What Should Our Response Have Been: WWII Seminar Prep (Day 2 of 2)

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SWBAT conduct short term research by completing the second part of their seminar planning guide.

Big Idea

For the second day of our seminar preparations, we will look at modern perspectives on why we should study WWII and the Holocaust


10 minutes

We will start class with ten minutes of reading. I will read with my students during this time. 

Social Studies Quiz

20 minutes

As my teaching partner are blending the two halves of our block of time together today, we will spend a brief bit of time administering a reading quiz for his content. 

Modeling Research Strategies

25 minutes

For the second part of our seminar preparations, I will ask students to think about WWII and the Holocaust through a modern lens. This research/thinking, coupled with their analysis of Night and other texts (i.e. Holocaust poetry, the history textbook, a few historical video clips, etc.) that we have read or interacted with in both history and English over the past week or so. Ultimately, I want them to understand that the Holocaust, unfortunately, was not the last genocide to happen in the 20th century, nor was it the last anti-Semitic movement to happen in Europe. I want them to see how this historical event is still having an impact on our modern world. 

Students will be required to self-guide their research to connect their textual analysis with topics they feel inclined to understand better/more. I will give them a research sheet with three guiding questions for the seminar that my teaching partner and I developed together based on the big ideas we hope students will ponder as they prepare and discuss this historical time period. They are purposefully open-ended and philosophical so that they can encompass any number of perspectives and research materials/ideas. 

As this work will be very open-ended, we will model the research process with students. Given all that has been happening in the Ukraine lately, this will hopefully be easy to model/set up. Last week, an insurgent group posted anti-Semitic fliers around the Ukrainian city of Donetsk. While further research and investigations have shown that this was not a government led action, we will look at an article from the New York Times describing this event within a bit of historical context for this area of Europe. 

I will read the article to the class, then ask them to help me fill in a chart with information from the article.

I will point out the importance of doing advanced research so that they aren't relying on one source for information, especially with a story like this, which ended up being inaccurate as first reported. I will also remind them how to use easybib.com to do their MLA citations (W.9-10.8) of their sources. Finally, I will direct them towards our library databases, specifically the Gale World Issues In Context database, which will be good resources for this kind of research. 

Independent Research

45 minutes

As this is a joint assessment for both me and my teaching partner, we will give the majority of the block to work on the prep work/research (W.9-10.7) and/or to gather more evidence from their books/class materials (W.9-10.9).

After modeling what it is we want students to do, we will let them work independently with the school Chromebook carts. I will wander the room to assist as needed with technology, research focus, etc. 

As they research, I will ask them to gather their evidence and provide MLA citations for all sources referenced (W.9-10.8) in a self-made version of the chart I used to model the process with them. I will suggest that they do all of this electronically in Google Docs (W.9-10.6), but will allow them to handwrite notes if they choose. 

Wrap Up and Next Steps

10 minutes

We will end class a little early to make sure that we get all the computer back and to remind students to finish their research at home to be prepared for the seminar on Thursday.