Holocaust Lesson Plan

Instructor: Dana Dance-Schissel

Dana teaches social sciences at the college level and English and psychology at the high school level. She has master's degrees in applied, clinical and community psychology.

Teaching about the Holocaust can be tough. Ease the process and touch a nerve with students with the help of a pointed video lesson and authentic materials that solidify understanding.

Learning Objectives:

Upon completion of this lesson, students will be able to:

  • summarize the key events of the Holocaust
  • describe the horrors of the Nazi concentration camps
  • explain the power of propaganda in Nazi Germany

Length

30 minutes to 1 hour

Materials

  • Photocopies of a map showing Nazi concentration camps
  • Assorted images from the Nazi concentration camps
  • A list of actual quotes from concentration camp survivors
  • Examples of Nazi propaganda about Jewish people
  • Video clips of Nazi propaganda about the concentration camps

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.6

Compare the point of view of two or more authors for how they treat the same or similar topics, including which details they include and emphasize in their respective accounts.

  • CCSS.ELA-LITERACY.RH.9-10.7

Integrate quantitative or technical analysis (e.g., charts, research data) with qualitative analysis in print or digital text.

Key Vocabulary

  • Holocaust
  • Nazi

Instructions

  • Begin the lesson by asking students to tell you what they know about the Holocaust. Write key ideas on the board.
  • Play the Study.com video lesson The Holocaust: Anti-Semitism and Genocide in Nazi Germany, pausing at 1:52.
  • Revisit the list of key facts posted on the board. Were the students on target with the information they provided about the Holocaust? If not, fill in any missing points now as a class.
  • Pass out the maps showing the locations of the Nazi concentration camps, one per student. Display the images from the concentration camps to the class as you read some of the quotes from actual prisoners aloud. Ask students for their reactions.
  • Play the reminder of the video lesson.
  • Ask the students to consider the magnitude of this event. How could the Nazis have gotten away with it? Why wasn't there more resistance from the citizens as to the atrocities that were taking place? Discuss this as a class.
  • Read some of the Nazi propaganda about the Jewish citizens to the class. What kinds of things were being said? Would they have taken this as fact if they were in the same situation? Why or why not?
  • Play a video clip of Nazi propaganda about the concentration camps for the class.
  • Ask students to consider what they might have felt as citizens reading and watching the propaganda. Would they have believed that the concentration camps were places for rehabilitation, rest and rejuvenation as the propaganda indicates? Why or why not?

Discussion Questions

  • What parallels can we draw between the public's reaction to the Jewish in Nazi Germany and modern America's response to Muslims?
  • How could the Holocaust have been prevented?

Extensions

  • Have students create a timeline of key events from pre to post Holocaust.
  • Ask students to read and report on one of the many memoirs written by Holocaust survivors.

Related Lessons

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