Teaching the Holocaust to high Schoolers in an Effective and Comprehensive Way

A dark but vitally important part of history that’s often taught in schools is the Holocaust, a genocide perpetrated by Nazi Germany against European Jews during the second world war. While facts should be presented, there is a delicate way that the subject can be taught so that it’s respectful but also so that students can not just understand intellectually, but truly feel the social emotional impact of this event. Here are a few tips for educators of high school students to help them approach this subject in an effective and impactful manner.


When teaching the Holocaust to high schoolers, try to define as many terms as possible in ways that students will understand. Consider making posters with the words on them and images that can be associated with the terms. Include dates as well as important people who were part of this time in history.

Individual Stories

If you know of anyone who has family members who experienced the events of the Holocaust firsthand, then consider asking if they can speak to your class. When teaching the Holocaust to high schoolers, try to gather letters, diary entries, and interviews to give a personal touch so that the students can get a more intimate and emotionally connected understanding of the topic.

Lessons From History

When teaching about the Holocaust, you want to give as many historical, social and political details as possible. You also want to talk about the lessons that can be learned today so that the same actions aren’t repeated. Students can learn about how their actions have consequences and how there are people who face situations that are much worse than the ones that they might face but still overcome adversity with hope.

Learn about more ways to teach the Holocaust in a high school context by contacting ZACHOR Holocaust Curriculum at https://zachorlearn.org.

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