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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.

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:

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 160 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 9:30 AM, 10:30 AM, 11:30 AM, 2:00 PM; Saturday – Sunday | 10:00 AM, 11:00 AM
On-site Tour Length: 3 hours

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

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.

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.

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.

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.

Nazi Propaganda: Fueling Hate and Genocide – Thematic Tour
Virtual Field Trip for Grades 7-12

This tour introduces students to the basic tools and techniques propagandists used in shaping their message. Through the historical lens of the Holocaust, viewed through primary sources, the tour illuminates how Nazi propaganda molded public opinion and indoctrinated German society with an ideology that fueled racism and hate; leading to the creation of government-sanctioned violence, and ultimately to the murder of an estimated 6 million Jews.

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.

Spiritual Resistance: Thematic Tour

Virtual Field Trip for Grades 7 – Undergraduate

Join us as we explore the ways Jewish people maintained their humanity and dignity by using their spirituality to lift themselves above the dehumanization of the Holocaust.

This virtual thematic tour is a docent-facilitated presentation that highlights artifacts and stories from the Museum’s Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition through the lens of Jewish spiritual resistance. Hear the stories of those who found strength from their faith or drew resilience from within, to resist and combat their dire situation, risking their lives to maintain traditions, educate their children, celebrate sabbath and holidays, and sustain their inner beliefs and soul by transcending the physical in the face of Nazi tyranny.

“Spiritual Resistance During the Holocaust” tour is a project of the Illinois Holocaust Museum & Education Center and YU Torah Mitzion Kollel of Chicago. Created by Laurie Hasten and Miki Jona Schreiber.

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.

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 100 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 9:45 AM, 11:45 AM, 1:45 PM
On-site Tour Length: 2 hours, 15 minutes

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 Group Size: 10 students minimum, 80 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 9:45 AM, 1:45 PM
On-site Tour Length: 2 hours, 40 minutes

(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.

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 80 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 9:45 AM, 11:45 AM, 1:45 PM
On-site Tour Length: 2 hours, 20 minutes

(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.

Rise Up: Stonewall and the LGBTQ Rights Movement

Available virtually and onsite for grades 6+, starting October 17 through May 8, 2022.

Through 85 powerful artifacts, images and historic print publications, this field trip explores key moments of gay rights history, including the 1978 assassination of Harvey Milk, one of the country’s first openly gay elected officials; the AIDS crisis; the efforts for hate crime legislation; the implementation and later repeal of “don’t ask, don’t tell”; and the fight for marriage equality.

Student’s will come away with a deeper understanding of popular culture’s role in influencing attitudes about the LGBTQ community through film, television and sports, and how the gay rights movement harnessed the five freedoms of the 1st Amendment to change laws and shatter stereotypes.

On-site tour also includes portions of the Take A Stand Center.

This field trip supports Illinois State Mandates for Teaching LGBTQ History and Civic Education.

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 80 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM
On-site Tour Length: 1 hour, 50 minutes

Shanghai: Safe Haven During the Holocaust

Available virtually and on-site for grades 6+ starting July 15, 2021 through September 5, 2022.

Shanghai: Safe Haven During the Holocaust sheds light on a lesser-known moment in Holocaust history. European Jews who had been shut out of country after country while trying to escape Nazi persecution found a beacon of hope in an unlikely place: Shanghai, China. In 1946, American photojournalist Arthur Rothstein began a project documenting the lives of Jewish refugees who now called Shanghai’s Hongkew District “home.”

Featuring a mix of Rothstein’s photographs and personal artifacts from local Holocaust Survivors who lived in the Shanghai ghetto, students will have the opportunity to delve deeper into this lesser-known moment of Holocaust history while also examining the enormous hardship and fierce perseverance of refugees and their families as they managed to not only survive, but thrive.

This field trip also include portions of the Karkomi Holocaust Exhibition.

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 80 students maximum
On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM
On-site Tour Length: 1 hour, 30 minutes

Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II

Available onsite for grades 6+ June 16, 2022 through January 2, 2023

Activated on January 20, 1944, the 23rd Headquarters Special Troops, known as the “Ghost Army,” was the first mobile, multimedia, tactical deception unit in US Army history. In essence a theater troupe on the move, the Ghost Army had one mission: produce the illusion of Allied troop movement in every place where the Allies were not. The 23rd was comprised of artists, fashion designers, illustrators, sound engineers, and other creative deceivers. Employing inflatable decoys, fake radio chatter and loudspeakers that blared sound effects, the Ghost Army could simulate a force 30 times its size as it operated as close as a quarter mile from the front lines and doing so with such success that it saved thousands of lives and helped win the war in Europe.

Now, through Illinois Holocaust Museum’s newest special exhibition Ghost Army: The Combat Con Artists of World War II, curated by the National World War II Museum, students can engage with the story of the 23rd and their role in Allied victory through testimony and featured artifacts such as artwork, uniforms, an inflatable tank, and more. Explore how the creativity, innovation, and collaboration of the 23rds more than 1,100 men deceived, sketched, and painted across Europe, coming together with diverse skills and talents for the greater good in the fight against Nazi tyranny.

On-site tour also includes portions of Shanghai: Safe Haven During the Holocaust (through September 5) or Chim: Between Destruction and Resurrection (opening September 18).

This field trip supports the Illinois State Holocaust and Genocide Education Mandate and supports 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.

On-site Group Size: 10 students minimum, 80 students maximum

On-site Times Offered: Monday – Friday | 10:00 AM, 12:00 PM, 2:00 PM

On-site Tour Length: 1 hour, 50 minutes

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

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