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Subject: History

Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Students will collect information about media stories or eye-witness reports of Nazi activities.


  • Students will look at the timeline on the Spread the Light website for dates when Nazi activity was witnessed and/or reported.
  • Students will consider questions about the events.

Key words

Timeline, refugee, witness, respond

Lesson Plan

Look at the timeline on the Spread the Light website for answers to these questions:

  • What did the New York Times report in May of 1942? Where did the article appear in the paper?
  • What did the New York Times report in June of 1942? How many months later did U.S. President Roosevelt create the War Refugee Board to help Jews under Nazi control?
  • Find another example on the timeline of a time when someone witnessed and/or reported violence against Jews. Who were the witnesses? What did they see? Did they report what they’d seen?


Read your answers and example in class. Discuss the questions below.

Discussion Questions

  • Why do you think it took so long for America to respond to what was happening to Jews in Europe?
  • Do you think people completely believed what they were reading? Why or why not?
  • If you had read the articles in The New York Times, what might you have done to demand action?

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan.