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Lesson Plan – Holocaust Unit

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Lesson Plan – Holocaust Unit

Suggested Books

Non-Fiction

    Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

    We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust by Jacob Boas

    Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust by Milton Meltzer

    Hiding to Survive: Stories of Jewish Children Rescued from the Holocaust by Maxine B. Rosenberg

Fiction

    Lisa’s War by Carol Matas (optional)

    Kris’s War by Carol Matas (optional)


Literature Circles – 4/5 per group

  • the students will read a non-fiction piece (autobiography/diary)

  • the students will read a fictional book about World War II

  • the students will analyze a book for its elements

  • the students will understand the era of World War II and the Jewish experiences

  • the students will learn about the Holocaust

Set Induction

    1. The children will read the Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary.

    2. Read aloud to them excerpts from the picture book The Children We Remember by Chana Byers Abells to create the atmosphere.

    3. Complete a KWL chart as a class on the chart tablet about WWII, Hitler, and the Holocaust.

    4. Students will explore the time/place of these books by jigsaw cooperative learning groups and research – handout provided – use the internet sites for enrichment

    after research; fill in vocabulary page as researching

    three cooperative learning groups focusing on:

    • Mapping the countries involved in World War II

    • Jewish Experiences in World War II

    • Hitler and his defeat

    5. Students will go back to home groups and complete a news article on the three topics. Each expert writing an article but the group putting it together as a newspaper.

    6. Read aloud handout pages 22-23 to pull all research together (this is in student journal).

    7. Create an experience of what it was like for Jewish people during this time: *Independently have students list their response to:

    What do you need to live? chart

    Add to list:

    What do you need to live happily? chart

    • List all responses on the board and discuss why each of these items is needed (friends for companionship and security; pets for companionship; radio for entertainment)

    • Build a hierarchy of needs on the chart as a class, categorizing the types of needs.

    • Begin with the absolute basics – Physical Needs (water , air, food etc)

    • Then continue down discussing why.

    • Distribute handout and have students complete it independently (below):

    Name_____________________

    Freedom

    Rights & Freedom

      1. Think of the freedom the following rights allow you and your family, and think of the ways you and your family would be affected if these rights were revoked. Remember that if they were revoked, this would mean giving up things you already have. Rank these independently first.

      Rank these rights from 1 to 6 — 1 being MOST important to you.

      The right to…

      _____own or use a public telephone

      _____date/marry whomever you choose

      _____own a radio, CD player, Nintendo…

      _____own a pet

      _____leave your house whenever you choose (You would still be able to leave the house, but there would be strict limitation on when you could go out.)

      2. Discuss your decisions and work to come to a consensus to re-rank the rights as a group. Be ready to share the individual and group responses and support with reasons

    8. Use an overhead with time line of what happened to the Jewish people’s rights during Hitler’s reign (this can be made by teacher).

    9. Read Terrible Things by Eve Bunting aloud to the class.

    10. Tell students that they are reading non-fiction and fiction books that show how Hitler used fear and prejudice against Jewish people and many Jewish people’s lives were totally changed.

    ***I chose to use only non-fiction books in my literature circles. I put two fiction books for teachers that want to use fiction also.

    Introduce each book as follows and have each student place on an index card his/her name and first, second and third choices:


    Non-fiction and Suggested Grade Levels

    Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss

    True story about someone’s life during WWII. It is an autobiography. Read the back of the book, the short letter from Johanna Reiss, and the introduction aloud with the entire class.

    5-8 grade level


    We Are Witnesses: Diaries of Five Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust by Jacob Boas

    True diaries from five teenagers who died in the Holocaust. Read the back of the book, the foreword and introduction aloud with the entire class.

    Grades 7 and up


    Rescue: The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust by Milton Meltzer

    Between the years 1933 and 1945, Adolf Hitler organized the murder of six million Jews. In every Nazi-occupied country, at every level of society, there were non-Jews who had the courage to resist. Here are their stories: thrilling, terrifying, and most of all, inspiring. Read the back of the book, the foreword and introduction aloud with the entire class.

    Grades 6-12


    Hiding to Survive: Stories of Jewish Children Rescued from the Holocaust

    by Maxine B. Rosenberg

    What is it like for an eight-year-old to have to stay in a chicken coop and not be allowed to talk about a whisper? In this book, fourteen men and women tell how their childhood lives were turned upside down under the Nazi regime. First person accounts of former hidden children. Read the back of the book, the foreword and introduction aloud with the entire class.

    Grades 4 and up


    Fiction and Suggested Grade Levels

    Lisa’s War by Carol Matas

    Fictional story about when the Nazis invaded Denmark. It is about a young Jewish girl that wants to try to make a difference and stop Hitler by helping others. Read the back of the book, the first page and the introduction aloud with the entire class.

    (difficult to get if you don’t have copies)

    Kris’s War by Carol Matas

    Fictional story about when Nazis invaded Denmark. It is about a young non-Jewish boy that has seen friends die and others betrayed. He has become a dangerous fighter for freedom. It he is caught, he will be tortured and killed. Read the back of the book, first page and the introduction aloud with the entire class.

    Grades 5-12 (out of print as of now)


    11. Begin the literature circles. Follow the plan for this.

    • Focus points: Document any time you see courage displayed.

    • Document how the characters’ lives have changed.

    • Document internal and external conflicts.

    Other great books to have in the classroom:

    A Picture Book of Anne Frank by David A. Adler

    Smoke and Ashes: The Story of the Holocaust by Barbara Rogasky

    A basic yet detailed introduction to the causes, events and legacy of the Holocaust. Grades 6 and up


    Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

    The Hidden Children by Howard Greenfield

    The author weaves the stories of 25 “hidden children” into a haunting portrait of the Holocaust as lived by these young survivors. Grades 4 and up


    Tell Them We Remember: The Story of the Holocaust by Susan D. Bachrach

    The book features a carefully worded historical overview together with sidebar stories of more than 20 children who suffered or died in the camps and ghettos. Grades 4-8


    A Place to Hide: True Stories of Holocaust Rescues by Jayne Pettit

    Readers meet rescuers who saved Jewish lives at peril of their own. Grades 3-8


    See Web Sites for the internet:

    Holocaust Reading Unit

    Home group____________________________________________________________

    __________________________________________________________________________

    Expert Group 1, 4

    Mapping World War II

      *Where is Germany?

      *How much of Europe was conquered by Hitler?

      *Where was Hitler defeated?

    Expert Group 2, 5

    The Jewish Experiences in World War II

      *Why did Hitler persecute the Jews?

      *How many Jews died during World War II?

      *How did some Jews survive the war/Holocaust?

    Expert Group 3, 6

    Hitler and His Defeat

    *How did Hitler come to power?

    *What kind of person was Hitler? Why was he like this?

    *How did Hitler die?

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