One lesson about the 1938 Kristallnacht attacks delves into the historical narrative, describing how Nazis burned synagogues, smashed windows and looted Jewish shops while most ordinary Germans just watched. This real-life story prompts class discussion that touches on what it means to be a bystander; someone who does nothing while someone else gets hurt. Kids consider how they might have reacted when Jewish people were persecuted under Nazi rule, but they’re also thinking about similar matters closer to home, such as whether they should stand up for a friend who’s being badmouthed. When students explore the significance of stories in this way, their thoughts and choices shift measurably. Children who complete the Facing History curriculum show more empathy and concern for others, and they are more likely than controls to intervene when other students are bullied.
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