Research Paper Unit Holocaust

Title – Writing About The Holocaust, Research Report
By – Kristy Brooten
Primary Subject – Language Arts
Secondary Subjects – Social Studies
Grade Level – 6
Writing About The Holocaust Thematic Unit Contents:

Lesson Plan 1

Grade level: 6
Concept being taught: Writing a research report

I. Objectives
TSWBAT write a research report about someone involved in/an event of the Holocaust

II. Materials
“The Holocaust” article (hard copies and overhead – this article can be found on another website here ), ” Writing Your Thesis Statement Worksheet ,” ” Writing Your Introduction Worksheet ,” What makes a report a report? worksheet (hard copies and overhead)

III. Detailed Lesson Outline
A. Motivation
If you were going to write your own informational/nonfiction book about the Holocaust, what would you write your book about? Take student ideas and write on board (be sure to spread them out to add thesis statements later in lesson). Think back to our Holocaust Remembrance Centers. What did you find there that you already knew about the Holocaust? What would you like to know more about? If suggestions are too broad for a research paper, direct toward more narrow topics. If we decided to write about the Holocaust and explain the whole thing, how long would our book be?? A little longer than we’d want to write! The topic of our book should be something more narrow. (make suggestions if needed)

B. Input
This is the first thing we need to do as writers – pick a (narrow) topic. While we now know that a topic needs to be more specific than the Holocaust, I read an article the other day that is just about the Holocaust. Pass out copies of “The Holocaust.” Read this short research report on the Holocaust. As you read, find out what the most important idea is in the report. If you could summarize the report in one sentence, what would your sentence be? When you’re finished reading, write down you sentence at the bottom of the report and share it with your neighbor.
Share ideas with class. Put up overhead of report. Where did you find the main idea? Does the writer say the main idea in one sentence somewhere in the report? Where? Underline on overhead. This is the main idea of the report; the sentence in the report that states the main idea is called the “thesis statement.” Write “thesis statement: states main idea in one sentence” on board. In our books about the Holocaust, we’ll all need to have a thesis statement. With your neighbor, pick out a main idea that you know a little about and write a thesis statement that would appear in your Holocaust book. Come up to the board and write your thesis statement next to your main idea. Review statements together as class.
Now that we’ve figured out the main idea of this report, let’s talk some more about the report itself. What makes this report a report? Put up What makes a report a report? overhead. We’ve already said that a report needs to have a main idea/thesis statement (write on list). What else do we need in a report? List students’ ideas. Where do we see these elements in the Holocaust report? Identify on overhead as students point them out (write “intro” next to introduction, “conclusion” next to conclusion, etc.). Pass out “What makes a good report?” We talked about what a good main idea/thesis statement is; what do you think a good introduction looks like? Any other ideas? Record ideas on What makes a good report? overhead. Pass out “Writing Your Introduction.” We’ll actually fill this out later, but this sheet gives us some good ideas for how to write a good introduction. Why do think a question would be good? Surprising fact/statistic? Story? Quotation? Do you think the introduction of the Holocaust report is a good one? Reread the introduction in your table groups and look for the things that make a good introduction. Is it good? Why or why not? How could you make it better? Share ideas with class.
Go back to What makes a good report? overhead. What about the body of a report? What makes a good body? Any other ideas? Record ideas. Reread body of this report in groups. Is this a good body? Why or why not? What criteria did you use to decide? Write your criteria in a list. Share ideas with class and record on overhead. (Suggest organization, clarity, appropriate use of detail and interest to reader if not mentioned and look for them in the report.) How do you think the author wrote the body of this report? Do you think he just wrote whatever came to his mind or did he organize it first? What do you think his rough outline looked like?
What about the conclusion? What does a good conclusion do? Any other ideas? (Summarize but bright and fresh; no new ideas) Record ideas on overhead. Let’s read the conclusion together. Does this conclusion do the things we said a good conclusion does? Do you have any suggestions for the writer of this conclusion?

C. Closure
Now that we’ve got an idea about how to write a good research report, we’re going to begin writing our own research reports about the Holocaust that we’ll finish up publishing as our own books about the Holocaust. Where do we start? Pass out “Writing a Thesis Statement” sheets. We begin with a main idea – pick one from the board or from your KWL chart and write down your topic on your “Writing a Thesis Statement” sheet. You can use this to help you later as you develop your thesis statement. What should we do next? How do we begin our research? (Begin with encyclopedia kind of books then look up details in specific books, newspaper and magazine articles, Internet, etc.)
Go to library to research. As students research, walk around and ask all students about their research. Have you copied down all of the bibliographic information you need to cite your sources? Are you gathering interesting quotes and summarizing ideas of your articles? What might you use in your introduction? Jot down these ideas on your “Writing Your Introduction” sheet. Your body? Conclusion?

C. Evaluation
Following adequate research time, give students time to begin organizing their research into a rough outline and writing their rough draft. To evaluate objective, walk around and ask students to share their ideas with you, looking for the main idea/thesis statement, interesting introduction, structure of body, and summarizing conclusion (ideas for these elements if not yet written).

E-Mail Kristy Brooten!

Ian Waldie/Getty Images
In 2004, a survivor of the Holocaust, Leon Greenman, displayed the number that was tattooed on his arm at Auschwitz.Go to related Lede blog post »

April, 2014 | Updated

In recognition of the Days of Remembrance, here are Learning Network lesson plans, New York Times resources and other Web sites for teaching and learning about the Holocaust.

Teachers, please join the conversation. How do you teach about the Holocaust? What advice do you have for others?

Lesson Plans on …

The Holocaust and Its Legacy
Genocidal Acts and Crimes Against Humanity
Tolerance, Hatred and Human Rights

Plus Related …

Times Topics
Selected Historical Times Articles on the Holocaust
Selected Recent Times Articles and Multimedia on the Holocaust
Articles on Elie Wiesel and “Night”
Articles on Anne Frank and “Diary of a Young Girl”
Other Resources on the Web

Selected Historical Times Articles on the Holocaust

Note: The Times archive includes hundreds of articles from the Nazi era and the Holocaust. The following are a selected few. Visit the archive to find other articles.

  • On This Day in History: Allies Open Trial of 20 Top Germans For Crimes of War
    Times front page from November 20, 1945.
  • Verdicts Are In: Nuremberg Court Gives Findings That Point to Death for Many
    Article from October 1, 1946, on the sentences of Goering and other Nazi leaders.
  • ‘The World Must Not Forget’
    Reporter’s eyewitness report of the camps from May 6, 1945.
  • Atrocity Report Issued by Army: Buchenwald an ‘Extermination Factory,’ SHAEF Is Told by Official Inspectors
    Article on the concentration camps from April 29, 1945.
  • Yuletide Spirit Hailed by Rabbis
    Article from December 24, 1939, in which a rabbi is quoted speaking of “the holocaust of catastrophe which Hitler has visited upon whole nations and masses of individuals,” before the term “holocaust” was widely used.
  • Americans Appeal for Jewish Refuge
    Article from May 31, 1936, about a group petitioning Great Britain to allow Jews fleeing “the European holocaust” to take refuge in Palestine. These two articles may well be among the earliest documented use of the term “holocaust” in this context; the U.S. Holocaust Museum cites the earliest use as 1941.

Lessons on the Holocaust and Its Legacy

Rise of Hitler and Nazi Party:

Witness to History: The Holocaust

Justice and Memory

Lessons on Other Genocidal Acts and Crimes Against Humanity

Lessons on Tolerance, Hatred and Human Rights

Times Topics

Selected Recent Times Articles and Multimedia on the Holocaust

  • Op-Doc Video | ‘Branko: Return to Auschwitz’
  • Video | ‘Degenerate Art’ Exhibit of 1937
  • Article | Palestinian Teaches Tolerance via Holocaust
  • Obituary: Rabbi Herschel Schacter Is Dead at 95; Cried to the Jews of Buchenwald: ‘You Are Free’
  • Article: The Holocaust Just Got More Shocking
  • Article: Proudly Bearing Elders’ Scars, Their Skin Says ‘Never Forget’
    Related Slide Show With Audio: A Tattoo to Remember
  • Article: Holocaust Survivors Take the Runway
  • Article: From Overseas Visitors, A Growing Demand to Study the Holocaust
  • Article: Distinctive Mission for Muslims Conference: Remembering the Holocaust
  • Op-Ed: The First Killings of the Holocaust
  • Museum Review: The Memory of the Holocaust, Fortified
  • Critic’s Notebook: Making the Holocaust the Lesson on All Evils
  • Article: A Community of Survivors Dwindles
  • Article: Property Lost in Holocaust is Catalogued Online
  • Article: A Mass Grave, 70 Years Later
  • Article: The Urgency of Bearing Witness
  • Lens: One Last Sitting for Holocaust Survivors
  • Audio Slide Show: Auschwitz Photos
  • Slide Show: Remembering the Holocaust
  • Article: Using DNA to Track Holocaust Survivors
  • Slide Show: The Propagandists’ Tools
    Related Article: Nazis’ ‘Terrible Weapon,’ Aimed at Minds and Hearts
  • Slideshow: Holocaust Memorial in Postal Memorabilia
    Related Article: Stamp Collector’s Holocaust Memorial
  • Article: At a Holocaust Site, Obama Calls Denial ‘Hateful’
    Includes a photo slide show, a podcast and a video of President Obama at Buchenwald in June 2009.
  • Article: New Looks at the Fields of Death for Jews
  • Palestinians Serenade Survivors in Israel and Concert for Holocaust Survivors is Condemned
    Two articles on conflicts over a program in which young Palestinian musicians played for elderly Jewish Holocaust survivors in Israel.
  • Beliefs: The Holocaust Furor and the U.S. Bishops
    Commentary on the fallout from the reinstating of an ex-communicated Catholic bishop by the pope.
  • Movies: Telling the Holocaust Like It Wasn’t
    Reflection on the depiction of the Holocaust in recent films.
  • The Holocaust, Viewed Not From Then but From the Here and Now
    Article on a new memorial at Bergen-Belsen, with an accompanying slide show
  • Perplexity After Auschwitz Sign Theft
    Article about the theft and recovery of the “Arbeit Macht Frei” sign

Articles on Elie Wiesel and “Night”

Articles on Anne Frank and “Diary of a Young Girl”

Other Resources on the Web

  • U.S. Holocaust Memorial Museum
    The national museum, dedicated in 1993 as a living memorial to the Holocaust. The site includes materials for the Days of Remembrance as well as educational materials.
  • History Place: Holocaust Timeline
    Events from Hitler’s rise to power in 1933 to the liberation of the concentration camps and the opening of the Nuremberg trial in 1945.
  • USC Shoah Foundation Institute for Visual History and Education
    Archive of nearly 52,000 videotaped testimonies from Holocaust survivors and other witnesses.
  • Holocaust Survivors
    Stories of many survivors.
  • Holocaust Educators Network
    HEN offers a twelve-day summer seminar for faculty from middle schools, high schools, colleges, and universities interested in furthering their knowledge about the Holocaust and other genocides.
  • Jewish Virtual Library: The Holocaust
    Treasure trove of information about the Holocaust, including historical information, explanations and photographs.
  • Anne Frank House
    Web site for the Anne Frank museum in Amsterdam.
  • The Anne Frank Center USA
    Web site for the traveling exhibitions, programs, awards and New York City location of the center, a partner organization of Amsterdam’s Anne Frank House.
  • The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
    Mission: to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice.
  • Facing History and Ourselves
    Organization that helps teachers use the Holocaust and other examples of genocide to help students learn to “combat prejudice with compassion, indifference with participation, and myth and misinformation with knowledge.”

Global History

Teaching ideas based on New York Times content.

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