"The trunk made it REAL. It really brought home the lives and humanity of individuals." - Teacher
"The trunk enhances my lessons every year. The artifacts are so powerful - having things the students can touch brings the stories to life." - Teacher
Holocaust Teaching Trunks and Artifact Kits
What are Holocaust Teaching Trunks and Artifact Kits? How does the program work?
- Within Washington State: Trunks and Artifact Kits are free to borrow.
- Outside of Washington State: due to high demand, we are unable to loan trunks outside the state. Exceptions can be made for Idaho and Oregon schools on a case by case basis.
- Holocaust Teaching Trunks contain either a selection of grade-appropriate books or a classroom set containing 35 copies of the same book. All trunks contain an Artifact Kit. Lesson plans, activities, teacher guides, and more are shared digitally with borrowers. *If the digital files do not work for your situation, please request physical copies ahead of your borrowing period so we can properly accommodate you.
- Trunks are loaned out for approximately 3 weeks at a time unless special arrangements are made with the Holocaust Center.
- The Holocaust Center will arrange for trunks to be shipped to you and picked up via FedEx. If you are within the Seattle area and prefer to pick up/drop off your trunk from the Center in downtown Seattle, please let us know and we can accommodate you.
- See below to find the Trunk that best fits your class.
5th-6th Grade Trunk - Through the Eyes of Children
This trunk, devoted to the Holocaust as perceived by children, attempts to share the experiences of just a few of the one and a half million children who perished, as well as the stories of the youth who managed to survive, and the courageous stories of individuals who risked their lives to help others. Through this focus on children, students will attain a more personal understanding of the Holocaust and the difficult circumstances with which people were faced. Students are encouraged to consider the effects of stereotyping, alienation, and prejudice. See contents of trunk
7th-8th Grade Trunk - Investigating the Holocaust: What Happened and Why?
A study of the Holocaust teaches not only critical lessons in history, but leads to an investigation of human behavior, moral courage, and social responsibility. Studying the Holocaust helps to illustrate what can happen when people hate - something that unfortunately is not limited to one time or place. Through teaching and studying the Holocaust, we encourage teachers and students alike to examine the historical context of the Holocaust as well as its importance in our society. This subject, raising questions of justice, individual identity, group identity, peer pressure, conformity, indifference, citizenship, and power, challenges students to confront these same issues often present in their daily lives. See contents of trunk
High School Trunk - Studying the Holocaust through Primary Sources
Documents – diaries, letters, drawings, and memoirs – created by those who participated in or witnessed the events of the past tell us something that even the best-written article or book cannot convey. The use of primary sources exposes students to important historical concepts. First, students become aware that all written history reflects an author’s interpretation of past events, and consequently, they learn to recognize a document’s subjective nature. It is through primary sources that the students directly touch the lives of people in the past (National Archives and Records Administration). By working with primary sources, students learn to think critically about what they are reading and to become involved in these debates about history. See contents of trunk
Includes: Replica artifacts to share with your students. Student activities and write-ups about each artifact are shared with you via digital files and links.
Each object represents an actual artifact in the Holocaust Center for Humanity's collection and conveys the story of a local Holocaust survivor or witness. These are tangible representations of history that personalize the Holocaust and its lessons for learners. Examples of artifacts included in the kit: Yellow Star, Passport, Photos, Blanket, Shoe, Iron Cross Medal, Documents, and more. Recommended for 7th grade and up.
All But My Life. Classroom Set Trunk
By Gerda Weissmann-Klein. 1957.
Includes: 35 copies of All But My Life. Lesson plans, teacher guide, and contextual activities are shared with you via digital files and links.
A classic of Holocaust literature, this is the story of a young woman's three years as a slave laborer of the Nazis and a three month forced winter march from Germany to Czechoslovakia that ends in a miraculous liberation. The ultimate lesson in humanity, hope, and friendship. Recommended for 7th grade and up. Non-fiction.
Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Classroom Set Trunk
Includes: 35 copies of The Diary of a Young Girl. Teacher guide and a recommended film are shared with you via digital files and links.
The diary of a young girl through the darkest times in our history. In her diary, Anne documents her two years in hiding, her first love, and her secrets. Set is accompanied by a teacher guide and "Short Life of Anne Frank" film (produced by the Anne Frank Center Amsterdam). Recommended for 6th grade and up. Non-fiction.
Daniel's Story. Classroom Set Trunk
By Carol Matas. 1993.
Includes: 35 copies of Daniel's Story. Teacher guide and the companion short film are shared with you via digital files and links.
The story of the Holocaust through the eyes of a young boy. Published in conjunction with the exhibit of the same name at the US Holocaust Memorial Museum. Recommended for grades 5 & 6. Historical Fiction.
Maus. Classroom Set Trunk
By Art Spiegelman. 1973. Includes 35 copies of Maus I and 15 copies of Maus II. Teacher guide is shared with you via digital files and links.
Spiegelman tells the story of a father who survived in Nazi Poland and his son who tries to come to terms with his family’s past. Maus is a novel, a documentary, a memoir, and a comic book all at once. Recommended for 9th grade and up. Non-fiction.
More Than Any Child Should Know: A Kindertransport Story of the Holocaust. Classroom Set Trunk
Published by the Holocaust Center for Humanity. 2021. Includes 35 copies of More Than Any Child Should Know. Teacher guide, discussion questions, and more are shared with you via digital files and links.
What is it like for a child of eight to leave the only home he’s ever known, traveling alone by land and sea to an uncertain future? On the eve of World War II, this was the journey of young Steve Adler, profiled in this short graphic novel. Born in 1930 to a German-Jewish family, Steve was one of the lucky ones: finding refuge from persecution and danger during the Holocaust in England and later the United States. Recommended for 5th grade and up. Non-fiction. Learn more about this book!
Night. Classroom Set Trunk
By Elie Wiesel. 1960. Includes 35 copies of Night. Teacher guide and a recommended film are shared with you via digital files and links.
A memoir that traces the life of the author at the age of 15 through his year spent in four concentration camps. The author writes as a pious teenager racked with guilt at having survived while his family did not. Recommended for 9th grade and up. Non-fiction.
Number the Stars. Classroom Set Trunk
By Lois Lowry. 1989. Includes 35 copies of Number the Stars. Teacher guide and a recommended film are shared with you via digital files and links.
A story of a young Danish girl who must find remarkable courage to save her Jewish friend from the Nazis. Recommended for 5th grade and up. Fiction.
The Yellow Star House: The Remarkable Story of One Boy's Survival in a Protected House in Hungary. Classroom Set Trunk
By Paul V. Regelbrugge. 2019. Includes 35 copies of The Yellow Star House. Teacher guide, discussion questions, and more are shared with you via digital files and links.
This is the story of how one Jewish boy and 400 others were protected in a "yellow star house." The house was converted into a hospital run by Jewish doctors designed to treat everyone -- even their wounded enemies, free of charge. The Jewish residents were ultimately saved in this way by a man who posed as an Arrow Cross officer and risked his own life countless times while over 70,000 Jews were being murdered at the Danube or dying in ghettos. The Yellow Star House is a story of courage, family, hope, rescue and luck. Recommended for 7th grade and up. Non-fiction.
$1,000 adopts one trunk for the school year, providing resources to hundreds of students! Learn more
See where the Trunks went in 2022-2023!