The Jewish Plight: Interwar Years

Subject: Social Studies

Lesson Length: 55 - 60 mins

Topic: The Jewish Plight During the Interwar Years

Grade Level: 7

Standards / Framework:

Brief Description: Students will learn about discrimination, prejudice, and the attempted genocide of Jewish people during the Holocaust and the years leading up to WWII.

Know Before You Start: Vocabulary e.g., discrimination, prejudice, and genocide.

Hook:

  • Show students the short video of Holocaust survivors talking about their liberation from a concentration camp at the end of WWII, linked below. 

  • Reflect and discuss as a class. 

  • Read and discuss the sample comic. Highlight that the atrocities of WWII began before the war. 

  • Discuss the term “othering” in relation to the treatment of the Jewish people during WWII. 

  • Othering Definition: treating people from another group as essentially different from and generally inferior to the group you belong to (Macmillan Dictionary).

Activity: Using the sample comic as a guide, have students create a two-to-three-panel comic describing an event, or act of discrimination, that led to the genocide of Jewish people in WWII Germany. 

Comics should include:

  • A description of the event.
  • The significance of the event.
  • Key players in the event.
  • The date and place of the event.

Possible examples:

  • Kristallnacht.

  • Concentration camps established.

  • Nuremberg Laws.

Closure:

  • Read and discuss the finished student comics. 

  • Discuss how small events can lead to a large event. 

  • If printed, students can add their finished comics to a class timeline.

Differentiation:

  • Students can work independently or with a partner.

  • Assign specific events to students.

Resources: