Authentic Lessons for 21st Century Learning

Honor and Remembrance

Stories of the Holocaust

Daniel Schwarz, Laura Halstied, Sherry Franklin | Published: December 16th, 2022 by K20 Center


This lesson will ask students to consider and respond to the following essential question: "Why should we remember the Holocaust?" First, students will investigate the events that happened during the Holocaust by examining an infographic and reading the testimonies of those who experienced it. Next, students will research the experiences of victims, survivors, and rescuers and then construct a Wall of Honor that retells their stories.

Essential Question(s)

Why should we remember the Holocaust?



Students engage in a True or False exercise to investigate several myths about the Holocaust.


Students analyze a series of quotes relating to the Holocaust and explain their feelings about those quotes using the S-I-T strategy.


Students examine an infographic and use the Window Notes strategy to organize the information they find interesting and important.


Students review the experiences of victims, survivors, and rescuers and construct honorary plaques that retell their stories. Students then participate in a Gallery Walk to view their peers’ work.


Students participate in an Exit Ticket activity in which they write their own answers to the essential question.


  • Lesson Slides (attached)

  • S-I-T handout (attached; one per student)

  • Holocaust Timeline Infogram (linked)

  • Window Notes handout (attached; one per student)

  • Holocaust Research Criteria handout (attached; one per student/group)

  • Research Card Deck (attached; one set for the class)

  • Pencils or pens

  • Notebook paper

  • Student computers or tablets

  • Internet access

  • Materials to create honorary plaques, such as construction paper, glue, scissors, and markers (optional)


10 Minute(s)

Introduce the lesson using the attached Lesson Slides. After displaying the title on slide 2, share with students the essential question on slide 3 and the lesson's learning objectives on slide 4. Review them with students to the extent you feel necessary. 

Inform students they are going to participate in a True or False exercise with four statements. As you go through slides 5–12, have students read each statement one at a time and consider whether it is true or false. Each statement is followed by a slide that reveals the answer and provides additional context. Make sure to give students at least 30 seconds to think carefully about each statement you present, and then give students an equal amount of time to process the answer revealed on the following slide.

After you have revealed all of the answers to students, ask them if there were any facts in particular that surprised them.


20 Minute(s)

Place students in groups of three or four. Display slide 13 and pass out the attached S-I-T (Surprising, Interesting, Troubling) handout to each student. The handout contains a list of quotes relating to the Holocaust that were taken from oral history interviews and other sources.

Give student groups at least 10 minutes to read through the quotes together. Then, ask groups to use the S-I-T strategy to discuss whether the information presented in each quote strikes them as surprising, interesting, or troubling and why.

After groups have had time to discuss, call on a member of each group to share at least one of the quotes they found surprising, interesting, or troubling. Invite student groups to share their reasoning with the class.


20 Minute(s)

Keep students in their small groups. Display slide 14 to provide them with a short link to the Holocaust Timeline Infogram. Inform students they will have at least 10 minutes to examine the infographic, which contains descriptions and images of the events that occurred between 1933 and 1945. 

Pass out the attached Window Notes handout. As you go over the modified Window Notes strategy with students, point out that the quadrants on the handout are labeled as follows: Facts, Feelings, Questions, and New Knowledge. Instruct students to use the handout to capture their responses to the Infogram. Ask them to consider the following questions:

  • Facts quadrant: What specific details do you find interesting or notable?

  • Feelings quadrant: What are you feeling as you learn these facts?

  • Questions quadrant: What questions do you have now?

  • New Knowledge quadrant: How does this connect to what you had learned previously?

Give students an additional 10 minutes to complete their Window Notes after they have read through the Infogram.


60 Minute(s)

Keep students in their small groups. Display slide 15 and inform students they are going to work as a class to design a Wall of Honor that pays respect to people who survived, lost their lives, or saved the lives of others during the Holocaust. 

Have a representative from each of the small groups come to the front of the classroom. Ask each representative to draw the name of a survivor, victim, or rescuer from the hat or box in which you have placed the Research Cards. Once each student has picked a card, they may return to their seats.

After giving groups a moment to study the name of the person they will research together, move to slide 16 and pass out one copy of the attached Holocaust Research Criteria handout to each group. To guide students during the first part of this activity, instruct groups to open the Wakelet linked on the slide and find the name of the person they are researching. Using the link(s) below that person’s name, students should write as much information as they can about the person in the different sections of the handout. 

Move to slide 17. To guide students during the next part of this activity, inform groups they are going to use the provided materials to create a plaque that honors the person they have researched. Each honorary plaque should include the following: a picture of the person, their name, the place they are from, several interesting facts about their lives, and a description of their experiences during the Holocaust. 

Move to slide 18. Once groups have finished their honorary plaques, let them know it is time for them to create their Wall of Honor and participate in a Gallery Walk. Have students tape their plaques to either the classroom wall or a hallway bulletin board. During the Gallery Walk, one person from each group should stay behind to present their plaque while the rest of the group moves from one plaque to the next, learning from the other groups’ representatives about the people they researched.


10 Minute(s)

Display slide 19. Have students take out a piece of paper to complete a brief writing assignment as an Exit Ticket. Ask students to answer the lesson’s essential question: Why should we remember the Holocaust?

After students have had about 10 minutes to write, collect their responses as a summative assessment.