Lesson Plan

How Should We Remember?

Students will analyze the different types of Holocaust memorials that can be found around the world. Open up into a discussion about what purpose memorials serve, and what they signify. Allow students to create their own memorial.

View All Lessons

Enduring Understanding

Memorials and monuments commemorating the Holocaust have taken on different forms, all begging to answer the questions, “Why should we remember?” and “What helps us never forget?”

Essential Question

  • 1What does learning about the choices people made during the Weimar Republic, the rise of the Nazi Party, and the Holocaust teach us about the power and impact of our choices today?


5 Min

Ask students, what is commemoration? Then ask, what purpose do monuments and memorials serve?


20 Min

As a class, read through the Visual Essay: Holocaust Memorials and Monuments by Facing History and Ourselves and look through the pictures of the memorials featured.

After you go through the reading, go over the Connection Questions found at the bottom of the page. You may choose to do these as a class or have the students discuss them in small groups of three to five people.


25 Min
Teacher's Note
In addition to the examples provided of existing, real-world memorials and monuments students will analyze in this lesson, it may be helpful to share examples of memorials created by students in other classes or one you have created yourself. These examples can help inspire students' creativity and set standards for the quality of depth you are expecting. If able, include an art teacher to weigh in on the activity and be part of the discussion.

Distribute the Creating a Memorial worksheet to each of your students. As this last activity asks students to reflect in depth, you may consider giving students the opportunity to work on their memorial at home. You may also want to give students the option to create their memorials in pairs, allowing them an opportunity to share ideas and concepts. Some teachers will ask students to create a physical model of the memorial they have conceptualized. If able, provide materials such as construction paper, clay, or paint to work on their memorials.

Collect memorials created by your class as a class project. These memorials can then be used as examples when carrying out this lesson for future classes. If doing physical models, you may consider taking a photo of the model to collect instead of holding onto the physical ones.

Wisconsin Academic Standards

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

Teacher Primer

Know Before You Go

Before you teach, use our teacher primer to freshen up on your content knowledge.