Thursday, July 25, 2013

FREE LANGUAGE ARTS LESSON - “Free: Who Was Responsible for the Holocaust? (Common Core Aligned)”

by Sherri Munger-Tyler
8th - 12th Grade

Who Was Responsible for the Holocaust?
Common Core Aligned

This critical-thinking activity asks students to determine who was responsible for the Holocaust and to what extent they are guilty of crimes against humanity. Students create a circle graph (or pie chart) in which they assign the person(s) responsible the percentage of responsibility they should bear for the Holocaust. All percentages must add up to 100%.

Student choices include: 

RED: Residents of Auschwitz and other towns near concentration camps who knew about the camps but did nothing to stop them.

BLUE: Minor Nazi soldiers who carried out the mass extermination orders without questioning their superiors.

GREEN: Hitler, the leader of the German nation who hated Jews and other “undesirables” and wanted them destroyed.

YELLOW: German citizens who voted for Hitler and the Nazi Party to revitalize their morally and economically depressed country.

ORANGE: The Jews who did not try to escape.

PURPLE: Top SS officers who designed and executed the "final solution" for Hitler.

BROWN: Non-Jewish Europeans who turned against their fellow citizens for fear that they too would be imprisoned as Jewish sympathizers.

WHITE: Leaders of the Allied countries who saw evidence of the Holocaust, but initially refused to get involved or voice opposition to Hitler.

PINK: Churches of all denominations who remained silent and refused to intervene when confronted with evidence of the Holocaust.

BLACK: Yahweh, the God of the Jewish faith, who seemed absent and silent during this massive genocide.

I have used this activity with huge success with 8th graders following "The Diary of Anne Frank" and "Night" by Elie Wiesel. Reminders that their work will be posted and should reflect their personal pride have always resulted in a thoughtful, meaningful wall display. 

This 5-page product includes:
-A Cover Sheet
-Activity Sheet
-Learning Objectives
-Teaching Tips
-Common Core State Standards

The integration of art, math, and a hands-on activity differentiates this authentic assessment beautifully.

As always, formatted in Word so you can quickly and easily adapt this product to meet your unique classroom needs.

Happy Teaching!
Sherri Munger-Tyler

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1 comment:

  1. Thank you for featuring this lesson! I hope many teachers are able to put it to good use in their classrooms!