Holocaust Teacher Resource Center

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The Holocaust in Perspective Teacher Manual Suggested Activities

Activities By Topic

Prejudice and Hatred

1. Read to the class the words to “Carefully Taught” from the musical South Pacific by Rodgers and Hammerstein. Discuss the issues of silence, indifference, fear of new people and situations – how we may accept other’s prejudices too easily and without thinking.

2. Antisemitism in Germany led to terror and mass murders. Have students consider the following question: Do you think that apparently minor forms of racism like slurs and ethnic jokes are therefore dangerous? Explain your answers.

3. What is your favorite pet? Suppose that a law is passed by your local town council that forbids keeping this animal as a pet. What would you do?

4. What animal is your least favorite pet? Suppose a law was passed that forbids keeping this animal as a pet. A few people in your town have these pets, including a person you do not particularly like. When someone comes to you, asking your help in petitioning lawmakers to allow people to keep these pets, what would you do?

5. You unintentionally overhear a conversation between a person you particularly admire and another person. They are talking about a third person in very uncomplimentary terms. Besides ridiculing their subject, they are also commenting about the person’s religion in an unflattering manner. They are discussing how to keep that person out of their groups and planned activities. What would you plan to say or do?

6. Suppose you hear the same conversation as in question 5 from above and instead of speaking of someone else, you realize they are speaking about you. How would you feel and what would you say or do?

7. How does a personal preference differ from prejudice?

8. Have the students keep a hate or prejudice notebook for at least two weeks. Ask them to write down all incidents of hate or prejudice they see or hear firsthand. At the end of the two weeks, have students discuss their feelings about what they witnessed and the process of keeping a notebook. Then have them describe the experience in writing. Review with the class the presence or absence of prejudice in your school. Discuss what can be done to change the attitudes.

9. Compare the medieval persecution of the Jews with the Salem witchcraft hunts. In what way are they similar? How do they differ?