Lesson Plan

Always the Scapegoat

Follow the evolvement of antisemitism from its origin to its use in racial Nazi ideology. Students will break into groups to discuss questions on antisemitism, scapegoating, and the effects of hate speech.

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Enduring Understanding

Nazi racial ideology fed off of pre-existing antisemitic prejudices.

Essential Questions

  • 1How do prejudices take form in society?
  • 2Why are we compelled to scapegoat?


10 Min

Ask your students if they know why the Nazis persecuted Jews, specifically? What is their understanding of this?

Ask your students if they think antisemitism first started during the Nazi era.

Would they consider antisemitism to be a form of racism? Why or why not?


15 Min

Play the video, Why the Jews: History of Antisemitism by the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum.


30 Min

Divide the class into groups of three or five to discuss the questions from USHMM found underneath the video. Assign each group one of the Discussion Questions to discuss amongst themselves.

Ask each group to write down some thoughts their group had and have them be prepared to share what they came up with to the class. Give groups 5-10 minutes for their discussions before reconvening as a class. Have each group present what they discussed. Encourage the students listening to share their thoughts, opinions, and questions on the other groups’ answers.

Teacher Primer

Know Before You Go

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