Friday, July 13, 2012

Holocaust Lesson Plans Aligned to Common Core Standards

As educators sitting in a Holocaust education workshop, seeking to increase understanding, improve instruction and build a student knowledge base, a proverbial question, perhaps phrased a bit differently each time, is inevitably asked, "How do I teach this important history and teach to the standards?" This is a valid question and one that needs to be answered. With the transition from individual State Content Standards to nationally adopted Common Core Standards, a new door has been opened for the classroom teacher. Common Core standards shift the focus of instruction and student learning from "filling in the blank to get the correct content answer" to higher level comprehension, reading and critical thinking skills. Additionally, there is an even greater emphasis on informational text, the use of technology and digital media, as well as learning about and understanding other perspectives and cultures. While states will supplement standards as they deem appropriate, the Common Core will be the foundation for what is taught. The Holocaust and the events surrounding this significant time in history are necessary topics of instruction. There will be flexibility in the pedagogy allowing teachers to use the Holocaust as a vehicle/theme to teach Common Core mandated standards/skills. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has published historically accurate lessons for grades 7-12, meeting the requirement of addressing 21st Century Skills.

Lessons posted on this site have been aligned to Common Core Standards.