Holocaust Memorial Day commemoration
The National Literacy Trust has teamed up with award-winning author Tom Palmer to produce free resources for use in the classroom or at home, to help schools commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day.
International Holocaust Memorial Day is commemorated on 27 January every year, and this year falls on Saturday 27 January 2024.
As defined by the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust, Holocaust Memorial Day is the international day on 27 January to remember the 6 million Jews murdered during the Holocaust, alongside the millions of people murdered under Nazi persecution of other groups and during more recent genocides in Cambodia, Rwanda, Bosnia and Darfur.
Holocaust Memorial Day is for everyone, and it provides an opportunity to try and bring communities together to remember our common humanity and to commit to standing up to bigotry, hatred and racism wherever we find it today. At the National Literacy Trust, we believe it is important for children and young people to learn about important moments in our shared history and to hear stories from people with different experiences. We seek to provide schools with resources and a special event to help teachers to facilitate discussions and learning around this important topic.
Our literacy resources are designed to be used throughout the week beginning Monday 22 January, with pupils aged 10 to 14 (Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3/P6 to S3).
As in previous years, have worked with author Tom Palmer to plan and deliver a suite of resources and a free event to support teaching on this challenging subject.
Holocaust Memorial Day online event
On Friday 26 January we ran a live online event for pupils aged 10 to 14 and their teachers. The event featured award-winning writer, Tom Palmer, author of After The War and Holocaust survivor, Mala Tribich.
You can watch a recording of the event here, or on our YouTube channel.
Teaching resources for Holocaust Memorial Day 2024
New resources are now available for you to explore in advance of the commemoration week and our live event. Resources include:
- A teacher guide outlining the resources and writing outcome, with ideas and sources to support your delivery of the project.
- A PowerPoint presentation with video from Tom Palmer, to introduce the story and resources to pupils.
- A story written specially for Holocaust Memorial Day in five instalments by author Tom Palmer.
- Five videos by Tom Palmer with five follow-up activities linked to each instalment of the story (pupil activity sheets included)
- A reflective writing activity encouraging pupils to share what they have learnt and discuss the importance of hearing real stories about the Holocaust.
A note from the National Literacy Trust: By its very nature the subject of the Holocaust is extremely upsetting. Tom's story and our resources are created to be appropriate for pupils aged 10 to 14 (Years 6, 7 8 and 9). There are no graphic descriptions of events. However, we know that we all find the Holocaust tough to comprehend and process, and for some pupils it might be too much for them to hear about. You will know your pupils the best. Once available, please read through each chapter of the story before reading aloud to ensure that you are able to support your class. If relevant, we will highlight any paragraphs which teachers of pupils in Year 6 might wish to omit. If you use videos of Tom reading the story, please apply the same awareness.
Schools will be able to submit their pupils' writing inspired by these resources. Read more about this in the Teacher Guide (in the free downloads below). Some of these will be published on our website when promoting next year's offer (with your permission). Last year's entries were pulished on the Lake District Holocaust Memorial Project website. You can view previous entries here. Teachers of 6 may wish to use discretion in sharing parts of this published work.
Video and audio resources
Supporting the downloadable teacher guidance, writing activities, and five-part story, we have recordings of Tom Palmer reading each section of the story. You can watch each part of the story below, or access the full playlist.
In addition, we have audio recordings of Tom interviewing Mala as part of his research for writing This is not a a story. These are referenced in the guidance and resources, and you can listen here: