Montreal teachers learn lessons at Holocaust Museum

Class was in session Monday for some Montreal teachers, who spent the day at the Holocaust Museum taking part in a seminar about the Holocaust and genocide.

Teacher Nancy Sculnik already has new ideas for next year.

"Just sitting in this room in the last hour, I’ve recreated what I want to teach next year," Sculnik said.

She teaches Yiddish and Jewish history at JPPS-Bialik school.

"One of the things I’ll be putting into practice is definitely using more artifacts," Sculnik said. "Perhaps bringing the students here more often. Not just one field trip a year."

Pierre Anctil is a history professor at the University of Ottawa, who specializes in the Jewish community.

He believes getting the younger generation connected to a part of history starts in the classroom.

"We have to bring the students to focus on certain issues," Anctil said. "More broadly in society and among the younger people there’s less knowledge now than there was maybe a generation ago."

The Montreal Holocaust Museum uses artifacts and survivors' stories to connect with students.

"The survivor stories that we share and the objects that we share are from Montrealers and so this is part of our city, this is part of our city’s story," said Monique MacLeod, head of education at the museum.

Anctil said it's important for teachers to go beyond the Holocaust.

"One way is to pay attention to more than just the Holocaust itself but to the various genocides," Anctil said.

That's what Sculnik does in her classroom.

"I teach my students not only about the holocaust, but the holocaust is one genocide sadly in a history of many others," Sculnik said.