It is important as teachers to realise that this is a disturbing and emotionally charged subject area. As such, caution needs to be taken when teaching the Holocaust to junior school students. A focus on the history, the roles people played, and linking it to the students’ own experience are good places to focus. Try and avoid the most gruesome of images or descriptions – this material is not always age-appropriate and can be counter-productive (for example: images of dead bodies at Auschwitz are not necessarily appropriate. A discussion about a photo of a crematorium will generate just as much interest, a focus on human rights, and injustice, as a more violent image).
You need to think carefully as a teacher about the purpose of teaching the Holocaust. A careful reading of the “For the Teacher” guide in this web resource is recommended before you start.
Social Sciences teachers are required to incorporate the Conceptual Strands, Achievement Objectives, Key Competencies and Values into their unit planning. The following unit and lesson ideas are designed for Level 5 of the Social Sciences curriculum. These can act as a guide to planning and designing your own effective Social Studies unit on the Holocaust:
The Holocaust Centre of New Zealand is located at the Wellington Jewish Community Centre,
80 Webb Street, Te Aro, Wellington 6011.
Open Sunday - Friday 10am - 1pm, and outside these hours by special arrangement.