Journaling in a Facing History Classroom: Finding Wisdom in Student Voices

Posted by Nathan Tidridge on March 18, 2014

I started journaling when I was a boy canoeing the waters surrounding my family cottage in Muskoka. My journals were filled with maps of all the places I “discov
ered” during my summers up north. As the years went by and I entered high school, the journal’s pages of maps became dotted with anecdotes from my life beyond that lake. It was around this time that I found a copy of The Journey is the Destination: The Journals of Dan Eldon at a local bookstore.

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Topics: Identity, History, Memorial, We and They, Strategies, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Lesson Ideas, English Classroom, CHG, Personal history, reflection

From Summer Seminar to School: What I Took Back to My Classroom

Posted by Facing History and Ourselves on October 17, 2013

As a middle school teacher I was often asked why I was giving up a week of my summer to attend the Facing History and Ourselves’ Holocaust and Human Behaviour seminar. “You don’t teach that time period,” being the most frequent comment. They were right. But there was something about Facing History and how they approached teaching that piqued my interest and so I went.

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Topics: Back-To-School, History, Middle School, We and They, Summer Seminar, Literature, reflection, English

Facing History and Ourselves in Poland

Posted by Ben Gross on August 7, 2013

This summer, Jack Lipinsky, along with 10 other Facing History and Ourselves teachers from Jewish day schools around North America, participated in a week-long study trip to central Poland. The trip was led by Facing History’s Director of Jewish Education Jan Darsa. It was sponsored by Polish non-profit The Forum for Dialogue Among Nations. His experiences, in particular his visit to the town of Pińczów, impacted him greatly.

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, History, We and They, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, In the news, Personal history, reflection

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

Scope and Sequence: From the Mouths of Youth

Posted by Ben Gross on July 19, 2013

As you may have read in other blogs, the “Stand Up, Speak Out” event was an incredible evening of sharing and community. For me it served to exemplify, and personify, the Scope and Sequence of Facing History and Ourselves. On that evening, half a dozen of my students took the stage along with students from three other southern Ontario schools to perform their spoken word pieces. The performances were broken down into the five steps of the Facing History Scope and Sequence:

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Topics: Choosing to Participate, Facing History Resources, Identity, History, Urban Education, project, We and They, Strategies, Culturally Responsive and Relevant Pedagogy, genocide, legacy, Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities Course, Holocaust and Human Behaviour, CHG, reflection

A Trip to the Zoo

Posted by Michael Grover on June 28, 2013

Finding space to create movement in our lessons is important for our kinesthetic learners. If we do not find ways to engage them, we can expect to lose them. Moreover, movement is important for all students. It wakes them up, energizes them, and an alert student is more likely to learn. What follows is a lesson that was developed with the help of Jasmine Wong, program associate for the Toronto Office of Facing History and Ourselves. It relies on the use of the Gallery Walk, thus getting students up and moving. The lesson was designed specifically to meet the expectations of locally developed Genocide and Crimes Against Humanities course, CHG38 (see expectations as listed in the Human Zoos Lesson plan), but can be tailored to most History courses.

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Topics: History, Racism, We and They, Lesson Ideas

Toxic Discussion or Teachable Moment

Posted by John Connelly on January 11, 2013

The classroom can be a dangerous place.

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Topics: Identity, We and They, Strategies, In the news, English Classroom, English

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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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