Holocaust History (Grades 9-12)
Students will use Prezi to outline the persecution of Jews from the time of Hitler’s election until the start of WWII. Students will present their Prezi’s to the entire class. These presentations will become the main resource in the class discussion about this time period.
Lined paper, writing utensil and a computer with internet access.
4 class periods (55 minutes each)
7.1.3 Twentieth Century Genocide – Use various sources including works of journalists, journals, oral histories, films, interviews, and writings of participants to analyze the causes and consequences of the genocides of Armenians, Romans (Gypsies), and Jews, and the mass exterminations of Ukrainians and Chinese.
Day One Activities:
- The teacher will introduce the concept of Prezi’s to the students.
- The teacher will walk the students through the steps in making a Prezi.
- Next, the teacher will discuss the major events the students will spend their time researching and creating their Prezi’s over.
- Election of Hitler (January 30, 1933)
- The opening of the first concentration camp at Dachau (March 22, 1933)
- Boycott of Jewish businesses (April 1, 1933)
- Nuremberg Laws (September 15, 1935)
- Persecution of Austrian Jews (March 13, 1938)
- Kristallnacht (November 9, 1938)
- Jewish children expelled from schools (November 15, 1938)
- Yellow Star introduced (November 23, 1939).
- Students will ask questions for greater understanding and further comprehension.
- The class will go to the computer lab and begin their research (students will write copious notes over the information they are able to find).
Day 2 Activities:
- The teacher will discuss the progress of the students research
- Students will have an opportunity to share the information they have found that is the most interesting to them.
- The class will go back to the computer lab.
- The students will begin creating their Prezi’s.
- Students will have full creative freedom on which type of Prezi they choose to create.
- Students will spend the remaining class time creating their Prezi’s.
Day 3 Activities:
- The teacher will have 2-3 students show what they have created thus far to the rest of the class.
- Students can give constructive criticism.
- The students will go back to the computer lab to complete their Prezi’s.
Day 4 Activities:
- The teacher will explain the peer evaluation piece of the project (please see peer evaluation piece).
- Each student will come in front of the class and show their Prezi.
- Each student will be asked to evaluate all of their fellow classmates.
- After all of the presentations, students will be asked to do two reflections
- Reflection 1 – From all of the presentations you have just evaluated, what pieces of information did you find the most interesting?
- Reflection 2 – To the best of your ability, explain how all 8 of these events created a stronger Nazi regime.
Hobbs, R. (2011). Digital and media literacy: Connecting culture and classroom. Thousand, Oaks, CA: Corwin/Sage.
Thomas, D., & Brown, J. S. (2011). A new culture of learning: Cultivating the imagination for a world of constant change. Lexington, Ky: CreateSpace?.
Douglas Thomas and John Seely Brown (2011) say that learning environments must embrace and engender change. Students must learn to know where to find what they need to know, know how to make things that represent their learning across a range of contexts, and perhaps most importantly, know how to play. In most school settings there is not opportunity for students to play. Instead they are forced to regurgitate information in order to pass some form of assessment. Today, students are exposed to so many new and interesting technologies that many times a regular research activity is boring. We, as teachers, need to embrace what the students know and let them use this to become stronger academically.
I have had the opportunity to teach a plethora of subjects in my 10 year career. With the development of lesson and unit plans I have been able to really find new ways to get information to students. I want my students to find a personal connection I everything that I teach. I believe that by being asked to develop a lesson where students were able to just “Play” with technology, all students will come to the table with some new, interesting ideas.
In her book, Digital and Media Literacy: Connecting Culture and Classroom (2011), Renee Hobbs outlines “five communication competencies as fundamental literacy practices that are now part of learning across all subject areas” (p. 12). These five core competencies include access, analyze, create, reflect, and act. In the creation of this lesson, I believe I was able to hit four of the key competencies. The one area I felt I did not cover was “act.” I really feel like I need to really focus on this idea. I think the idea of putting strength in the student’s hands to influence others is a vital skill in today’s society. Students need to understand that in order to be successful in system that is shifting toward technology; they need to believe in their strengths.