The number one question I get is, “ What can I do?” In that question already lies the answer. Follow your instincts to do some- thing you believe in or care about. When you get to the end of your day or your life, you must answer to yourself, to be able to say, “If I saw something wrong, I spoke up.” When you make a decision based on instincts, you won’t regret things later.
–Gerda Weissman Klein
From the Southern Poverty Law Center, in partnership with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, is the middle school curriculum, “One Survivor Remembers.” The title’s survivor, Gerda Weissman Klein, was a prisoner for six years in a Nazi concentration camp.
The curriculum includes free online access to a 1995 documentary on Klein’s life, a contemporary interview with Klein, a detailed teacher’s guide, digital handouts and primary documents, and lesson plans.
Notably, these lesson plans include activities asking students to respond to both WWII-era and 21st century antisemitic political cartoons and propaganda. The prompts are easily transferrable to material gathered today.
Wednesday, 11/9, was most definitely a school day. Below is an initial roundup of pieces talking about how educators and their students began to face the future together.
Dan Stone, a social studies teacher in Oakland, CA, wrote his students a letter. Then, they wrote back. He tells the story, including excerpts from these letters, in The Washington Post.
“I want you to know that your teachers love and care about each and every one of you and that the fact that we cannot protect you from these things and this election makes me feel devastated and weak.”
Jezebel posted a great survey of teachers’ stories about addressing election results, from kindergarten through grad programs.
“When my students came into the classroom, some said they didn’t want to talk about the election; some said they just wanted to hang out and talk; some asked if the class could play exquisite corpse, a surrealist writing game (which felt somehow appropriate at such a surreal moment in time); others looked like they wanted to crawl under the table. I suggested that we tell stories about fierce women in our lives as a way of honoring the historic nature of the campaign and Hillary Clinton’s place in it.”
And The Los Angeles Times has a quick piece about local students and teachers coping, with an emphasis on Latinx and trans students.
“He could have taken the conciliatory road that many Trump opponents were traveling Wednesday morning. But he said he wanted his students to voice their feelings and understand they had a role to play in the nation’s democracy.”
The article can be viewed in Spanish here.