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Secondary (Grades 7-12) and Undergraduate Field Trips

On-site and virtual field trips help students understand the impact of the Holocaust, genocide, human rights violations, and standing up for others. Pre and post-visit activities aid educators in extending students’ learning and fostering meaningful learning experiences.

Choose from a variety of on-site or virtual learning experiences to engage your students with subject matter related to the Holocaust, genocide, universal human and civil rights, and other important topics. 

All field trips listed below support Common Core State Standards in English/Language Arts and Literacy in History Social Studies, Illinois Social Science Standards, and the C2 Framework for Social Studies Standards.

Holocaust-Focused Field Trips

In Our Voices: Field Trip for Grades 7-12

In Our Voices transforms history into lessons for today, inviting students to consider the power of choice, responsibility, citizenship, and human rights, with the goal of discovering what influences our decisions to act as bystanders or Upstanders. Through guided exploration, students investigate the history of the Holocaust as told through the personal belongings, photographs, historical records, and stories of Chicagoland Survivors and eyewitnesses. Students are encouraged to use this knowledge to make connections to their world today. The field trip includes suggested pre and post-visit activities.

On-site field trips include:

Virtual field trips include:

  • Pre-recorded exploration of the history of the Holocaust through artifacts and stories in the Zev & Shifra Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition
  • Tour divided into four segments, each with discussion prompts, reflection questions, and supplemental activities
  • Flexibility for use within in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments
  • Optional virtual presentation by a member of the Speakers’ Bureau and/or a Q&A session with a Museum docent

Thematic Tours on Holocaust Topics

These live virtual tours, facilitated by a Museum docent, engage students in a particular topic within the history of the Holocaust. Thematic tours are recommended for upper-level classes and students with substantial prior knowledge of the subject.

Children of the Holocaust – Thematic Tour
Virtual Field Trip for Grades 7-12

When World War II began, approximately 1.6 million Jewish children lived in Nazi-occupied Europe and the Soviet Union. By war’s end, few had survived. Through the personal belongings, photographs, diaries, and eyewitness account of Survivors, explore the lives of Jewish children and adolescents – from the years leading up to the war, to the roundups and deportations, to hidden life and death in ghettos and concentration camps, and to liberation and coping following the war.

This is a live virtual experience, facilitated by a Museum docent.

Ghettoization During the Holocaust – Thematic Tour
Virtual Field Trip for Grades 7-12

Through the personal belongings, photographs, historical records, and stories of local Survivors and eyewitnesses, explore life behind ghetto walls in occupied-Europe and the Soviet Union. Students will discover how even in the darkness of the ghettos, with the most limited resources, many Jewish people maintained their dignity, education, culture, and hope in humanity.

This is a live virtual experience, facilitated by a Museum docent.

Spiritual Resistance During the Holocaust – Thematic Tour
Virtual Field Trip for Grades 7-12

Explore the ways Jewish people maintained their humanity and dignity by using their spirituality to lift themselves above the dehumanization of the Holocaust. Learn the stories of those who risked their lives to maintain the religious traditions of their homes, educate their children, celebrate Sabbath and holidays, and sustain their souls.

This is a live virtual experience, facilitated by a Museum docent.

Take a Stand: Field Trip for Grades 7-12

Empower students to connect with human and civil rights history and challenges today, gathering tools for civic engagement and positive action in their community and world. Explore Upstanders working to champion areas of economic opportunity, equal rights, safe communities, education and health, and the environment. Students will learn how to take action on issues that matter to them while exploring art as a form of activism, and will come away with tools and strategies to create positive change.

On-site field trips include a tour of the Abe & Ida Cooper Survivor Stories Experience. Virtual field trips include flexibility for use within in-person, remote, and hybrid learning environments.

This field trip supports the Illinois Civics Mandates for Middle and High Schools.

Be An Upstander

Available on-site only for grades 6-12. Recommended for grade 6, or grade 7-8 with limited background knowledge.

Students develop skills to use their voices to speak out for themselves and on behalf of others, and are empowered to take positive action in their schools and communities. Be an Upstander field trips are on-site only and include tours of the Abe & Ida Cooper Survivor Stories Experience and the Act of Art gallery, or a special exhibition (when age-appropriate). Through experiential and interactive activities exploring the compelling stories of Holocaust Survivors and contemporary Upstanders, students will gain a deeper understanding of:

  • Universal human rights
  • Civil rights
  • Empowering and creating community
  • Social justice
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Age-appropriate introductory Holocaust education

This field trip supports Illinois Priority Learning Standards for Social/Emotional Learning and the Illinois Civics Mandate for Middle School.

(On-Site) Make A Difference!

Available on-site only for grades 5-12. Recommended for grade 5, or grade 6-7 with limited background knowledge.

Students will be inspired by contemporary and historic Upstanders who have taken action on issues that matter to them.

Through experiential and interactive activities, students will develop skills to speak out and get involved in their local and global communities while gaining a deeper understanding of:

  • Universal human rights
  • Civil rights
  • Empowering and creating community
  • Social justice
  • Social-emotional learning
  • Age-appropriate introductory Holocaust education

Make a Difference field trips include tours of the Act of Art gallery or a special exhibition (when age-appropriate).

This field trip supports Illinois Priority Learning Standards.

(Virtual) Make A Difference!

Available virtually only for grades 5-12. Recommended for grades 5-6.

Experiential technology, online interactives, and compelling stories of Holocaust Survivors encourage students to explore their role in empowering and creating community through the lens of universal human and civil rights. Online activities may be completed individually, as a class, or a combination of the two. Options available within the field trip allow educators to focus on essential themes, including:

  • Social justice
  • Social/emotional learning
  • Contemporary Upstanders
  • Age-appropriate introductory Holocaust education

This field trip supports Illinois Priority Learning Standards for social/emotional learning and the Illinois Civics Mandate for middle schools.

They Shall Be Counted: The Theresienstadt Ghetto Art of Erich Lichtblau-Leskly Field Trip

Available virtually and on-site for grades 7-12 through June 27, 2021.

As a prisoner during the Holocaust, artist Erich Lichtblau-Leskly created stunning – and often humorous –illustrations that depict day-to-day life in Theresienstadt, the Nazi’s “show” ghetto. Students will explore Leskly’s story and be challenged to think critically. Through the lens of Leskly’s artwork, they will explore this pictorial diary chronicling both the daily life of ghetto prisoners in conditions imposed by Nazi officials and the importance of humor as a vehicle for survival during the Holocaust.

The virtual field trip is a live experience facilitated by a Museum docent.

Mandela: Struggle for Freedom Field Trip

Available virtually and on-site for grades 6+ through September 12, 2021.

Through a rich sensory experience of images, music, digital media and objects, our virtual and on-site field trips of Mandela: Struggle for Freedom trace the history of the fight against apartheid in South Africa, with Nelson Mandela as one of its central figures. Through the themes of apartheid, defiance, repression, mobilization and freedom, students will follow Mandela into hiding as he is declared an outlaw, through his imprisonment and bittersweet joy of his release after 27 long years.

Students will be empowered by learning about South Africa’s first democratic elections, Mandela’s efforts to rebuild a nation shattered by racism and injustice, and even local Chicagoans who joined the struggle for freedom and equality.

On-site field trips include a tour of the Take a Stand Center. Virtual field trips are pre-recorded. There is an optional add-on live Q&A session with a Museum docent.

Photo credits: CMHR: Aaron Cohen; Scott Edwards; Emily Mohney

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