Holocaust Gallery Walk Questions

Instructor: Nora Jarvis

Nora has a Master's degree in teaching, and has taught a variety of elementary grades.

The Holocaust is an essential part of world history that you'll most likely teach at some point. The following prompts are designed to help you start planning your gallery walk, an effective tool for promoting student discussions about the Holocaust.

Using a Gallery Walk for the Holocaust

Are you looking for a teaching strategy that will get your students moving and talking? Well, you might want to consider using a gallery walk to promote discussions among your students.

When you organize your gallery walk, make sure to include about 7-10 items to post around your classroom. You want there to be a large enough selection of items so that students can cluster in groups of 3-4 as they explore the gallery. You'll also want to make sure that you include a wide variety of posts to increase your students' engagement.

A gallery walk can be a helpful strategy to use when teaching history topics like the Holocaust because you can use primary sources, like excerpts from diaries or letters, as well as secondary sources, such as newspaper articles. You can also give your students discussion questions that allow them to move in a self-directed manner from topic to topic, which is also an effective way of maintaining their engagement.

Pictures & Questions

When you choose pictures and photographs for your gallery walk, be sure to include a variety of photos related to the Holocaust, without being too graphic. Using photos that depict the different aspects of this historical event will increase your chances of piquing student interest and inspiring discussion.

Here are some photos or pictures you might consider including:

  • Photos of important locations, such as concentration camps and the Warsaw Ghetto
  • Political cartoons drawn and written during the time of the Holocaust (1933-1945)
  • Photos of items owned by people hiding from the Nazis
  • Photos from displays at the National Holocaust Museum

Questions you can ask might include:

  • What is happening in the photos?
  • What is surprising about the photos?
  • What do you want to know more about after viewing the photos?

Important Figures & Questions

When discussing history, names of some people will come up over and over. Their reoccurrence can be an important way to help students understand the motivations of important history makers. When you create a gallery wall of important figures, you should include their names and maybe some brief facts that will interest students.

Some important figures you might consider include:

  • Adolf Eichmann
  • Anne Frank
  • Hans Frank
  • Adolf Hitler
  • Dr. Josef Mengele
  • Oskar Schindler
  • President Franklin D. Roosevelt
  • Elie Wiesel

Questions you can ask include:

  • Which of these figures made the biggest impact on your feelings about the Holocaust?
  • What motivated this figure to act, for example, either heroically or immorally?
  • How did this figure interact with other important figures during the Holocaust?

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