Grade Levels: 6 through 12
Sunshine State Standards:
- To analyze how news is reported in newspapers.
- To enable students to be critical readers of newspapers.
- To compare what they know now with what was known as events were unfolding in WWII.
- To compare topics and themes that were reported during WWII to what is in the paper today.
View all Sunshine State Standards
- Grades 6-8
- SS.A.2.3.2, 3.3.4
- Grades 9-12
- SS.A.1.4.4, 3.4.9
- New York Times front pages from 1933 on
- Recent newspapers
- Using the N.Y. Times pages, have students research the information that was on the front pages of that paper for each year as the Holocaust was unfolding. Analyze what stories were featured. How much information was the American public getting?
- Pick one event such as Kristallnacht, the Berlin Olympics, or the Warsaw Ghetto Uprising. Research how that event was reported in the American press. Did the Nazis engineer world opinion? Allow students to discover for themselves and then ask critical questions about the newspaper coverage of the Holocaust. Did the stories appear on the front page or were they buried on subsequent pages? Where on the page were the articles placed? What size were the headlines of these articles? Why were those editorial decisions made?
- Have students bring in articles from the daily newspaper that relate to Holocaust themes such as prejudice, hatred, antisemitism as well as heroism, resistance, rescue, etc. Are there noticeable trends? How are difficult subjects treated? Find an article that annoys or inspires you.
- Have students respond in a letter to the editor about a particular article they feel strongly about.
This sort of activity lends itself to a "portfolio" type of assessment, including having students keep a journal of their reactions to what they discover as they uncover newspaper coverage of these events. Requiring all students to bring in and respond to newspaper articles for the bulletin board and encouraging further exploration of the role of newspapers in shaping public opinion, disseminating information, and encouraging change can be assessed as well.
Page One: The Front Page History of World War II by the New York Times. Budget Book Services, 1996.
A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.