What Is Testimony?

What is Testimony?

Drawing upon USC Shoah Foundation's vast library of audiovisual testimony from survivors and witnesses of genocides, Teaching with Testimony empowers students to find their voices and take action for a better future. Through engaging activities, students will explore how testimony can be leveraged to create lasting and impactful changes in our communities and beyond, as they delve into the profound personal narratives that shape our understanding of history and humanity

Educator Guides

Testimony and Civic Skills

Testimony and Civic Skills

This guide provides educators with tools for helping their students understand the power of testimony and the connection the resources have to helping students think about their own civic skills. By pairing testimonies with ready-to-use activities, students can reflect on habits and behaviors that strengthen themselves and their community.

Refugees walking

Why Use Testimony?

In this guide, you will learn how to use testimony to empower your students through integrative learning. Incorporate firsthand testimonies from individuals who have experienced and witnessed genocide into your curriculum. This immersive approach not only fosters empathy and understanding but also provides a profound connection to history, enriching students educational experience across various subjects.

Civics Suite Activities

The Testimony and Civic Skills ready-to-use activities are designed to be student facing explorations that help students analyze the ways in which testimony can introduce and reinforce important civic skills like empathy, courage, resilience, and more. This ongoing series provides educators with flexible and more narrowly focused resources that put students in control of their own learning as they listen, analyze, and reflect on the testimonies they viewed.

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Students will engage in a structured analysis of testimonies to explore the significance of empathy in fostering positive societal contributions. They will utilize a firsthand account note catcher to organize their insights and will be encouraged to share their reflections through various mediums such as paper and pencil or digital submissions.

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Students will delve into the multifaceted role of values and virtues like patriotism, respect, and courage in both personal experiences and the broader American society. Through analyzing testimonies, they aim to deepen their comprehension of demonstrating courage, aligning with the learning target to discern ways in which they can exhibit bravery in their actions and interactions.

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Students will explore the significance of values and virtues such as patriotism, civic duty, respect, and courage in both personal and societal contexts. By analyzing testimonies, they aim to grasp how resilience can be cultivated within their community, aligning with the learning target to understand their role in building resilience through collective engagement and support.

Field Trip

The Courage to Act: Forming a Chain of Resistance

Celebrate the power that every student has to resist injustice in their world and contribute to a better future through the decisions and actions they make today.

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About The Partners

USC Shoah Foundation


USC Shoah Foundation - The Institute for Visual History and Education is dedicated to making audio-visual interviews with survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust and other genocides, a compelling voice for education and action. The Institute's current collection of 55,000 eyewitness testimonies contained within its Visual History Archive preserves history as told by the people who lived it, and lived through it. Housed at the University of Southern California, within the Dana and David Dornsife College of Letters, Arts and Sciences, the Institute works with partners around the world to advance scholarship and research, to provide resources and online tools for educators, and to disseminate the testimonies for educational purposes. 

Discovery Education


Discovery Education is the worldwide edtech leader whose state-of-the-art digital platform supports learning wherever it takes place. Through its award-winning multimedia content, instructional supports, and innovative classroom tools, Discovery Education helps educators deliver equitable learning experiences engaging all students and supporting higher academic achievement on a global scale. Discovery Education serves approximately 4.5 million educators and 45 million students worldwide, and its resources are accessed in nearly 100 countries and territories. Inspired by the global media company Warner Bros. Discovery, Inc., Discovery Education partners with districts, states, and trusted organizations to empower teachers with leading edtech solutions that support the success of all learners. Explore the future of education at www.DiscoveryEducation.com.