Lesson Plan

Why the Jews?

Students will learn about Adolf Hitler’s past leading up to the Holocaust and how these events could have influenced his antisemitic ideology.

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Nazi Germany
Adolf Hitler

Enduring Understanding

Adolf Hitler’s strong antisemitic views were present for the majority of his adult life.

Essential Question

  • 1How are views on hatred/antisemitism formed?


5 Min

Ask students what they know about Adolf Hitler. What were his ideas?

Explain to the students that they will be reading an overview of some major events in Hitler’s life and his growing interest in antisemitism.


15 Min

Direct students to the reading, Hitler’s antisemitism, Why did he hate the Jews? by Anne Frank House. Have students take notes according to the 3Ps method- noting 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

As a class, go over what students wrote down for their 3Ps. Take some time to clear up any questions students may have from their puzzling section.

Divide the students into groups of three for a group discussion. Let students know that there is no right or wrong, the exercise is here to foster discussion.

  1. Why do you think Hitler targeted the Jewish people?
  2. What events in his life could have triggered the ideology that he would adopt in his political career?
  3. Looking back at things now, it seems fairly clear what Hitler’s intentions were. What do you think people thought back then? Do you think they could have imagined what would transpire?

If time permits, come back together as a class and ask groups to share what they discussed.

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.