This year’s theme for HMD 2024 is Fragility of Freedom. Here are some ideas for how you could use this in your school setting:

1. Talk about the meaning of ‘freedom’

As a class, engage in a discussion about freedom: what it looks like, why it is important, how it is risked and how it is lost. This discussion could be used to create a mind map or piece of extended text! To support your discussion, we have a new resource looking at the lives of young people persecuted by the Nazis which can be used to support empathetic and engaging conversation.

2. Poetry

Poetry can be a brilliant way of supporting meaningful conversation as a class or for assemblies. At Holocaust Memorial Day Trust (HMDT), we have a large collection of poetry written by survivors of genocide or on the topic of genocide. Using our poetry reading activity, a selection of poems can be shared and used to inspire students own poetry about the importance of freedom.

3. [Extra]ordinary Portraits

This resource outlines an art project which can be used alongside our life stories to create portraits of individuals who have lost or risked their freedom due to identity-based persecution. This activity can be adjusted for different age groups and could be used to create a school exhibition or be done individually.

4. Take Action

As a next step after your discussion or activity, see our take action resource. We learn about the Holocaust and genocide because they are important moments in history, and what we learn motivates us to act today to preserve freedom. This activity supports planning for what students and schools can do.

Our theme for 2024 can be used with any of our resources to support engaging, meaningful and productive conversation in classrooms, assemblies and small groups. If you are looking for shorter activities, please see our films or our tutor time activities.

When you have planned your activity, please let us know by adding it to our activity map and if you would like any support contact

Hannah Jorsh is Outreach Officer for Youth at the Holocaust Memorial Day Trust


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