Decision Making in Times of Injustice Unit

Civics
European History

Introduction

This curriculum is about more than the Holocaust. It's about the reading and the writing and the arithmetic of genocide, but it's also about such R's as rethinking, reflecting, and reasoning. It's about prejudice, discrimination and scapegoating; but it's also about human dignity, morality, law, and citizenship. It's about avoiding and forgetting, but it's also about civic courage and justice. In an age of "back to basics" this curriculum declares that there is one thing more basic, more sacred, than any of the three R's; namely, the sanctity of human life.

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Lesson Series: 

Lesson 1 of 17
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Decision-Making: Introduction to the Unit

Students practice what it means to create a safe, supportive, and productive classroom environment. Use this to prepare for a case study of Germany during the Holocaust.

Lesson 2 of 17
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A Scene from a Middle School Classroom

Students explore social conflict in a familiar setting through a case study set in a 7th grade classroom.

Lesson 3 of 17
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Identity and Place

Students take on the question "Who am I?" and develop a concept of identity that will enrich their study of individuals living Germany in the 1920s and 1930s.

Lesson 4 of 17
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Those Who Don't Know: Identity, Membership, and Stereotypes

Students prepare to study prejudice and stereotyping in Nazi-occupied Germany by considering the ways that people are defined by others.

Lesson 5 of 17
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Us and Them: Confronting Labels and Lies

Students learn about the ways that people throughout history have created myths about race in order to justify discrimination and violence.

Lesson 6 of 17
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The Nazi Party Platform

Students investigate membership by analyzing the Nazi party's definition of membership and reflecting on their own experiences with belonging.

Lesson 7 of 17
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The Weimar Republic: Historical Context and Decision Making

Students consider how economic, political, and social conditions in the Weimar Republic impacted the Nazi party’s appeal to some Germans. 

Lesson 8 of 17
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The Fragility of Democracy: Hitler's Rise to Power

Students examine how the choices made by German citizens, members of parliament, and other leaders contributed to Hitler’s rise to power.

Lesson 9 of 17
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Obedience

Students study the human tendency to obey authority through the question, "Why did so many Germans follow the policies dictated by the Nazi party?"

Lesson 10 of 17
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The Nazis in Power: Discrimination, Obedience, and Opportunism

Students investigate the role of laws in Nazi Germany. They consider how laws influenced people living in Germany and how they ultimately laid the groundwork for the Holocaust.

Lesson 11 of 17
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The Nazis in Power: Propaganda and Conformity

Students analyze several examples of Nazi propaganda and explore its impact on German society.

Lesson 12 of 17
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Life for German Youth in the 1930s: Education, Propaganda, Conformity, and Obedience

Students read narratives from German youth in the 1930s and consider how pride, fear, obedience, and peer pressure influenced how young people responded to the Nazi's messages.

Lesson 13 of 17
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Kristallnacht: Decision-Making in Times of Injustice

Students explore decision-making by reading a contemporary story about bullying and a historical story about a night of state-sanctioned violence against Jews.

Lesson 14 of 17
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The Holocaust

Through an interactive lecture, students learn how incremental steps led to the horrendous crimes committed during the Holocaust.

Lesson 15 of 17
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The Holocaust: Bystanders and Upstanders

Students explore the stories of individuals, groups, and nations who made choices to resist the Nazis, as well as the bystanders who decided to remain silent.

Lesson 16 of 17
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Justice After the Holocaust

Students study the Nuremberg Trials and imagine what justice after a horrible event like the Holocaust looks like.

Lesson 17 of 17
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Remembrance, Participation, and Reflection

Students investigate the purpose of monuments and craft their own monuments to commemorate their learning experiences.

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