Lesson Plan

Ally with the Reich

Examine the concordat that tied the Catholic Church to the Nazi Regime and continues to spark controversy today via this expository reading from Facing History and Ourselves.

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Enduring Understanding

The Catholic Church sought the approval and protection of the Nazi state.

Essential Question

  • 1What motivates an institution to ally itself to another?


10 Min

Ask your students to reflectively write on one of the following prompts: Would you form an alliance with a bully if that bully promised to protect you from other people picking on you?

Or, is your protection enough of a reason to ally yourself with someone who you don’t trust and you don’t think is a good person? Why or why not?

After giving the students 5 minutes to write, ask them to share their thoughts about this subject.


20 Min

Have your students read An Agreement with the Catholic Church from Facing History and Ourselves.

Have them read with the 3Ps method: They should take notes on what they find to be the most a) Powerful b) Puzzling and c) Propelling.

In order to familiarize yourself, and your class with this model, please look over this guide: 3Ps: A Critical Reading Guide.

Give them 15 minutes to read and record their responses.


15 Min

Ask students to share their reflections. Help clarify any of the puzzling sections and point (if possible) toward further exploration when students are propelled toward another subject or thought that was sparked by the reading. Spend 15 minutes on the 3Ps.

Then ask them who they think got the better end of the deal. Ask them to clearly state why they feel the Catholic Church or the Nazi party benefitted most from the concordat.

Wisconsin Academic Standards

This lessons meets the following Academic Standards required by the Wisconsin Department of Public Instruction.

Teacher Primer

Know Before You Go

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