Tuesday, December 7, 2010


One of the struggles I face centers around how to best incorporate the Holocaust into the units I teach. My focus is not to provide an overview but to highlight certain aspects. The dilemma is should I clump these aspects together in a Holocaust mini-unit within the larger unit framework or spread them out across the unit. Clumping a few aspects while studying the rise and rule of Hitler has not been an issue. But recently students have commented that taking up to 8 days to cover the remaining aspects during the World II unit has made the teaching of the war disjointed. Generally I have taught the causes of the war, the war itself, then the Holocaust, and finally finish by teaching the effects of the war.

This year my plan is to spread the Holocaust across the World War II unit. The other benefit to not clumping might be that the Holocaust will be put into context better. I’m still working out the specifics of where to teach the different aspects because I don’t spend a lot of time teaching the war itself. Some aspects I cover, such as the Einsatzgruppen, naturally fit while teaching Operation Barbarossa and the aftermath fits with teaching the effects of the war. But others such as bystanders, resistance, and Auschwitz (done through a mapping activity and a discussion of memoirs students read) don’t seem to have as natural a fit.

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