The Anne Frank Story

Grade Levels: 6-8

Sunshine State Standards:

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Research World War I and the Armenian Genocide

World War I is often described as initiating the 20th Century as a century of total war and genocide. Do you agree? Ask the students to define the terms "total war" and "genocide." Did the events of World War I and the Turkish genocide against the Armenians set a pattern for the century? How does this relate to Hitler's purported statement "Who remembers the Armenians?" Have students look at the history of denial and the Armenian genocide. Suggested reading: Black Dog of Fate: A Memoir by Peter Balakian, 1997.

Create a Timeline

A. Have the students select quotes or portions of quotes from the diary that have personal meaning to them and copy them to a 5"x8" card. Be sure that the entry date is written large enough to see posted on a wall or bulletin board. Also, have the students select an event in history between 1929-1945, the time of Anne Frank's life. These events should have relevance to either World War II, the Holocaust, or another event that occurred during Anne Frank's lifetime. Have students illustrate, label and date this event on 5"x8" index cards. Assemble the cards in chronological order to create a timeline (you might want to assemble this timeline in a hallway adjacent to your classroom).

B. Have the students select an event after 1945 that demonstrates the continuation of violence and killing on a mass scale. Is this genocide? Why or why not? Examples may include Cambodia, ethnic cleansing in Bosnia, etc.

C. Have the students make a timeline of events throughout history when people struggled for independence or rights. What methods did people use to gain their rights? Compare and contrast for example, the Civil Rights Movement, Apartheid in South Africa, Jewish resistance and Rescuers during World War II.

Read other Accounts

A. Using the supplemental bibliography, have your students read other first person or autobiographical accounts of experiences during the Holocaust. The students can produce book reports or biographical sketches about the author or the person in the story. These accounts can either be compiled into a classroom resource book or be used in conjunction with a map of Europe. Border the map with these reports and connect the written report to that person's home in Europe with string or yarn. This exercise is to help put a face and individualize the millions of victims of the Holocaust.

B. Have the students read first person accounts of post-1945 war experiences, such as Zlata's Diary and follow the same format as in the previous exercise.

C. After the student researches one person, he/she should have the opportunity to tell classmates about that person and the impact the account had on the student's own life and understanding of war and violence.

Explore Discrimination Today

A. What have we learned since the liberation of the Nazi concentration camps? One of the difficult truths is that discrimination, racism, and anti-Semitism are still with us, 50 years after Anne Frank's death. Ask the students to look for stories about discrimination or warfare between two groups. These can be taken from newspapers or news magazines. Keep a scrapbook of theses articles and have students write a synopsis of each article to be placed in the scrapbook. Ask the students to critically examine the conflict between the two groups.

Make the students honorary moderators or UN Peacekeepers. What are the facts in the story? How would they try to resolve the conflict? How can two opposing sides be made to see they have more in common than they think? Is there a point at which conflict is inevitable? Have your class participate in a creative conflict resolution program.

B. Ask the students to split into groups of three or more. Two children represent 2 countries, while the other represents the mediator. Have the two children argue the points of the conflicting countries and let the others try to answer the questions above. Then switch the roles, so that the mediator now becomes one of the arguing countries. Then, instead of using countries in conflict, change to the conflicts which exist between different groups in our society. Have the students argue to points of different groups and let them see that they have more in common that previously thought.

Create an Environment of Peace

A. Ask the students to write an affirmation or pledge to combat racism or draw/paint their vision of peace. This work should be posted in the classroom to reinforce and empower the students' pledge. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl or the UN Declaration of Human Rights and UN Rights of the Child should serve as inspiration for the students' work.

B. Have the students work with someone they really don't know. Open the lines of communication between students who don't usually talk to each other. Encourage conversation about racism, stereotypes, genocide and peace. Ask the students to write on a piece of paper (anonymous) what bothers them about the class or people in it and then discuss the remarks.

C. Ask the students to do an unusual act of kindness once a week. Each student should write down on a large note card what they did, how they felt and what reaction people they helped had. Do not have students put their names on the cards. Place the note cards on a bulletin board and after several months collect the cards and randomly give them to members of the class. Have each person in the class pick out one card they find particularly important or interesting and discuss it with classmates. Are there any patterns emerging? What is pro-social behavior? Can it be learned or is it innate? Are people "getting used" to doing acts of kindness for others? Does the group feel it has changed because of the actions it has taken? Does the group/individuals want to continue doing acts of kindness?


"After Seventy Years: Anne Frank (1929-1945)," an article by Dr. Joyce Apsel Director of Education, Anne Frank Center USA.

Copyright (c) 1997, Anne Frank Center, USA, Inc. Duplication permission granted to educators for classroom use.

A Teacher's Guide to the Holocaust
Produced by the Florida Center for Instructional Technology,
College of Education, University of South Florida © 2005.

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