Grade Levels: 6-8, 9-12

NOTE TO EDUCATORS: The movie featured in this lesson plan summarizes one person's experience of the Holocaust, the murder of millions of European Jewish people during World War II. Due to the difficult nature of this topic, consider previewing the movie before showing it to the class.

In this lesson plan, adaptable for grades 6-12, students explore BrainPOP resources to learn about Anne Frank and her courageous story of hiding during one of the most tragic times in history, the Holocaust. They’ll learn about the Holocaust, who perpetrated it, and how some people tried to escape. They’ll also watch an interview with Miep and Jan Gies, a couple who risked their lives to help hide the Frank family and others. The lesson culminates in students writing a diary entry from the point of view of Miep or Jan Gies.

Lesson Plan Common Core State Standards Alignments

Students will:

  1. Share what they know and want to know about Anne Frank and the Holocaust.
  2. Watch a BrainPOP movie and review resources about Anne Frank.
  3. Write a diary entry from the point of view of people who helped the Frank family.
  4. Summarize what they learned about Anne Frank and the Holocaust
  5. Discuss questions and concerns.

Materials:

  • KWL chart
  • Internet access for BrainPOP
  • Interactive whiteboard

Vocabulary:

Holocaust, Nazi, annex, concentration camp, typhus, liberate

Preparation:

Lesson Procedure:

  1. Begin the lesson by dividing the class into small groups. Distribute a KWL chart to each group. In their small groups, have students identify what they know about Anne Frank and about the Holocaust generally. Have a group recorder write students’ ideas in the K (What I KNOW about) column. Once everyone has had a chance to share what they know, instruct groups to discuss questions they have about this subject and what they hope to learn. Again, have a recorder jot down questions and ideas in the W column (What I WANT to know about).
  2. Have the class do a “gallery walk” of other groups’ KWL charts. When students see a question in the W column that they also have, instruct them to put a checkmark next to it.
  3. Come together as a class. Have a discussion about what they already know. If there are any misconceptions, take the time now to correct them. Then discuss the “frequently asked questions” -- the ones with check marks next to them. Tell students that as they watch the Anne Frank movie you are about to show, they should keep in mind the questions they just discussed..
  4. Show the movie Anne Frank on the whiteboard to the whole class. Enable closed captioning to aide in student comprehension. Pause to explain and clarify as needed.
  5. Show the movie again, this time pausing at moments that questions they have are addressed. Allow time for the recorders to write the answers in the L (What I LEARNED about) column.
  6. Tell students to log on to their BrainPOP accounts and open the Advanced Activity assignment. Read the instructions for the List & Explain part of the activity as a class. If you’d like you can also show the interview with Miep and Jan Gies on the whiteboard and watch as a class, or students can watch individually. After watching, or while watching the interview, remind students to type in the qualities of the Gieses that made it possible for them to help the Franks and others hide.
  7. Now read the Write It instructions aloud to the class. Circulate the classroom as students type their diary entries, helping as needed. To think from Miep’s or Jan’s point of view, encourage students to consider the qualities they listed. When they are finished, remind them to submit their assignment.
  8. After everyone has completed the assignment, have students share what they learned by reviewing the L column of their KWL charts.
  9. Before concluding the lesson, encourage students to ask any questions they might have about this topic and/or share their concerns. Allow time for a follow up discussion.

Extension Activities:

  • Have students use Make-a-Movie to create a movie version of their diary entry
  • Play Time Zone X: World War II and put key historical events in chronological order.
  • Divide the class into groups of four. Have each person in the group read a different FYI. Then have them share what they learned with the group.