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From the Unit:

Reviewing Historical Background Information

While the pre-viewing lesson includes historical background for students, we recommend that you spend time reviewing the complex history of the Holocaust in order to answer additional questions that students may have. See the “Context” section of Lesson 19, The Holocaust: Bearing Witness from the unit Teaching Holocaust and Human Behavior for a summary of crucial historical background information. For deeper background, read Chapter 9, The Holocaust of the resource book Holocaust and Human Behavior. As you review, consider what details of the history you think will be most important for students to understand before they watch Schindler's List.

How to Use the Unit

The Teaching Schindler’s List unit consists of eight lessons organized into three sections:

  1. Preparing to View the Film
    • Lesson 1: “Take This Giant Leap”: Preparing to Teach Schindler’s List
    • Lesson 2: Establishing the Historical Context for Schindler’s List
  2. Viewing and Responding to the Film
    • Lesson 3: Watching Schindler’s List
    • Lesson 4: Oskar Schindler and the Making of a Rescuer
    • Lesson 5: Analyzing the Art of Schindler’s List
  3. Confronting Hate in the World Today
    • Lesson 6: The Persecution of the Rohingya and the Persistence of Genocide
    • Lesson 7: Responding to Hate In Our Communities Today
    • Lesson 8: Building a Toolbox against Hate

How much of this content you can use will depend on the amount of time you have available. However, we recommend that—at a minimum—you spend at least one class period before viewing the film providing students with historical context and preparing them for what they will see, and then one or two periods after the film, reflecting on the film itself and exploring contemporary connections.

How to Show the Film

During a limited period in December 2018 (in the US) and January 2019 (in other global markets), the re-mastered version of Schindler’s List will be shown in theaters. Outside of this period, teachers can show the film to students in the classroom or auditorium through streaming video or DVD.

Viewing the Film at the Theater

If you are taking students to the theater, carefully consider the logistics of the day, including how to respond to students who are overwhelmed by the film. In addition, if possible, we recommend planning brief activities before and after viewing the film. (See the activities “Preparing to View the Film” and “Responding to the Film after Viewing” in Lesson 3, Watching Schindler’s List. This will help ensure that students approach the film in the reflective and respectful mindset it deserves and can process their thoughts and emotions after the viewing before moving along with their day. Consider seeking a quiet space at the theater for such activities or devoting time at school before and after going to the theater.

Viewing the Film at School

Sometimes teachers are able to arrange the schedule so that students can view the film in one sitting. More often, teachers must find a way to break the film up over several days. If you plan to screen the film in one sitting, see the activities “Preparing to View the Film” and “Responding to the Film after Viewing” in section of Lesson 3, Watching Schindler’s List for pre- and post-viewing activities. If you need to divide the film over several days, consult the handout Watching Schindler’s List in Five Class Periods for suggested segments.



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Prepare yourself and your students to use the Teaching Schindler's List unit to view and analyze the film as a class. 

Lesson 1 of 8

Pre-Viewing: “Take This Giant Leap”: Preparing to Teach Schindler’s List

Students prepare for their study of Schindler's List by creating a contract establishing a thoughtful, respectful, and caring classroom community.

Lesson 2 of 8

Pre-Viewing: Establishing the Historical Context for Schindler’s List

Students are introduced to the history of ideas, events, and decisions that shaped the world of Schindler’s List.

Lesson 3 of 8

Viewing: Watching Schindler’s List

Students experience a thoughtful viewing of Schindler's List by completing activities immediately before and after watching it that help them reflect and process reactions.

Lesson 4 of 8

Viewing: Oskar Schindler and the Making of a Rescuer

Students consider how Schindler's evolution from collaborator to rescuer adds to their thinking about the importance of individual choices.

Lesson 5 of 8

Viewing: Analyzing the Art of Schindler’s List

Students analyze the film as a work of art and consider how Spielberg’s artistic choices foster emotional engagement with Holocaust history.

Lesson 6 of 8

Post-Viewing: The Persecution of the Rohingya and the Persistence of Genocide

Students reflect on how the Holocaust can educate us about our responsibilities to confront genocide and injustice today.

Lesson 7 of 8

Post-Viewing: Responding to Hate in Our Communities Today

Students begin to relate Schindler's List to the contemporary world by examining recent stories of racial hatred in Charlottesville and Germany.

Lesson 8 of 8

Post-Viewing: Building a Toolbox against Hate

Students create a "toolbox" of the skills, attitudes, and actions that are necessary to respond to and prevent hatred from taking hold in their communities.

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