Middle School Lesson Plans

When teaching lessons about the Holocaust, it is important to keep the student's age in mind. The matrix and lessons provided below may be used as a guideline for teachers of middle school students.

Middle school students begin to learn about prejudice and the harm it causes. They will learn to question and react to literature about the Holocaust. In addition, they will recognize humane and inhumane behaviors that people are capable of.

The following matrix was created by the Pinellas County Schools, Office of Community Services and Human Relations and The Florida Holocaust Museum and Educational Center to provide guidelines for Holocaust education in the middle school.



confronting change and loss; responding to unfairness and danger; displaying courage and resourcefulness recognizing how lives can be changed by people and events; becoming aware of political and social decisions that affect the quality of life; learning how diverse groups adapt to new environments; recognizing the importance of participation in the community using art forms to gain an understanding of cultures from the past and present reading and interpreting primary sources; writing journals in response to historical and geographic problems; writing accurate research papers with correct documentation becoming aware of ethical and unethical uses of power; being responsible for members of the community; rejecting stereotypes and prejudice; promoting tolerance, understanding, and acceptance using technology to observe and analyze the interrelationships between humans and their environments

ACTIVITY Anne Frank (1). Students create timelines of Anne Frank's life and history.

ACTIVITY Anne Frank (2). Student activities from the Anne Frank Center USA.

ACTIVITY Book Talk. Suggestions for activities related to the reading of a Holocaust-themed book include keeping a journal and e-mail correspondence with another student reading the same book.

ACTIVITY Camels and Pyramids. Students identify patterns and rhythm in art.

ACTIVITY Camera of My Family. Discussion questions for use with the video, Camera of My Family.

ACTIVITY Cartoon: Truth or Tale. Students view Nazi propaganda and discuss the power of symbolism and suggestion

ACTIVITY Class Memorial. Students plan and conduct a memorial service commemorating the victims of the Holocaust.

ACTIVITY Commemorative Plates. Students make commemorative plates for Holocaust victims.

ACTIVITY David Olère. Students analyze the artwork of David Olère and compare it to Holocaust photographs on the site.

ACTIVITY Deliberate Acts of Kindness. Students recognize and honor the kind acts of Holocaust liberators and rescuers, cultivate their ability to do kind acts, and realize the importance of those acts to others.

ACTIVITY Diaries. Students explore the differences between Holocaust diaries and memoirs before creating their own diary.

ACTIVITY Epidemic, Plague and Infection. Students recognize disease vectors (pathways) and risk factors for infectious disease.

ACTIVITY Folk Dances of Eastern Europe. Students experience folkdance as a form of expressive art and appreciate the rich cultural heritage of Eastern Europe.

ACTIVITY Headlines. Students respond to news articles from the Holocaust era.

ACTIVITY A Holocaust Monument. Students respond using geometric shapes or forms to create a Holocaust monument.

ACTIVITY In the Original Words. Students read, translate and discuss Holocaust documents written in their original languages.

ACTIVITY Inside the Warsaw Ghetto. Students participate in a round table discussion of life in the Warsaw ghetto.

ACTIVITY It Can't Happen Here or Can It?: Peer Pressure, Prejudice and Intolerance.

ACTIVITY Letter of Memorial. Students write a letter to a foreign language newspaper in memory of victims or ask that readers remember the lessons of the Holocaust.

ACTIVITY Looking at Photographs. Students analyze photographs for details needed to unlock meanings.

ACTIVITY Map Studies. An interdisciplinary unit for middle school.

ACTIVITY A set of maps for use with the map unit above.

ACTIVITY Mapping Survivor Stories. Students trace a survivor's story using a timeline, map skills, photography, poetry, and/or prose.

ACTIVITY News Flash! Students create news headlines of the Holocaust.

ACTIVITY News Watch. Students track prejudice and human rights issues in current newspapers or on the Web.

ACTIVITY Oral Histroy. Students interview members of an older generation and present their findings. Activity includes questions that would be appropriate to use with a Holocaust survivor.

ACTIVITY People are People. Students compare groups that have been treated with prejudice.

ACTIVITY Population Density in the Ghettos. Students make calculations of population density and recognize the stressful conditions experienced by European ghetto dwellers due to high population density and scarcity of resources.

ACTIVITY Raven' Beauties. Students learn about the Women of Ravensbrück and design a postage stamp to honor them.

ACTIVITY Shemini Atzeret: Simhat Torah. Students become acquainted with a part of the rich heritage of the Jewish people.

ACTIVITY Starvation in the Ghettos. Students recognize the suffering and loss of life experienced in Holocaust ghettos due to food rationing, identify the basic food groups, USDA requirements and compare those to rations of ghetto and camp inmates.

ACTIVITY Survivor Interview. Students listen to stories from survivors of the Holocaust.

ACTIVITY Time Capsule. Students share their response to a study of the Holocaust with future generations.

ACTIVITY Timeline. Students create a timeline of major Holocaust events and compare it to other events happening at that time.

ACTIVITY The Upstairs Room. A core book guide.

ACTIVITY Käthe Kollwitz: Never Again War! Students investigate the life and artwork of Käthe Kollwitz.

ACTIVITY The Wave. Comprehension questions for use with The Wave video.

ACTIVITY The White Rose. Students compare articles about human rights and prejudice from current newspapers to the situation in Germany during the Holocaust.

WebLink "Choosing To Make a Better World," a unit of six lesson plans for seventh and eighth grades from the New Jersey Holocaust Commission includes: Au Revoir Les Enfants, The Devil in Vienna, The Island on Bird Street, The Night of Broken Glass, Rescue--The Story of How Gentiles Saved Jews in the Holocaust, and Zlata's Diary.

Curricular resources bibliography from the Simon Wiesenthal Center.

WebLink Deathly Silence: Everyday People in the Holocaust is a Holocaust education manual produced by the Southern Institute for Education and Research, Tulane University.

Florida Department of Education Sunshine State Standards site.

WebLink Guided exploration of sixth grade art and poetry on the Cybrary of the Holocaust site.

WebLink The History of the Holocaust from a Personal Perspective: Lesson plans from the Ernest and Elisabeth Cassutto Memorial Page.

WebLink Holocaust Eighth grade unit of practice.

WebLink Holocaust and Genocide Curriculum from the New Jersey Commission on Holocaust Education.

WebLink The Holocaust/Genocide Project (HGP) is an international, nonprofit, telecommunications project focusing on study of the Holocaust and other genocides.

WebLink The Holocaust. A Guide for Teachers is an excellent teacher's guide to many important Holocaust topics such as prejudice, antisemitism, and Fascism. Each chapter includes objectives, activities, discussion questions, and other aids for the teacher.

WebLink "People Need People," a unit of six lesson plans for fifth and sixth grades from the New Jersey Holocaust Commission includes: Ajeemah and his Son, Children of the Wolf, I Never Saw Another Butterfly, Nightmare: The Immigration of Joachim and Rachel, Pocahontas--Indian Princess, and Set Straight on Bullies.

WebLink Study guide with activities was created for the PBS production The Trial of Adolf Eichmann.

WebLink Teacher Workbook for the exhibit, Anne Frank in the World, 1929-1945, produced by the Friends of Anne Frank in Utah and the Intermountain West Region.

WebLink Teresa Morretta's Holocaust lesson plans for grades 4-12.

WebLink The Truth About Anne Frank is a twelve hour class outline available at the Cybrary.

Sunshine State Standards.

A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 1997-2013.