Witnesses to History Series

Use memoir to engage students' minds and hearts.

This study guide series helps students access the past through the voices of real people recalling experiences from their youth. Through memoir, students connect with pivotal moments in history in a way that is emotionally compelling and builds a better understanding of the impact of these moments on individual lives.

Our approach to memoir develops students’ literacy skills; promotes historical analysis and understanding of some of the darkest moments in history; and fosters empathy, perspective-taking, and other social-emotional competencies.

Throughout the series, students will:

  • Explore the text: Text-based questions deepen students’ understanding of the memoir and prompt reflection on its themes.
  • Connect to the central question: By returning to a prompt in each section of the memoir, students trace how their thinking has developed and deepened over the course of their study.
  • Pursue deeper understanding: Through writing, reflection, and participation, students hone their literary analysis skills, develop a richer understanding of the historical context, and gain insight into additional perspectives on the events taking place in the memoir.

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