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allows educators to create meaningful, age/grade appropriate lessons employing award – winning fiction, non-fiction, historical reference materials, as well as DVDs and teaching posters.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.


During these uncertain times we have created virtual versions of our teaching trunks.  Our virtual trunks offer accessibility to Educators who are teaching students virtually outside of the traditional classroom.  Virtual teaching trunks include access to e-books and digital texts, IHMEC developed films, remote lessons and activities, as well as digital “arte-facts” to help students explore the stories of local Holocaust survivors.



Due to COVID-19, starting on January 1, 2021, we will only be offering our Virtual Teaching Trunks. We will not be offering our Traveling Teaching Trunks at that time.  


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; Ian Frost and Patricia Marie Frost; Joan J. Golder; 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; Bank of America; The Bill Bass Foundation; Dr. Scholl Foundation; Leah Gutman Education Fund; Max and Sunny Howard Memorial Foundation; Niles Township Government; PNC; Regions Bank; Charles & M.R. Shapiro Foundation; State Farm; Steans Family Foundation; Women’s Leadership Committee of the Illinois Holocaust Museum; Full Circle Foundation.

 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; Moselle Mintz Schwartz Education Fund; Barney & Anita Sidler Educational Endowment; Teachers Educational Endowment Fund.



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