Individual Responsibility and Resistance During the Holocaust
Lesson (printable) PDF version »
Student Handout and Teacher's Rubric PDF version »
Laura Pritchard, Nansemond-Suffolk Academy, Suffolk, Virginia
Day 3: Student presentation, concluding discussion, and self-evaluation
Before the students begin their presentations, I go over the rubric I will be using to evaluate them (see Teacher’s Rubric for Grading Presentations). I also tell them they will be evaluating themselves after the presentations (see Student Self-Evaluation Sheet).
Students make their presentations. Visuals may be posted in the room on a chalkboard, bulletin board, or wall.
During the presentations, the teacher uses the evaluation rubric to assess the students’ work.
For the concluding discussion the students need to think about their presentation as well as their classmates’ presentations for a minute or two. Students should reflect upon what they thought about resistance at the beginning of the lesson and what they now know. For example, some students probably believed that most Jews “went like sheep to slaughter” and that there was little anyone could do against the Nazis.
Discuss (including, but not limited to):
- The importance of the individual and how an individual can make a difference
- The different forms of resistance
- Defining success in regard to individual resistance to the Nazis
- The importance of standing up for what is right, even if you know your chances of winning are slight (for teachers of To Kill a Mockingbird—make a connection—Atticus says “Simply because we were licked a hundred years before we started is no reason for us not to try to win.”)
After assessing the students' understanding of the project through the discussion, have them consider the relatively small number of people who resisted: What would have happened if more people had done something? What is an individual’s responsibility to society? To his/her family? Personal beliefs? Community? Religious group? Nation? To doing what is right even if there are terrific risks and terrible consequences? What can the students do in their own lives to make a difference? Is there anything they believe is worth dying for?
This discussion is done informally.
The discussion should conclude with a newfound understanding and respect for the few individuals who risked so much during these horrific years.
For homework, students should fill out their self- and group evaluations to turn in to the teacher the next day.
The teacher begins to fill out the rubric for the presentations while the students are presenting and completes them after looking through the annotated bibliographies and the student self-evaluations.