Lesson Plan: Holocaust Memorial Day for 5th and 6th Grades
Ideal age group: 5th and 6th Grades
1. The students will learn about the racist worldview underlying the attempt to exterminate the Jews in the Holocaust
2. The students will learn about racism and its dangers
3. The students will discuss the values that were destroyed during the Holocaust and discuss how those values relate to their schools
4. The students will learn about different values existing in Israel and in their immediate surroundings.
5. The students will then hopefully feel a sense of belonging and Jewish identity and will condemn racism
Stages of the Lesson
1. video clip http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=qPhOZzsi_6Q
2. a discussion about the video
2a. How are the “Sneetches” different form one another?
2b.Did the owner of the star have an advantage? If so, what was it?
2c. Did you ever feel like the “Sneetches” without the star?
2d. What sorts of things help us stay grounded in reality here in Israel? Is there a group that feels like they’re better than average?
2e. What is your opinion about the solution offered by Dr. Seuss?
2f. What solutions can you offer for dealing with the realities of life here in Israel?
3. Connection to topics we have learned:
3a. In the different topics that you have learned, have you ever come across a group that thinks they are better than anyone else? How does that show?
3b. In the 5th grade, the students learn about the story in Samuel, when the Jews lived in the dry region of Gilad and they turned to the Ammonite king at the time and asked him to spare them. His response was that he would spare them on the condition that they gauge out their right eye to identify them as Jews. This was to maim them and attempt to bring shame to them. Similar to this story, is the story of the Jews in specific areas having to wear the Yellow Star at the start of World War II when the Nazis rose to power. In other areas, the Jews had to wear a white armband with a blue Jewish star inside. This was an embarrassing and demeaning way for the Nazis to identify the Jews. Any Jew who didn’t wear the identifying symbol, was subjected to harsh punishment at the hands of the Nazis.
4. A discussion about the outward symbol of the Yellow Star.
4a. What do you think the source is for people feeling the need to single out others as different from them?
4b. Students will receive a definition of the word racism from various sources and will be asked to answer the following questions with reference to the viewed video discussion held in class and define the word.
4i. What is racism in the video based on?
4ii. What outward sign of racism was there?
4iii. Why did they use the sign?
4iv. What values get damaged by racism?
4v. How can we combat racism in Israel and in our immediate surroundings?
4vi. Discuss whether leading values of the school – respect, responsibility and community involvement are reflected in manifestations of racism and dealing with them? If so, how?
5. What is racism?
5a. Racism is the view that there is a superior race and that all races other than the “superior race” are inferior. One of the prime examples is Nazi Germany. (Even Shushan Dictionary)
5b. Racism is generally based on color of skin, economic position, ethnicity, religion, or nationality. The prime example is the Nazi party in Germany in the early 20th Century. Today, according to the Geneva laws, racism on that level is a “crime against humanity”.
5c. Racism contradicts the notion that all people are equal.
5d. Some believe that the distinction between human races is not racism per se, but use this definition and say that racial division is a result of social construction while others say that the very division of social classes can be classified as racism.