Institute News

Two New IWitness Activities Align with Echoes & Reflections Units

A new Video Building Activity, “The Power of Propaganda,” and a Mini Quest, “The Rights of Children,” have been published on IWitness. Each activity is also aligned with the Echoes & Reflections units on Antisemitism and The Children and Legacies Beyond the Holocaust, respectively.

In The Power of Propaganda, students learn how the Nazis used the media to spread hatred against the Jews, among other groups. Students will watch testimony to learn how the Nazis used multiple types of propaganda and how it influenced the youth. Students will also reflect on the role of media in their own lives, focusing on how to develop a critical lens in interpreting media messages. Students will develop a Public Service Announcement as a final product.

Educators can complete the activity with their students as part of the Echoes & Reflections Unit 2 on Antisemitism. This unit provides an opportunity for students to learn about the origins of antisemitism. Students will also learn about prewar Jewish life in Germany and antisemitism in Nazi ideology and its similarities and differences from pre-Nazi antisemitism. Students will also examine propaganda methods that were used to exploit antisemitic attitudes among the German people and to create an atmosphere of terror.

The Rights of Children activity guides students in exploring the topic of children during the Holocaust, and the broader idea of rights children have in a society. First, students will reflect on the rights of children in our society today. Following this introduction, they will view testimonies of children during the Holocaust. Next, students will consider what can happen to children who are not protected in a society. Finally, students will create a short social media video post that addresses the following: How and why have countries of the world attempted to protect the rights of children in the post-Holocaust era?

The activity is aligned with the Echoes & Reflections Unit 10 on Children and legacies beyond the Holocaust. The purpose of this unit is for students to understand the effects of the Holocaust on its most innocent victims—children—since targeting babies and children was an important step in the attempt by the Nazis to erase the Jews and their future.  Students will also research post-Holocaust genocides and analyze children’s rights violations. In addition, students are provided an opportunity to develop a position on whether an event the magnitude of the Holocaust could happen again and to consider the role and responsibility of the individual in seeing that it does not.

Educators can explore the completely redesigned Echoes & Reflections website that launched last month. It features fully immersive digital lesson plans, an educator video toolbox, and more.