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

Subject: Social Studies

Grade Levels: 6 through 8

Objectives: Students will have an understanding of the ways in which they might be seduced by group pressure into behavior which is harmful to themselves or others and devise strategies to resist peer pressure.

Description: The outrage and horror of the Holocaust seems obvious from the safety and perspective afforded by the distance of time. Students may assume that the factors that allowed the Holocaust to happen were unique to that time in history and to that part of the world. However, acts of hate and intolerance persist to date. This lesson teaches that the Holocaust is not just a distant event in history, but a warning of the ongoing personal vigilance and courage required in order to resist the pull of peer pressure and the push of fear and intolerance.


  1. Students will view the TV movie or read the book, The Wave, by Todd Strasser and answer the "Comprehension Questions for use with The Wave video."

    Comprehension questions.

  2. Students will examine the "Stop the Hate" Web site of the Student Civil Rights Project in Massachusetts.

    Stop the Hate

    They will participate in a school safety survey.


    Then the students will examine the survey results and discuss how their survey answers fit into the overall results and whether the overall results differed from their expectations.


  3. Students will read The 7 Habits of Highly Effective Teens, by Sean Covey, and list ways they can practice each of these habits in their daily lives.

Submitted by: Jamie Thomas

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

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