Q&A with Shireen Afzal: Her advice for students entering the 2016 Student Essay Contest

Posted by Alysha Groff on April 11, 2016

The following interview was originally published on Facing Today by Stacey Perlman, a Communications Writer at Facing History and Ourselves

Shireen recently gave advice to students who entered Facing History's 2016 Student Essay Contest, based on themes from To Kill A Mockingbird. This year's contest was open to all U.S. 7th-12th grade students. Finalists will be announced soon.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History and Ourselves, Canada, Best of..., Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice

The Right Time

Posted by Amy Smith on January 16, 2016

As a middle school educator, I often find myself in the position of being unable to explore really rich resources with my class due to mature content. Several years ago I purchased 5 sets of the graphic novel MAUS, hoping to one day use it as an option for book talks.

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Topics: Books, Antisemitism, Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Holocaust, History, Canada, Holocaust Education, current events, Middle School, genocide, Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Students of Facing History

Posted by Ben Gross on July 13, 2015

As an educator I often wonder what students remember once they have left my classroom. It is my hope that when they leave they take with them critical thinking skills, the ability to engage in difficult conversations, and a deeper understanding of how we are all connected - in the past, present, and future. Through all of my various attempts to learn from my students what they are getting out of their Facing History and Ourselves class, I have found that the best way to find out what students are learning is to ask them.

Each year, at the end of our grade 11 elective Facing History and Ourselves course, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanity, we take the time to reflect on our learning and ourselves. This year a group of students from my classroom chose to participate in a reflective interview process in lieu of their final journal entry assignment, and agreed to share their reflections.

Below, as inspired by the popular blog Humans of New York and the Facing History project, Humans of the Woodlands, you'll have the chance to glimpse into the classroom learning and life of a few of my Facing History and Ourselves students.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Identity, History, Holocaust Education, Memorial, We and They, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, legacy, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Inside a Genocide Classroom, Social Justice, Personal history, reflection

New to our Toronto Library: "The Ghosts of the Third Reich"

Posted by J H Slater on January 21, 2014

I used to think that Holocaust perpetrators were "other people", some monsters out there. And suddenly I had to realize that my own grandfather was one of them.
Ursula Boeger, granddaughter of Friedrich Wilhelm Boger, Officer at Auschwitz Concentration Camp

"The Ghosts of the Third Reich" documents the poignant and anguished stories of descendants of the Nazis as they confront their family's past and communicate their most profound feelings of guilt by inheritance. These individuals, whose family members were supporters, officers, and elite of the Nazi regime, share a common desire to distance themselves from Nazi ideology and the actions of their ancestors; and to liberate themselves from the guilt, shame, and pain that continue to levy a heavy price seventy years later. The confrontation with the inheritance of the Nazi legacy is powerfully evoked further in the inclusion of moments from The Austrian Encounter, a focal point for dialogue between descendants of Nazi perpetrators and survivors of the Holocaust.

Directed by: Claudia Ehrlich Sobral and Tommaso Valente
Produced by: SD Cinematografica
Duration: 45' Format: HD DVD
http://www.sdcinematografica.com/index.php?code=prodotti_pagina_11_540
See the trailer:

http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=iAYgkHx8Tn8

Educators with library access may contact Jeannette Slater at jeannette_slater@facing.org if they would like to borrow this resource.

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Topics: Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, CHG

Outstanding Observations from Ontario: 6 Top Posts of 2013

Posted by Ben Gross on December 19, 2013

A Trip to the Zoo

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, History, Best of..., Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, CHG, reflection

Terrific EdTech Tips: Top 5 Posts from Facing History's Tech Blog

Posted by Ben Gross on December 18, 2013

There’s an App for That

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Topics: Professional Development, Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Technology, Best of..., Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice

Lauded Los Angeles Literature: 5 Great Posts from LA

Posted by Ben Gross on December 16, 2013

The Danger of a Single Story

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Human Rights, Facing History Resources, Best of..., Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice, reflection

The Best of the Blogs: 2013

Posted by Ben Gross on December 15, 2013

As the end of the calendar year quickly creeps up on us, the Facing History blogging team decided to discuss the future and, while talking about the future, we reminisced about the past. We thought about what a great year of sharing and learning it has been. We decided that to celebrate this year of blogging we wanted to share with our readers the posts, voices, and teaching ideas that made us pause, think, and reflect – on history and on ourselves. Over the next few days we will be sharing our favorite posts and undiscovered gems from our LANetwork Blog out of Los Angeles, our OnNetwork Blog here in Toronto, and our InterFacing Blog, which focuses on the intersection of technology and education. Thank you for joining us on the blogs over the last 12 months. We hope these gems of wisdom and practice from the past help you reflect on your own year that was, and be sure to subscribe to this blog to make sure you see the Best of 2013, meet the new bloggers, and read exciting new posts in 2014! Happy New Year from all of us here in the Toronto Office of Facing History and Ourselves.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, History, videos, Top Blogs, Best of..., Best of 2013, Holocaust and Human Behaviour

Branded by the Pink Triangle: From Reflection to Action

Posted by Amy Smith on December 13, 2013

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Memorial, current events, Middle School, Lesson Ideas, In the news, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, English Classroom, Social Justice, LGBTQ, Personal history

Six Stages Leading Up to the Holocaust: A Big Idea Approach

Posted by Ariel Vente on July 24, 2013

We know that it's not easy to teach about the Holocaust and genocide. For many the topic is very difficult and many students cannot wrap their heads around the scope and magnitude of how these mass murders could occur, particularly about the idea of how an entire nation could allow horrific events like this to happen. Creating that safe, caring classroom is essential in being able to have these difficult lessons. In a middle school classroom, these are essential conversations, as students at this age care and have a strong sense of fairness and justice.

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Topics: Facing History Resources, History, Regent Park, Middle School, We and They, Strategies, Lesson Ideas, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, Social Justice

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This is where Canadian Facing History and Ourselves teachers and community members meet to share reflections, scholarship and teaching practices that will inspire, challenge and improve teaching and student learning. Our stories provide a window into diverse Facing History classrooms in Ontario, and invite you into the discussion.

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