapters and excerpts, films, and film clips.

    *Most materials in the ODLE are designed to be easily inserted into lessons that you teach. For example, one of the short videos might be used to illustrate a theme presented in one of the lesson plans above.
    *Educators of grades 6 – 12 who have not already registered for a free account with the ODLE may do so through the above link. When entering information, please include school e-mail (not Yahoo, Gmail, etc.).

Resources by Holocaust Museums:

United States Holocaust Memorial Museum
There are many valuable resources on the USHMM website. For example, music teachers might consider using the museum’s music database, and social studies teachers might teach using History Unfolded. More generally, The Holocaust: A Learning Site for Students covers several topics. Animated maps, such as one on Auschwitz, can also be found. Specific links to recommended USHMM lesson plans are featured above.

Dallas Holocaust and Human Rights Museum
The museum’s website provides many valuable and TEKS-aligned resources, Holocaust Remembrance Week grade-aligned lesson plans, virtual field trips, and education programs. For example, the Every Child Has A Name Student Project encourages students to remember a child murdered during the Holocaust through research and creative thought.

El Paso Holocaust Museum and Study Center
EPHM offers free bilingual programs and resources for students and educators, including in-person tours, off-site or virtual presentations, education trunks of classroom resources, and educator workshops. EPHM’s website also houses oral testimonies searchable by topic of local Holocaust survivors. Coming spring 2021, EPHM will offer an interactive virtual tour of its permanent exhibit with companion resources and survivor testimonies for each gallery.

Holocaust Memorial Museum of San Antonio
The museum has developed a wide array of resources and a special week of programming during Texas Holocaust Remembrance Week to help South Texas schools fulfill the educational mandates set by the state, including teacher workshops (three during Holocaust Remembrance Week), educational trunks, traveling exhibits, as well as prerecorded and live virtual presentations on the topic of instilling in the students, educators, and general audience Elie Wiesel’s message that “the opposite of love is not hate, it’s indifference.”

Holocaust Museum Houston
HMH offers free programs and resources for educators, including virtual and in-person tours and school visits, as well as Holocaust Remembrance Week lessons and resources. HMH’s newly expanded museum includes permanent galleries covering the Holocaust, human rights, the diaries of young people in times of war and genocide, and the art of Samuel Bak. The museum also hosts temporary exhibits on a variety of Holocaust and human rights topics throughout the year.

Yad Vashem
The largest Holocaust museum in the world offers extensive databases on survivors, victims, and rescuers. Yad Vashem designates the Righteous Among the Nations. There are also outstanding video clips on various subjects, including teaching the Holocaust using sports and through children in hiding. Links to specific Yad Vashem lesson plans are featured above.

Auschwitz-Birkenau Museum
The largest concentration camp and killing center is now a museum and memorial that offers publications and holds conferences.

The Pucker Gallery
Features the art of ghetto survivor Samuel Bak; art teachers may find this of interest; some of Bak’s work may also be seen in person at Holocaust Museum Houston

Resources by Other Organizations:

Facing History and Ourselves
For educators looking for a fully mapped out week-long unit, Facing History offers one. Additionally, see above for a couple of outstanding lesson plan options.

German Propaganda Archive
This Michigan-based university website provides an extensive online collection of Nazi anti-Jewish materials from before and during the Holocaust.

International Holocaust Remembrance Alliance
This intergovernmental organization leads the way in setting standards for Holocaust education and researches Holocaust-related topics.

Yahad-In Unum
This organization, whose President and Founder is Father Patrick Desbois, conducts research and provides educational resources on the Holocaust. The organization’s initial claim to fame concerns the uncovering of evidence of the murders of the many Holocaust victims who were killed in Eastern Europe but outside the camp system.

Jewish Foundation for the Righteous
The Jewish Foundation for the Righteous, based in Manhattan, offers educator resources and training on the Holocaust and rescue.

Texas Liberators
This project was funded by the former Texas Holocaust and Genocide Commission (THGC) and was developed by a team at Texas Tech University. This project includes a traveling exhibit, an online module (app), and a book that was provided to every high school library in the state. Social Studies courses covering Texas, the United States, or modern Europe may find it helpful.

USC Shoah Foundation
This California-based institution is most famous for its extensive collection of survivor video testimonies.

Lesson plans on the THGAAC Antisemitism page are also approved for classroom use during Holocaust Remembrance Week.