Adding to Evidence Logs, 4 of 4 | Facing History & Ourselves
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Adding to Evidence Logs, 4 of 4

Students reflect on, gather evidence for, and discuss the unit writing prompt in its entirety.


At a Glance

assessment copy


English — US


  • History




One 50-min class period
  • Genocide
  • The Holocaust
  • Human & Civil Rights


About this Assessment

Students are now ready to reflect on, gather evidence for, and discuss the unit writing prompt in its entirety:

Over the course of this unit, you have examined the atrocities committed by the Ottoman government during the Armenian Genocide, the rise of Nazi Party in Germany following World War I, and the pursuit of racial purity in Nazi Germany that resulted in the murder of 6 million Jewish individuals and millions of other civilians during the Holocaust. You have also looked closely at the choices made by individuals, groups, and nations that led to these events. For the culminating unit assessment, you will construct a written argument that you support with examples from these historical cases in response to the following question:

How can learning about the choices people made during past episodes of injustice, mass violence, or genocide help guide our choices today?

In addition to adding evidence from Lessons 20 through 22 to their evidence logs, consider having students engage in structured conversations or mini-debates that challenge them to support their ideas about the writing prompt with evidence from the unit while also practicing active listening with their peers. For many students, the process of talking before writing helps them organize their thoughts, explain their thinking, and develop a clear point of view

How can learning about the choices people made during past episodes of injustice, mass violence, or genocide help guide our choices today?

This assessment includes:

  • 4 activities
  • 2 teaching strategy
  • 1 book

Preparing to Teach

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  • Have students review their journal responses, handouts, and readings from Lessons 20 to 22. Then ask them to respond to the following questions in their journals:
    • Which choices made by individuals, groups, and nations in these lessons seemed most significant?
    • What made those choices powerful or impactful? What can we learn from those choices about history or human behavior?
  • Use the Wraparound strategy to allow each student to share one choice from their reflection that they think is most significant.

Students should work in pairs or small groups to add to their evidence logs any information from Lessons 20 to 22 that helps them respond to the essay question. As in past evidence-gathering activities, start together as a class by making a list of relevant handouts, readings, and videos that help students address the essay prompt before asking them to select relevant evidence to add to their logs.

Although students can continue to gather evidence throughout the final two lessons of this unit, this is an appropriate time for them to begin the process of developing their position in response to the writing prompt by engaging in structured discussions with their peers. You can select from the Common Core Writing Prompts and Strategies supplement’s Strategy 14: Taking a Stand on Controversial Issues: Speaking and Listening Strategies or Strategy 15: Building Arguments through Mini-Debates. Or you might select a different pre-writing teaching strategy from the website.

  • Ask students to reread their previous journal entries in response to the unit assessment prompt. Challenge them to look for, and maybe even mark with a star, places where their thinking about the question has evolved or changed.
  • Then project or pass out the unit essay prompt in its entirety (see above) and read it out loud together.
  • In a final journal response or on exit tickets, ask students to respond to the following questions:
    • How has your thinking about the essay assessment prompt changed over the course of the unit? Which text (reading, image, video), lesson, or activity contributed the most to this change?
    • What do you feel you need to review or learn more about in order to address the essay topic question and write your essay?

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