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Teaching Materials on the Holocaust

Foundational lesson plans for teaching about the Holocaust

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These lesson plans introduce key concepts and information to students. Grounded in historical context, the lessons utilize primary source materials from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s collections. Lessons created for online instruction are marked with a computer icon ().

Introduction to the Holocaust

This one-day lesson provides an introduction to the Holocaust by defining the term and highlighting the story of one Holocaust survivor, Gerda Weissmann.

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Overview of the Holocaust

This lesson is designed as both a two-day and four-day unit. In both versions, students analyze how and why the Nazis and their collaborators persecuted and murdered Jews as well as other people targeted in the era of the Holocaust between 1933 and 1945.

Two Days

Full lesson materials include a worksheet and answer key, a KWL chart, profiles of Holocaust survivors and victims, and more.

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Four Days

Full lesson materials include a worksheet and answer key, a KWL chart, profiles of Holocaust survivors and victims, primary source packets, and more.

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The Path to Nazi Genocide Documentary

Organized around a Museum-produced 38-minute Documentary, The Path to Nazi Genocide, these discussion questions provide students with an introduction to the history of the Holocaust.

Timeline Activity

This lesson is structured around a multi-layered wall timeline that encourages critical thinking about the relationship between Nazi policy, World War II, historical events, and individual experiences during the Holocaust.

Timeline Cards

Teachers can access additional timeline cards for Anne Frank and Elie Wiesel on our Teaching Materials Using Books and Literature page. Request physical printed Timeline Cards from the Museum here.

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For Learning Management Systems

This online lesson plan is compatible with learning management systems or web browsers for students to complete individually or as a class. You can use the PDF of the original lesson plan above as a guide. To use with your LMS, download the files below and follow your system’s instructions for importing files.

Holocaust Encyclopedia Articles

The following related articles contain critical learning questions that can be used when discussing article content with students.

History of Antisemitism and the Holocaust

This lesson focuses on the history of antisemitism and its role in the Holocaust to better understand how prejudice and hate speech can contribute to violence, mass atrocity, and genocide. Learning about the origins of hatred and prejudice encourages students to think critically about antisemitism today.

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For Learning Management Systems

This online lesson plan is compatible with learning management systems or web browsers for students to complete individually or as a class. You can use the PDF of the original lesson plan above as a guide. To use with your LMS, download the files below and follow your system’s instructions for importing files.

Nazi Racism

Racism fueled Nazi ideology and politics. To critically analyze actions taken by Nazi Germany and its collaborators requires an understanding of the concept of racism in general and Nazi racial antisemitism in particular.

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For Learning Management Systems

This online lesson plan is compatible with learning management systems or web browsers for students to complete individually or as a class. You can use the PDF of the original lesson plan above as a guide. To use with your LMS, download the files below and follow your system’s instructions for importing files.

Pre-World War II Jewish Life

In order to better understand what Jewish cultural and communal life was like in Europe before World War II, students search the Museum’s digital archive collections, select photographs depicting pre-war Jewish life in Europe, analyze them, and research the town(s) where the photos were taken.

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For Learning Management Systems

This online lesson plan is compatible with learning management systems or web browsers for students to complete individually or as a class. You can use the PDF of the original lesson plan above as a guide. To use with your LMS, download the files below and follow your system’s instructions for importing files.

Teaching with Holocaust Survivor Testimony

Students will examine Holocaust survivor testimonies as both personal memories and as deliberately-created historical records, and will evaluate how the Holocaust affected the lives of individuals, as well as the role of memory in our understanding of history.

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