Connecting a Holocaust Memoir Study to Modern Genocides

Rebecca Dalton
Blue Valley North High School
Overland Park, Kansas

Grade Level
High School

Language Arts

Time Needed
Recommend 11 class periods

This unit was designed for teachers to use as much or as little of it as they need. Teachers should feel free to implement whatever aspects of the unit that they feel comfortable teaching and/or presenting. I used this lesson after reading Elie Wiesel’s Night, but another Holocaust memoir would also work for this assignment. After reading, I presented basic information about the Bosnian, Rwandan, and Darfur genocides and then allowed students to choose a modern victim, journalist or activist to research from the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s web site. We read about how to write a comparison/contrast essay, and students could either choose to write a comparison or contrast essay about Elie Wiesel and the more recent genocide person they researched, or they could write a comparison or contrast essay about the Holocaust and one of the other genocides we had studied. More detailed lessons follow.

Teacher Instructions
Modern Genocides Powerpoint
Powerpoint Talking Points for Teachers
Powerpoint Notes Student Worksheet
Heroism Project Instructions and Rubric
Eyewitness Testimonies
Essay Rubric
Essay Peer Editing Sheet – Block Method
Essay Peer Editing Sheet – Point-by-Point

This teaching unit was designed by a member of the Isak Federman Holocaust Teaching Cadre.

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