Institute News

Inside IWitness: “My Story Matters”

Inside IWitness is an ongoing series that will profile each activity in IWitness, along with a clip featured in the activity and a teacher who uses IWitness in his or her classroom.

My Story Matters draws on the basic human need to tell stories and share personal experiences with others. This activity focuses on the importance of individuals sharing stories of survival for their own benefit, for the benefit of others, and for the collective benefit to the world.

The activity begins with an introduction to testimony and what might be learned from it. Students write about what they might talk about if they gave testimony. Then they watch a short video introduction to World War II and the Holocaust.

Two testimony clips, of survivors Noemi Ban and Daisy Miller, give students more insight into why Holocaust survivors might want to share their stories and what they would get out of it. Ban talks about speaking to students and the lessons she tries to impart through her story. Miller describes how incredible it was for her to meet with other child survivors for the first time and feel that there were others who understood what she had gone through.

Students then choose from two prompts to create a video response of their own. They can collect clips about a particular theme or keyword from Ban and Miller’s testimonies that resonates with them, or find another survivor they relate to. The video must explain why their chosen clips are meaningful to them and what can be learned from the survivors’ experiences.