Lesson Plan

The "Final Solution"

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Echoes & Reflections: Teaching the Holocaust

GRADE LEVEL: Middle School, High School

COMMON CORE STANDARDS: Reading, Writing, Speaking and Listening

The purpose of this unit is for students to learn about one of humanity’s darkest chapters—the systematic mass murder of the Jews that came to be known as the “Final Solution of the Jewish Question.” This includes learning about the Einsatzgruppen (mobile killing squads), the Nazi extermination camps, and the perpetrators and collaborators who took part in the murder. Students also learn how Jews attempted to maintain their humanity in the camps despite the inhumane conditions and brutal treatment they faced.

Learning Objectives:

  • Define the Final Solution and explain how it was driven by Nazi ideology.
  • Summarize the purpose of the mobile killing squads and extermination camps in Nazi Europe, and the systems used to carry out mass extermination.
  • Interpret a variety of primary sources—visual history testimony, artifacts, artwork—used to document conditions of life and death in the camps.
  • Describe the conditions and the experiences of people imprisoned in extermination camps.
  • Identify ways in which some Jewish people imprisoned in the camps resisted spiritually and attempted to maintain their sense of humanity.