Free Holocaust Memorial Day teaching resources from award-winning children’s book author Tom Palmer and the National Literacy Trust

The National Literacy Trust is teaming up with award-winning children’s book author Tom Palmer to produce free resources which can be used in the classroom or at home across the week commencing 24 – 29 January, to help schools commemorate Holocaust Memorial Day (Thursday 27 January 2022). 

There will also be a free online live Q&A event with Tom Palmer and Mala Tribich, a holocaust survivor, on Monday 24 January as part of this week of activity. 200 schools have already signed up, meaning that over 16,500 pupils will be tuning in to hear Mala’s survival story. This interactive event will also allow pupils and teachers to submit live questions for Mala to answer. The Q&A is open to schools, public or community libraries across the UK and club community organisations working in schools. 

Thanks to generous funding support from the Marks Family Charitable Trust, the Association of Jewish Refugees and The Blue Thread, the National Literacy Trust has also compiled a varied and inclusive resource pack suitable for use with pupils aged 10-14 (Upper Key Stage 2 and Key Stage 3). This pack will help pupils engage with the holocaust through the lens of both history and English. 

These specially crafted resources present a unique chance for pupils to connect with an inspiring children’s author, gain confidence in literacy and learn about a major event in European history. The variety of activities will support pupils to understand the significance of the holocaust and to produce their own written responses. The resource pack also contains helpful guidance for teachers navigating this subject. 

Jim Sells, schools programme manager at the National Literacy Trust said: “Teachers can support their pupils to become more confident writers while also feeling able to lead positive learning discussions around a tough subject in the classroom. In fact, of the teachers who engaged with last year’s Holocaust Memorial Day resources, most of them thought they were either excellent (71%) or good (29%).

Furthermore, a significant 92% of teachers felt that their pupils were more aware of the holocaust after participating in the activities.” 

This year, resources comprise: 

  • A PowerPoint presentation, to introduce the story and resources to students 
  • A new story, Them, written and read specially for Holocaust Memorial Day in five instalments by Tom Palmer 
  • Five videos and five worksheets to support and inspire pupils to write their own responses 
  • A teacher guide with ideas and sources to support your delivery and children’s writing 
  • A free online Q&A event with Tom and Mala Tribich, a holocaust survivor 

The combination of reading, writing, oral, aural and visual learning opportunities present in these activities means that pupils of different abilities and access needs can engage with the resources and improve their literacy skills. 

 Furthermore, schools will be able to submit their pupils’ writing inspired by these resources. Submissions will be considered for publishing on the Lake District Holocaust Memorial Project website, giving them a chance to contribute to an impactful cultural project. 

Tom Palmer, award-winning children’s book author, said: “We hope that our resources and virtual event will help children to begin to understand some of the events of the Holocaust and how – as well as understanding the past – we need to be alert about genocide in our present and future. ‘After the War’ and ‘Them’ focus on how a group of Jewish refugees were treated 77 years ago after the Holocaust, helping us to think more about how we treat refugees now.” 

To download the Holocaust Memorial Day resources and activities please visit: 

The live Q&A event will take place on Zoom between 10:30 and 11:00am on Monday 24 January. Award-winning author Tom Palmer will interview Holocaust survivor Mala Tribich and pupils will have a chance to submit questions in real-time. Register for the event here: 

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