Holocaust Memorial Project

Over the course of the semester, the six of us in our social studies methods class at the University of Portland partnered with the Oregon Jewish Museum and Center for Holocaust Education to design and develop a companion website to assist visitors, and especially teachers, in making the most of the Oregon Holocaust Memorial in a visit or a classroom.

One particular facet I contributed to was developing a Keynote presentation to embed in the website that gave a visual representation of the losses suffered by European Jewish populations by country during the Holocaust. For this, I used data provided by the museum.

Check out the website: link

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Artifact Box Lesson

This lesson focuses on developing historical inference skills and allowing students to function as “archaeologists” in a fun, interactive environment that helps students and teachers get to know one another better.

Prior to the lesson, ask students to create an “artifact box” about themselves: a box or bag filled with 4–6 “artifacts,” or objects that they believe represent something about themselves. These can be printed photos. Have students bring these in to class prior to the lesson.

Start the lesson by reviewing the concept of inference, and giving a short example. I chose to ask students to infer about neolithic people from cave paintings, since that is the content covered in my 6th grade placement.

Then ask students to grab a box that is not theirs, and pass out this (or a similar) graphic organizer for them to complete the artifact investigation activity: Artifact Investigation lesson.

After students have gone through the artifacts in their boxes and written observations and inferences on their graphic organizers, and answered the guiding questions on the sheet, have students share what they learned about their peer from the activity.


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Using U.S. News Map

Chronicling America and the U.S. News Map site would be useful tools that might allow students to take a more broad view of societal issues during the period in question (1836–1922). I’m thinking that range would be great for a unit on Reconstruction, or racial tensions from the Civil War through civil rights. Students could be presented with the tools and prompted to search relevant vocabulary (perhaps reconstruction, lynching, or confederate) and see who was talking about it and when. This could largely be self-directed (after learning the vocab), with maybe an assignment sheet asking a few open-ended questions about what they learned. This would be a great introduction to historical research.

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I made a screencast showing how to export a document in Pages to either Word or PDF format. This might be useful to students who work on Macs but can’t submit work in Pages format.

Screencasting/slidecasting seems most useful for either tutorial videos explaining how to do something on the computer for students, or perhaps to deliver content in a flipped classroom model. Challenges might include the teacher not knowing how to perform the desired function either, distribution to students who may have difficulty accessing it, and recording, which is always stressful and frustrating for the teacher.

Featured Image Credit: Adobe Spark