Lesson Plan

Setting the Stage

Explore what Germany was like after the Treaty of Versailles and how this set the stage for the Weimar years. Students will be introduced to the Nazi party at its early stages.

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Nazi Germany

Enduring Understanding

The Weimar Republic was Germany’s first democracy; meaning leaders were tasked with a complete makeover of institutions, political culture, education, and judiciary systems.

Essential Question

  • 1How did the post WWI context set the groundwork for other issues in Germany?


5 Min
Teacher's Note
Prior to this lesson students should have general knowledge and understanding of the Treaty of Versailles. If necessary, go over a lesson on the Treaty of Versailles before moving on.

Explain to students that they will be reading an overview of the Weimar Republic and how that era helped foster the rise of Nazism. Discuss with students that the creation of the first democracy in Germany seemed to happen overnight, making it a time of confusion and excitement in politics, culture, and society as a whole.


15 Min

Direct students to the Echoes & Reflections resource, The Weimar Republic and the Rise of the Nazi Party. Have them read through the document using the 3Ps method- taking notes on what they find 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.


30 Min

Split the class up into groups of four or five. Give students a chance to try to help answer each other’s puzzling reflections and share their more profound insights. Then ask groups to share what remains puzzling to them. Allow 10-15 minutes for group work.

Finally, assign each group one of the discussion questions below. Double up if necessary. Allow the group 5 minutes to formulate a response that they can share with the class in large discussion thereafter.

  1. What were some of the main problems that needed to be addressed during this time?
  2. This time was defined by new changes and challenges, what were some of these new developments?
  3. When reading through the Selections From ‘The Program of the National-Socialist (Nazi) German Workers Party’, which stands out to you the most? Why is this noteworthy?
  4. Regarding the Program of the Nazi Party, do any of the demands seem reasonable to you?
  5. Look back at the conditions of the Treaty of Versailles. Does it explain why the German people might be open to a more Nationalist view? Why do you think that is?

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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