Help your students to understand the consequences of anti-Semitism and other forms of racism. Discovering appropriate resources that help students comprehend Nazi Germany’s Final Solution is challenging. As teachers, it is always our goal to present information in a manner that is factually correct yet sensitive to students' maturity levels. This five-page informational text (Flesch-Kincaid 9.9), with comprehension questions, embedded vocabulary with activities and a quiz, a writing assignment, and a PowerPoint presentation is designed to increase students’ understanding of these events through age-appropriate content designed with carefully selected word choices.
This resource requires no teacher preparation and is aligned with Common Core Reading Information Texts, Writing, and History/Social Studies. It includes, but is not limited to, the following subtopics
· The November Criminals’ Betrayal
· Archduke Ferdinand’s Assassination
· The Treaty of Versailles
· The Master Race
· The Power of Propaganda
· The German Prison System
· The Nuremberg Laws
· The Beginning of World War II
· The Invasion of Russia
· The Wannsee Protocol
· The Architects of the Final Solution
· The Destruction of the German Prison System
· The Collapse of the Third Reich
· The Nuremberg Trials
· anticipatory set
· PowerPoint Presentation
· embedded vocabulary with parts of speech and definitions
· reading assignment with comprehension quiz (key included)
· vocabulary review strategies and activities
· vocabulary quiz (key included)
· writing assignment
On June 21, 1941, Hitler shocked the world by violating his non-aggression pact with Russia. During this invasion, known as Operation Barbarossa, German troops forced civilians from their homes. They herded them through the brutal snows blanketing Russia’s countryside, forcing them into railroad cars. The number of German prisoners grew to over one million.
To ensure the success of Hitler’s plan, Reinhard Heydrich expedited the Wannsee Protocols. However, he would not survive to see his work completed. He met his death in 1942, assassinated at the hands of Czech insurgents. Still, between 1942 and 1943, the Nazis murdered 1.7 million Jews (Wannsee).
The cruelty apparent in photos taken by the Allied liberators shocked the world. It caused a public outcry demanding justice for the crimes committed. This demand resulted in the Nuremberg Trials of 1945 and 1946, presided over by judges from Allied nations. Twelve Nazis received death sentences while seven others faced prison terms.
The reading passage can be completed during one class period. However, to utilize all components (comprehension questions, vocabulary activities and quiz, writing assignment, and PowerPoint presentation) requires much more time. The schedule provided in this resource suggests teaching it over a six day period, with each component varying from fifteen minutes to one hour.
Because of the sensitivity of this topic, it is advisable to look over the passage before presenting it so that if questions arise, you will be prepared to answer them. This series of lessons provides an excellent opportunity for assigning additional research projects.