In the first four lessons of the unit, students explore questions about identity, stereotyping, and group membership. There is a menu of activities that you can choose from for this first step in the essay process that introduces students to the unit writing prompt. The prompt is designed to serve as both a thematic frame for the unit and a final writing assignment at the unit’s end.
Unit Assessment Prompt
Over the course of this unit, you will examine 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 will also look 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?
The following activities provide suggestions to help students start to understand the meaning of the prompt and to stake out a preliminary position in response to it. At key points later in this unit (after Lessons 7, 9, 14, 19, 22, and 25), you will be cued to give students the opportunity to reflect on the essay prompt and consider how evidence from the history they are studying influences their thinking about it. At these times, students will also have the opportunity to revisit, and potentially modify, the initial position they articulate in this lesson.