Anne Frank Curriculum Trunks: A Middle School Teacher’s Dream in a Box

The Anne Frank: A Private Photo Album exhibit which opened on December 1, 2012 at the Dallas Holocaust Museum will close on March 31, 2013.  In the three months that Anne Frank was with us—and it did feel as if the impishly wise thirteen-year-old was truly with us—more than 22,000 visitors toured the Museum.

Anne Frank is one of the most recognized faces in the world and as author of one of the most read books–which is a compilation of entries into her personal journals and diary–she draws attention.  We offered visitors opportunities to write their thoughts and feelings in journals which we made available in the exhibit gallery.  As you can guess, most of the entries were from children like Jade, whose entry read:

February 19, 2013

Dear Anne,

Even though you are not here anymore, I want you to know how big of an inspiration [you are] to us kids.  When I started reading your diary (I hope you don’t mind my reading it)… it inspired me, too.  Thank you so much.  Jade.

As the closing looms, there are now more than 25 journals full of entries.  The power of Anne Frank to feather a child’s mind and lead them to a rudimentary understanding of the world’s greatest display of inhumanity, inspired DHM/CET to create its first curriculum trunks.

The Anne Frank curriculum trunks provide teachers with tools to enhance the richness of their programs and lessons to foster creativity and discussion in the classroom. Some of the contents are specifically related to the “Anne Frank: A Private Photo Album” temporary exhibit, such as the teacher guide to the exhibit. However, there are also two graphic novels based on Anne’s story, three DVDs, and a number of books, all selected by our Education Department to inspire the students relate to Anne’s story in new ways. Of course, the trunks also come with a copy of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl for each student in the class.

Anne Frank Trunk

The Dallas Holocaust Museum’s Anne Frank Curriculum Trunk which is loaned free to DFW area schools.

Happy Birthday, Anne

This post by Katie Adams, museum volunteer

I remember the first time I heard of Anne Frank. I was in seventh grade, and we were required to read her diary as part of our study on the Holocaust. My introduction was of the commonest variety–school children around the world read her diary, many when they are around 12-13 years old. I’m certain that this has to do with making the events and victims of the Holocaust real and relatable, and in my case, this goal was achieved. I was never the same after meeting Anne, or learning about the millions of lives lost in the Holocaust.

After learning about Anne’s life and times, I felt the need to be a better, kinder person, to know what was happening in the world around me, and to be prepared to stand up against injustice whenever I could. I took to heart Anne’s feelings that people were mostly good, and have done my best to believe so in a world that would tell me otherwise.

When I heard that we would be collecting copies of Anne’s diary to help schools in need share Anne’s story and legacy, I was beyond thrilled. How many lives could be positively impacted because of Anne’s words? How many students would have an opportunity to learn from Anne, and to learn to love her? Today, as we celebrate her birthday, I am excited and encouraged by the thought that at this time next year, a whole new group of students will have met Anne for the very first time, and that our museum will have played a role, thanks to the countless visitors and friends who care enough about making the world a better place to donate a copy of Anne’s diary.