Students work together on a Holocaust group
research project that is evaluated according to a set project rubric.
This lesson supports the goal stated in Teaching about
the Holocaust—A Resource Book for Educators, United States Holocaust Museum.
Each student will realize that “The Holocaust
was not an accident in history—it occurred because individuals,
organizations and governments made choices that not only legalized
discrimination but also allowed prejudice, hatred, and ultimately, mass
murder to occur.”
- Students will understand the democratic principles of
justice, equality, responsibility, and freedom and apply them to real-life
- Students will observe, analyze, and interpret human
behaviors, social groupings, and institutions to better understand people
and the relationship among individuals and among groups.
- Students will understand, analyze, and interpret
historical events, conditions, trends, and issues to develop historical
Three 90-minute class periods, plus the weekend
for independent work.
Social Studies, Holocaust Studies, and
Procedure / Strategy
Day One -
In order for the student to be able to
comprehend the magnitude of the mass terrorism, prejudice, and destruction
of innocent lives during the Holocaust, they must do concentrated research.
Using KWL strategy, students first list what they believe they
Know to be true about this most inhuman time-period in modern history.
Next, the students brainstorm about What they want to know more about
concerning the Holocaust and key persons involved with the mass deportations
and exterminations. As the teacher, I will supplement additional topics to
their list. Working collaboratively, the students will group the questions
according to subject areas. The final project will be a PowerPoint
presentation to the class with a handout for notes.
They then will break up into small groups and go to the library media center
their chosen topics. Each group is responsible for teaching their findings
to the entire class with the aid of a PowerPoint presentation. This activity
is to access students’ prior knowledge and build historical background about
the Holocaust for understanding the literature we will be reading during
Day Two - Students will spend the ninety-minute period
creating their PowerPoint presentation. All the students have been trained
to use PowerPoint program. They will have divided the presentation up among
the group, composed their portions and save them to the school web sever, and finally
burned the entire program onto a CD-ROM or DVD. I generally begin the unit on a
Thursday; Friday is in the computer lab, and this gives the students the
weekend to “tweak” the presentation scheduled for Monday.
- Each group will consist of four to five
- Select a topic from the list below—one per
group on a first come, first serve basis.
- Record the “What do we want to know?”
questions generated in class to use as a basis for your research and
- Select a facilitator and a timekeeper;
determine what information needs to be researched and by whom.
- Each group must utilize both hard copy and
Internet resources. A minimum of four resources must be cited for each
- PowerPoint presentation must include a
title slide, photographs with documentation, works cited slide, and a
minimum of ten additional slides with text. The groups will print out a
black/white copy of the PowerPoint program and a typed copy of their notes
for the teacher.
- Each group member is to participate
equally in the oral presentation. Note cards maybe used for statistical
information only. An outline of the presentation is to be given to the
rest of the class to aid note taking. Total presentation time, including
a question and answer period, is 15 minutes.
Holocaust Group Research Topics:
I. The Victims
D. Jehovah Witnesses
F. Political prisoners
II. Work/Labor and Death Camps
B. Terezin or Theresienstadt
D. Auschwitz I
E. Auschwitz II/Birkenau
III. Major Nazi Players
A. Adolf Hitler
B. Adolf Eichmann
C. Dr. Joseph Mengele
D. Rudolf Hess
E. Heinrich Himmler
IV. Oscar Schindler
C. War Involvement/Nazi connection
D. Schindler’s List
V. Resistance and Repercussions
A. Obstacles facing the
B. Resistance in the Ghettos and Camps (unarmed or armed)
VI. Periods of Restrictions and
A. Solving the “Jewish Question”
B. Anti-Semitic Decrees
E. Final Solution
A. Allied Forces
B. Nuremberg Trials
C. State of Israel
D. Personal Possessions
Evaluation / Assessment
Day Three - The presentations are
evaluated on accuracy of information, choices of resources/materials,
understanding of subject matter, visual presentation, organizations and
extensions (going beyond the requirements of the assignment.) Students are
given the rubrics and scoring sheet the day the assignment is given to them
so that they are fully aware of the evaluation process.
to Museum Fellowship Teaching Resources