In Massachusetts, Using Catholic Social Teachings to Study History

A new class at Mount Alvernia High School, a Catholic girl’s school for grades 7-12 in Newton, Massachusetts, is combining social studies with Catholic history and theology in order to help students examine difficult moments in human history and understand how their own actions can inspire tolerance and peace in their communities and around the world.

Called Catholic Social Teaching in Action, the class got its start when history teacher Jennifer Staysniak decided to try something different. When asked to teach an elective on psychology, Staysniak instead floated the idea of creating a totally new class about universal rights and important moments in history through the lens of Catholic social teachings.

Developing Student Leadership Groups in the San Francisco Bay Area

Trevor Gardner of Oakland’s Envision Academy of Arts & Technology and Eran DeSilva of San Jose’s Notre Dame High School are working together with Facing History Senior Program Associate Milton Reynolds to bring student leadership groups to the seven San Francisco-area schools in Facing History’s Innovative Schools Network (ISN). They hope to nurture independent leadership groups in each of the innovative schools around San Francisco and to explore ways to convene them periodically for shared learning and collective action.



Learn how to use the documentary film The Reckoning as a tool for teaching about the International Criminal Court.

Additional Resources on Jewish Education

The following resources are designed by Facing History staff to assist Jewish Educators. More resources will be added upon their completion.


Gauge students’ understanding and interest in a topic by asking them to write down takeaways, questions, and something they enjoyed about a text, film, or lesson.

Interpreting a Painting

This belongs to the following resource(s): 
Interpreting the Works of Samuel Bak: Interruption
contributor: Professor Lawrence Langer

Face It - Facing History Video PSA - Help Us Create a More Humane World

History is about choices. Big choices. Little choices. Tragic choices. What if people were capable of making better choices?

Facing History and Ourselves combats racism, antisemitism, and prejudice and nurtures democracy through education programs worldwide. We empower teachers and students to think critically about history and to understand the impact of their choices.

Holocaust and Human Behavior Unit Plan for Jewish Day Schools

This course is designed with middle and high school students in mind. The unit outline can and should be adapted to suit the needs of your class. The extent to which you cover the suggested lessons will depend on the grade that you are teaching as well as the number of classes that you have allocated for teaching the Facing History and Ourselves Scope and Sequence.


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