Document Based Question on Resistance in the Holocaust and Rwanda

Dianne O’Bryan
Blue Valley High School

Grade Level
High School

Social Studies
Language Arts/Reading

Time Needed
Based on teacher use

A Document Based Question is something that students in high school Advanced Placement classes do as a part of the curriculum and a part of the AP exam at the end of the year. This DBQ is designed to allow a teacher to work on the skills associated with a DBQ while at the same time helping students to learn more about resistance during the Holocaust and the Rwandan genocide.

Skills students will enhance
Analysis of primary and secondary sources
Critical thinking
Identifying similarities and differences between documents or events
Formulating an essay outline
Writing an historical essay

Length of the Unit/Lesson
You can use this DBQ for as much or little time as you have available. The process should involve students analyzing the documents, comparing them to the other documents, deciding which part of the DBQ question they help to answer, and possibly creating an essay outline or full essay using the documents as evidence.

Document Based Question on Resistance in the Holocaust and Rwanda
USHMM booklet on resistance during the Holocaust

Suggested Activities With Documents
Have students complete the Document Analysis sheet individually or with a partner.
Share the results and start to “map” the work on the board with how it helps to answer the essay question.
Discuss how to formulate an essay using this information.
Have students create an essay outline or full essay from this work.

Pedagogical note from the Midwest Center for Holocaust Education: We encourage all educators to be familiar with the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum’s Guidelines for Teaching the Holocaust. When teaching this unit, please remember the guideline which tells us to avoid comparisons of suffering and pain. This includes both individuals and groups.

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

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