Schedule a professional development workshop for your school, district, or group
Suitable/Adaptable for teachers of grades 5-12
The Holocaust Center for Humanity offers a variety of interactive professional development opportunities for teachers of grades 5-12. Individual sessions range between one hour and two and a half hours and can be combined for half-day or full-day programs. All sessions can be facilitated in person or virtually.
All professional development programs are offered free of charge to schools and groups in Washington State. Donations to support these programs so that we can continue to offer them for free are always appreciated. You can make a donation to support professional development.
Attend a general workshop
Throughout the year the Holocaust Center organizes teacher workshops on various topics. Almost all sessions are free to attend and clock hours are available. See what's coming up!
MENU OF WORKSHOPS
Meeting the Moment: Sessions Applicable for All Teachers
Navigating Discussions about the Israel-Hamas Conflict (and minimizing/avoiding Islamophobic and Antisemitic/dehumanizing language) (60 mins)
The conflict involving Israel and Hamas poses daunting challenges for educators, students and their families. In this engaging session, educators will be empowered to facilitate safe, respectful conversations about the ongoing conflict by better recognizing Islamophobia and antisemitism, and using and applying precise, nuanced language that humanizes; avoiding generalizations, stereotypes and inaccuracies.
Antisemitism Then and Now (60-90 minutes)
Antisemitism is at its highest levels in this country than at any other time in recorded history. We believe the best way to combat antisemitism is through education. This highly engaging workshop helps educators AND students become grounded in the history of antisemitism – including the Holocaust – up to and including its myriad contemporary manifestations. Participants will also gain tools both to recognize and confront antisemitism.
Navigating Critical Conversations and Tough Topics (60-90 minutes)
The polarized nature of our current society can make educators hesitant about bringing potentially controversial issues into the classroom. We fundamentally believe that this is a time not to avoid those topics and conversations, but to lean into them, in order to model in our classrooms what a healthy democracy looks, sounds, and feels like. Teachers equipped with clear goals, academic resources, and discussion strategies that foster civil discourse can turn their classrooms into model democracies.
Centering around Facing History and Ourselves resources, we will model how to build a reflective and honest classroom that is rooted in identity and belonging, we will examine critical histories and their enduring legacies, and we will practice strategies to design and hold these spaces for students and community members.
Sessions to Support Holocaust and Genocide Instruction
Foundational Lesson Plans for Teaching the Holocaust in a Secondary Classroom (45-60 minutes)
Participants will be introduced to one or more of the essential foundational lessons, The Pyramid of Hate, Universe of Obligation, and/or teaching about the Historical Roots of Antisemitism. One or more of these lessons are strongly recommended to help establish the purposes for student learning about the Holocaust, but also about any other ensuing, difficult history.
Teaching the Holocaust in a World History Classroom Practical Applications (45-60 minutes)
Participants will gain insight and lesson plans to help them integrate the study of the Holocaust into their World History course. We will together unpack three essential foundational lessons, The Pyramid of Hate activity; the Universe of Obligation, a Facing History lesson; and teaching about the Historical Roots of Antisemitism. The presentation will also include contextual background related to the role of nationalism, economic crisis, and the fear of communism in the development of the Holocaust in Europe.
Teaching the Holocaust in a United States History Classroom Practical Applications (45-60 minutes)
Participants will gain insights and lesson plans to help them integrate the study of the Holocaust into a US History Course. The presentation will be introduced to a brief history of antisemitism in America as well as classroom-ready lesson plans about the history of antisemitism. Participants will then explore the lesson plan “The Refugee Crisis and 1930s America” from the United States Memorial Holocaust Museum and Facing History and Ourselves.
Teaching about The Historical Roots of Antisemitism (45 minutes)
Participants will learn about the historical roots of antisemitism in Europe. The presentation begins with an exploration of the persecution of Jews in the ancient world, it will then move on to a discussion on the development of Christian anti-Judaism, and finally an examination of the evolution of antisemitism from a religious-based prejudice to one rooted in “racial” pseudo-science. The course concludes with an overview of a classroom-ready lesson plan to teach students about the Historical Roots of Antisemitism.
Teaching about the Holocaust through ELA (90 minutes) | Teaching about the Holocaust through Social Studies (90 minutes)
ELA teachers will consider teaching and learning objectives for teaching about the Holocaust built on the best practices foundations; applicable guidelines for teaching about the Holocaust, SEL, Safe Classroom and Differentiation; and Strategies for teaching recommended literature will be modeled and shared. In addition, we will spotlight new, classroom-ready lessons on teaching about the Holocaust using poetry, diaries, and music.
History/Social Studies teachers will learn about key “deep dive” lessons applicable to US and/or World History classes. Such lessons and interactive activities may include The US Response to the Holocaust; The Challenges of Escape; Antisemitism; Nazism and Jim Crow; and Examining the Stages of Genocide/Other Genocides.
Teaching about Identity and the Holocaust in an ELA Classroom (60-90 minutes)
This session will build upon the lessons and ideas presented in “Teaching about the Holocaust through ELA.”
ELA teachers will be introduced to the Facing History and Ourselves Exploring Identity through Literature and Life Lesson Plan. This lesson engages students to consider the social and cultural factors that shape identity – for themselves, others and characters in texts they are reading. Participants will also learn about approaches and lesson plans for teaching about the historical roots of antisemitism and other aspects central to understanding Jewish identity in their courses.
Teaching about Identity and the Holocaust in a Social Studies Classroom (60-90 minutes)
This session will build upon the lessons and ideas presented in “Teaching about the Holocaust through Social Studies.”
History/Social Studies teachers will learn about key “deep dive” lessons applicable to US and/or World History classes. The session will begin with an exploration of the Facing History and Ourselves lesson plan Understanding Identity, which gives students the opportunity to identify the social and cultural factors that shape identity, as well as the ways in which we define ourselves and the ways we are defined by others. Participants will then be introduced to the Echoes and Reflections Pre-War Jewish Life Lesson Plan.
Tools, Tips and Resources to Teach Hard Histories in Elementary School (60-90 minutes)
The state of Washington’s Holocaust Education Law “strongly encourages” teaching about the Holocaust and other genocides in grades 6-12. It is NOT recommended to teach explicitly about the Holocaust in earlier grades. However, this session focuses upon strategies and resources, including recommended texts, lessons, etc., that enable and empower teachers to safely address key underlying concepts and themes leading up to students’ more likely readiness to directly confront and apply such concepts and themes in upper grades and in their lives. Among many other things, this session focuses upon empathy and identity, the obligation to protect others, rules and fairness, allyship and much more!
Paul V. Regelbrugge is the Director of Education for the Holocaust Center for Humanity. A former attorney, Paul then taught in the inner cities of Chicago and Buffalo, as well as in Spokane and Kent, Washington. Paul is a USHMM Teacher Fellow, Powell Teacher Fellow, Alfred Lerner Teaching Fellow, The Olga Lengyel Institute (TOLI) Fellow, and a Gonzaga University adjunct professor. He is also the author of The Yellow Star House: The Remarkable Story of One Boy’s Survival in a Protected House in Hungary, and co-author of the graphic novel, More Than Any Child Should Know: A Kindertransport Story of the Holocaust.
Branda Anderson is the Teaching and Learning Specialist for the Holocaust Center for Humanity. Branda previously taught World History and Social Studies at Kamiak High School in Mukilteo for 19 years. She holds a Masters in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Gratz College, and is a USHMM Teacher Fellow and Mentor, Alfred Lerner Teaching Fellow, Powell Teacher Fellow and Defiant Requiem Teacher Ambassador. She is presently pursuing a PhD in Holocaust and Genocide Studies from Gratz College.