Lesson plans, activities, and other resources to help you teach about and reflect upon the Holocaust
- Use problem-solving skills to determine a mathematical method of graphically representing the number six million
- Conduct research to find an appropriate solution to their mathematical question
- Create a presentation to illustrate the results of their research
- A copy of the photo of shoes taken at Auschwitz concentration camp
- Ideas to Represent Six Million printable
- Chart paper, construction paper, and poster board
- Markers, colored pencils, and rulers
- Computer and projector
- Obtain a copy of the photo of shoes taken at Auschwitz concentration camp. One is available at Shamash.org.
- Download the image to your computer to project for students to see.
- Create a presentation to visually represent one of the Ideas to Represent Six Million printable or another of your choosing. The presentation should include charts, graphs, comparisons, photos, illustrations, etc.
- Copy a class set of the Ideas to Represent Six Million printable.
- Reserve computers, if necessary, for students to conduct research.
Step 1: Reinforce students' knowledge of the causes, effects, and outcomes of the Holocaust through a classroom discussion.
Step 2: Once students have a sufficient picture of the Holocaust, introduce the concept of the number 6,000,000 and the significance the number represents.
Step 3: Guide student responses to the question, "How much is 6,000,000?" Answers will vary and will cover a wide variety of concepts, including time, money, distance, etc.
Step 4: Show students a photo from the Auschwitz concentration camp that portrays shoes taken from prisoners. Explain that it is difficult to imagine 6,000,000 deaths, but the images of the shoes only represent a percentage of deaths at one concentration camp. Have students try to visualize 12,000,000 shoes.
Step 5: Display the Ideas to Represent Six Million printable using a computer and projector or by writing the list on the board.
Step 6: Engage students in a brainstorming session to think of alternative methods to illustrate 6,000,000. Write additional responses on the board.
Step 7: Tell students that tomorrow they will begin a research project illustrating the number 6,000,000.
Step 1: Discuss with the students the requirements for the project. List the requirements on the board throughout the project to keep students organized and on task, or make each student a copy.
- Must contain a chart or graph
- Include math vocabulary
- Use a mathematical operation, e.g. division, multiplication, etc. to determine the solution
- Include picture(s) (clip art, photos, or drawn)
- Consult at least three resources
- Resources must be sited on the work
- Include a conclusion: What you have learned?
- Create a presentation to display your work, e.g. poster, PowerPoint, etc.
- Creativity, Accuracy, and Neatness
Step 2: Distribute copies of the Ideas to Represent Six Million printable. Direct students to choose a way to show the number 6,000,000 mathematically. As students have just brainstormed, there are many ways to do this. They must be able to perform research to determine the solution to their mathematical question, and they must use a mathematical operation, e.g. division, multiplication, etc., to prove their findings.
Step 3: Once students have selected an idea from the list or an idea of their own, tell students that tomorrow they will collect data for their representation of 6,000,000.
Day 3: Research Day
Step 1: On "Research Day," students will take notes, print photos, etc. that will be used to complete their presentation. Students will consult three resources to find their solution; resources must be sited on their work.
Step 2: Explain that students are to create a presentation to display their work. This could be a poster, a PowerPoint, etc.
Step 3: Review the project requirements for the project from Day 2 with students.
Step 4: Have students gather all the data and photos taken from Research Day to work independently on their presentations.
Step 1: Have students present their finished projects to the class.
Supporting All Learners
To meet different learning styles and abilities, modify the lesson to students' abilities by giving more time and more choices to represent 6,000,000. Allow students to work with a partner or team. Provide mathematical vocabulary to students who are having difficulty.
Students may conduct research to determine how museums have archived collections of items from Holocaust victims.
Invite parents and guardians to the student presentations.
- Brainstorm the representation of 6,000,000.
- Research idea to represent 6,000,000.
- Create a presentation.
- Present to the class.
- Did the students connect and visualize the number 6,000,000 with the Holocaust?
- Did students have problems finding three sources for the project?
- Did the students have enough time to complete the project requirements?
Assessment will cover the validity of information, use of resources, following the requirements of the project, neatness and creativity.