FHM Teaching Trunks and Common Core State Standards





The Florida Holocaust Museum invites educators to use our dynamic trunk curriculum to teach the lessons of the Holocaust.  These large teaching trunks are designed to accommodate the needs of one class or a team of teachers.  The materials are appropriate for students at each grade level.  The focus was carefully selected to create a spiraling educational approach that builds upon each previous year.

 Inside the trunks you will find:


•         Reference and resource materials


 •         Classroom sets


•         Literature circle sets


•         Read-aloud titles


•         DVDs


•         Posters


•         Curriculum framework


The curriculum guide contains an introduction to each trunk; synopses of select books and films with rationale, discussion questions and activities; additional resources, and professional readings.






The role of the FHM teaching trunks in helping to meet the goals set out in the Common Core State Standards:



1. The trunks provide resources and tools covering multiple disciplines and skills for various grades K-12. The skills students practice and acquire can be applied outside the classroom in their future careers and community life.

2. By using our resources students learn how to read attentively, and how to analyze and understand complex texts with substantial amounts of factual information.

3. Students learn how to differentiate between and respect various opinions and individual perspectives. These goals can be achieved through studying primary sources like testimonies of Holocaust survivors or Holocaust-era diaries as well as secondary sources including articles and history books.

4. In order to comprehend a broad and complex context of Holocaust history necessary for studying Holocaust era first-hand accounts, students - under the supervision and guidance of their educators - learn how to conduct research and navigate between safe printed and online resources while avoiding information released by Holocaust deniers and hate groups.

5. Both primary and secondary sources in the trunks help students strengthen their analytical skills and enhance comprehension of informational text.

6. Students develop better writing and reading skills by working with complex informational text and themes that require independent thinking and analysis.

7. Students acquire knowledge how to ask relevant questions and understand the author's message, integrate the new information obtained from various sources (printed and online materials, videos, maps, primary and secondary sources, etc) into their own understanding of a given topic or resource, and draw evidence and convey their message for specific audiences.

8. Since our teaching trunks have been built to accommodate progress in students' education but also to address challenges educators may encounter in a group of students with different levels of education, the resources provided particularly in multi-grade trunks help educators build units that correspond with particular needs of students in their class and encourage better participation.

9. By studying the Holocaust students learn about the importance of diversity and how to build a society that embraces democratic values and responsibilities. They learn the dangers of hate and prejudice and ramifications of abusive ideologies. Students learn to adapt the lessons of the Holocaust into their own lives by embracing different opinions and world views and the need for mutual respect among individual human beings as part of a multifarious, open-minded, democratic society.





  • Resources included in our teaching trunks allow students to analyze how the text is structured and identify aspects that reveal an author's point of view and, particularly in the case of primary sources, motivation for creating it. Students learn to investigate historical information and connections between facts and individual lives, e.g. the impact the anti-Jewish legislation had on individual families. Among the skills acquired and enhanced through the study of primary and secondary sources from the trunk is attentive reading and analytical comprehension of complex informational texts.



  • Students also learn how to use and integrate different formats of resources (maps, graphs, artifacts, photographs, text) into their own analysis. They study new vocabulary which is an indispensable component of understanding the historical context of the Holocaust and the events described in the primary and secondary sources. By studying  the resources provided in our teaching trunks students prepare to be independent thinkers capable of making their own decisions based on acquired knowledge and taking responsibility for their own actions. They are taught to be open to diversity in their communities and to respect civil rights and democratic values.



  • Students achieve these goals by studying personal stories of individual victims of Nazi persecution which enables them to translate the history of the Holocaust from abstract, staggering numbers into compelling experiences of individual human beings whose lives were directly impacted by the choices of other individuals. They learn about categories of victims, perpetrators, bystanders, or upstanders and the choices people could have made to change their behavior, e.g. they examine instances of how a bystander turned into an upstander/rescuer. Students learn to draw conclusions from these authentic experiences for their own lives today and for society at large. They learn the power of each decision made by a single person and the scope of change, both positive and negative, individuals can initiate.




Florida Holocaust Museum sends teaching trunks free of charge to schools throughout the United States. To reserve a trunk or for more information please click here.

Please follow the links on the left-hand side to see our staff's recommendations of resources available in the teaching trunks.