Nazi Germany Lesson Plan

Instructor: Christopher Sailus

Chris has an M.A. in history and taught university and high school history.

Use this lesson plan to teach your students about Hitler's rise to power in Germany. After watching and discussing an informative video, students will break into groups for greater research and discussion, before making presentations to the class.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • Describe major events of the rise and fall of Hitler's Third Reich
  • Describe the defining features of Nazi Germany
  • Contextualize the era's events within the historical period


1 hour


Key Vocabulary

At the conclusion of this lesson, students should be able to identify and define the following vocabulary terms:

  • Adolf Hitler
  • National Socialist German Workers' Party
  • SA
  • SS
  • Gestapo
  • Jews
  • Policy of appeasement
  • Final Solution

Curriculum Standards


Evaluate a speaker's point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, assessing the stance, premises, links among ideas, word choice, points of emphasis, and tone used.


Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 11-12 topics, texts, and issues, building on others' ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.


  • Begin the video lesson Hitler's Third Reich: Rise to Power, History & Collapse, stopping at 2:38.
  • Hold a short discussion to ensure that students understand the material thus far. Some example discussion questions include:
    • What were some of Hitler's actions after Germany's defeat in WWI?
    • Why was Hitler accused of treason?
    • What is Mein Kampf and for what was it used?
  • Once students have adequately discussed these topics, continue watching the lesson. This time, stop the lesson at 4:06. Discuss:
    • What factors may have led to Adolf Hitler's German nationalism and hatred for the Jewish people?
    • What circumstances in Germany allowed for Hitler's rise?
    • What organizations did Hitler use as tools in his rise? How did he use them?
  • Resume the video, playing until the end. Discuss:
    • What military mistake may have ultimately cost Hitler his empire?
    • What was 'The Final Solution' and what did it achieve?
    • Explain the policy of appeasement and how it affected WWII.
  • Pass out the lesson quiz worksheets and have the students complete independently.
  • Have students exchange quizzes with a neighbor. Go over the answers to the quiz together as a class.

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