Timeline of the Holocaust

By: Amy Samuels



Students will work in mixed-ability groups of three or four to create a documentary on an assigned period of time during the Holocaust. Groups will research information from a provided website to highlight important details to use in their presentation. Groups will use the information to create a documentary. Each group will present their documentary (in video or live form) to the class while the class takes notes on the details and important information regarding each time period.

Keywords: Holocaust


Students will research an assigned time period and prepare a news documentary in order to sequence and evaluate important events in the Holocaust.


Analyze the impact of the Holocaust during World War II on Jews as well as other groups. (SS.912.A.6.3)
Explain the causes, events, and effects of the Holocaust (1933-1945) including its roots in the long tradition of anti-Semitism, 19th century ideas about race and nation, and Nazi dehumanization of the Jews and other victims. (SS.912.W.7.8)


Academic Preparation

This lesson should be completed after foundation knowledge on the Holocaust has been established.
Students will need computer use in order to access the website (see attachment) for research. Each student will also need a copy of the attached matrix to complete during group presentations.


In order to activate prior knowledge, ask students to think about the Holocaust and compile a brainstorm list of what they know about this historical event.
After students have been given enough time to compile their lists, students should be asked to share their lists with a partner. If time allows, after partner sharing occurs, students should be asked to share their lists aloud to the class.
Explain to students that in order to deepen their understanding of the Holocaust, they are going to work in groups to research an assigned time period and prepare a news documentary. The presentation needs to highlight important details and information regarding the assigned period of time. Although they will access a lot of information in their research, they need to evaluate what is important and synthesize information to draw conclusions about main ideas of the time period. Students should try to be as creative as possible in displaying their information in their documentaries.
Assign each group one of the following time periods: 1) Rise of the Nazi Party: 1918-1933, 2) Nazification: 1933-1939, 3) The Ghettos: 1939-1941, 4) The Camps: 1941-1942, 5) Resistance: 1942-1944, 6) Rescue and Liberation: 1944-1945, 7) Aftermath: 1945-2000.
Explain to students that each group should have people assigned to the following roles 1) narrator, 2) script writer, 3) historian (fact checker), 4) choreographer (action manager).
After students have broken into groups and assigned roles to each member, students should begin researching. After research is completed, students need to prepare their documentaries and any necessary props. After preparing the presentation, students should be given time to practice. Documentaries can either be recorded and shown to the class or, if there is no access to video recording devices, the documentary could be performed live in front of the class.
Once all groups have researched, prepared and practiced their documentaries, groups will present to the class. The matrix should be distributed to students before the presentations begin. Students should be instructed to take notes on each time period as the groups present.
At the conclusion of all presentations, using the information learned, students will construct a timeline to synthesize the information and present the 10 most important events of the Holocaust.


Students will be assessed through documentary presentations and construction of their individual timelines.

Estimated Lesson Duration

3hr 00min


  • http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/timeline/timeline.htm


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