Teaching Trunk Program

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The Illinois Holocaust Museum’s literature-based teaching trunk program provides K – 12 educators with a wide array of resources for classroom units on character education, human rights, the Holocaust and/or genocide.  Each trunk allows educators to create meaningful, age/grade appropriate lessons employing award – winning fiction, non-fiction, historical reference materials, as well as DVDs and teaching posters. The focus of each trunk has been carefully developed to address State and National Learning Standards, including Common Core State Standards.

New! Historical “Arte-fact” Kits (5th – 12th grade trunks)

How did a boy survive for two years, alone in an attic? How did a mother and her young son make a daring escape from Nazi Germany to freedom? What brought a Jewish family to Shanghai, China?  Bring history to life for your students through replicas of artifacts from the Museum’s textile, document, photography and testimony collections, discovered through the powerful stories of local Holocaust survivors

Trunk Themes

Character Education Holocaust Genocide
K-2nd grade (New!)
Myself, My Community
5th-6th grade
Memory, History, Culture
7th-12th grade
On Our Watch:
Genocide and Human Rights
3rd-4th grade (New!)
Our Town, Our Community
7th-8th grade
Historical Perspectives Through Different Voices.
5th-6th grade
Memory, History, Culture
9th-12th grade
Investigating Human Behavior
  7th – 12th grade
Survivor Stories: Holocaust Eyewitness Focused Mini-Trunks

Inside the Trunks

  • Reference and resources materials
  • Classroom sets (30 copies)
  • Literature Circle sets
  • Read –aloud titles
  • DVDs
  • Posters
  • Curriculum Framework Binder*
  • Replica textiles, documents, and photographs.


More Information

Trunk FAQ >

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

PNC is the Presenting Sponsor of the Teaching Trunks program.






Additional supporters include: Bank of America; Sandra and Sy Chaba; Ian Frost and Patricia Marie Frost; Joan J. Golder; Philip and Bonnie Gorelick; Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation; J.P.Morgan Chase; Kraft Foods; Lavin Foundation; Motorola Foundation; RBC Wealth Management; Ruth Rosin; State Farm; Luis and Fortuna Spitz; Bruce and Elizabeth White; Carol Lavin Bernick Family Supporting Foundation.

 Education Services are supported with generous grants from:  Paul M. Angell Family Foundation; The Bill Bass Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Leah Gutman Education Fund; Niles Township Government; PNC; Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation; State Farm.

 Additional endowment support is provided by: The Mayor Richard M. and Maggie C. Daley Education Fund; The Harvey L. Miller Family Foundation Program Endowment Fund; Fund; Moselle Mintz Schwartz Education Fund; Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment; Teachers Educational Endowment Fund.






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