Teaching Children about the Holocaust

Question:

Please could you let me know your informed opinion as to what age you deem it appropriate to introduce children to the Holocaust and Holocaust studies. I am training to teach primary children and have been asked to write a report on whether it would be appropriate to teach the holocaust to 10 and 11 year olds. What do you think?

Any comment would be greatfuly received

Harry W. Mazal OBE answers:

Thank you very much for your query addressed to the Holocaust History Project.

I am one of the persons who responds to questions from our readers. It is possible that you will receive other answers from my colleagues.

The question of teaching small children about the Holocaust is much under discussion. I certainly would not broach the subject to those under the age of eight or nine, although many schools in this country introduce the subject of tolerance somewhat earlier.

The most professional site on the Internet is:

http://www.holocaust-trc.org/

They have lesson plans and suggested texts for children starting at grade 3 (9 years old). Their site-map is very useful as it offers suggested texts, lesson plans, essays, conferences, and useful links to other sites.

One of these:

http://www.socialstudies.com/

Offers a wide variety of texts and teaching materials on all of the social studies. Simply select "Holocaust Studies" in their "Features" window, and then select Grades K-6.

Another useful site specifically about diversity is:

http://www.facing.org/facing/fhao2.nsf

And, finally:

http://www.geocities.com/tolerance4kids/index.html

suggests many useful approaches for teaching children about the Holocaust, diversity, and tolerance.

I hope that these brief lines are of some assistance.

Yours sincerely,

Harry W. Mazal OBE

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