Teaching Resources

“Beba Epstein: The Extraordinary Life of an Ordinary Girl” was developed not only as an exhibition for a variety of audiences, but as a teaching resource as well.

Its primary goal is to teach about the Holocaust. However, many of its chapters can be used for a variety of different purposes:

  • to supplement the teaching of the Holocaust, American or World history from WWI through the 1950’s or to enrich the study of Poland, Germany and Russia from 1920s through the 1940s;
  • teach about Jewish life in Eastern Europe before WWII;
  • to help your students develop strong research skills. You may want to start your students’ research with the question What documents do we save and why?
  • to discuss: the what and why of prejudice and its terrible consequences, recent questions of racial and gender typecasting, immigration issues including recent events concerning asylum seekers in Europe and the United States and finally, what is meant by the American Dream.

Downloadable Teacher Guides

Below you will find links to download the teacher guides to use the exhibition in classrooms. These materials provide activities and suggestions on how to best use the exhibition for teaching purposes. There are three separate guides: one for elementary grades 3-5, one for middle grades 6-8 and one for high school grades 9-12. Download the guide that best fits your class’s needs.

The exhibition also provides easy access to a vast set of primary resource materials including short texts written by expert scholars, letters, diaries, newspaper articles, photographs, short videos, clips of music and images of objects and buildings. All of the text documents provide at least a summary translation into English. You can download spreadsheets with all the artifacts featured in the exhibition for easy search.

Please note that the guides have not yet been tested with classrooms due to the Covid-19 pandemic. We will update the guides once we are able to test them. Sign up to be notified of any changes.


Please answer our educator survey. We would appreciate your feedback as we continue to explore new ways to improve the online museum experience and additional teachers’ materials.

And if you use the materials in the classroom, please let us know! We’d love to hear more about how you are using the exhibition, as well as any questions, feedbacks or concerns you might have. Write us at onlinemuseum@yivo.org and please include the name of your school and grades where the materials are being used.

Teacher guides were last updated May 5th, 2020. Artifacts spreadsheets were last updated May 4th, 2021. Notebooks in .pdf were last updated December 3rd, 2020. Beba’s autobiography translation was last updated May 5th, 2020.