Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature

Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature

Teaching the Holocaust Through Literature

How can literature be a window into how an individual’s life circumstances shape his or her identity? How do tragedy and trauma influence an individual’s identity and choices? In this workshop we will explore how Elie Wiesel and author, Danny Cohen, explore these questions through the particular lens of their books, Night and Train.

The hidden stories of Train, which give voice to the unheard victims of Nazism—the Roma, the disabled, intermarried Jews, homosexuals, and political enemies of the regime, coupled with Mr. Wiesel’s breathtaking personal memoir of survival during the Holocaust, can be used to guide teachers and students on a journey that engages the mind, heart, and conscience.

In this one-day workshop, we will interweave literary analysis and relevant historical context to model ways to effectively bring this literature into the classroom to develop students’ literacy and historical analysis skills, social-emotional competencies, and historical understanding. Train author Danny Cohen will joining us as a special guest speaker.


Workshop participants will:

  1. Learn a range of teaching strategies for helping students process emotionally powerful materials

  2. Apply Facing History’s unique methodology to the study of Night  and Train in order to explore history and literature through themes of identity, “we and they,” choices, and civic participation

  3. Experience classroom-ready multimedia tools and resources

Participants will receive a copy of the newly-revised Night study guide, which includes discussion questions, journal prompts, and writing assignments for exploring the text, as well as activities for developing deeper understanding of the text and historical context, reproducible student handouts and primary sources, and links to related digital assets.


This workshop is intended for upper middle and high school Social Studies and English teachers. Participants are encouraged to read or re-read both Night and Train prior to the workshop.

Bernard Zell Anshe Emet
3751 N Broadway Street 60613
60613 Chicago
8:30 am - 3:30 pm
Course Type:

Search Our Collection

Everything you need to get started teaching your students about racism, antisemitism and prejudice.