History Unfolded offers free, adaptable lesson plans in English and Spanish, supporting materials, and a community manager to provide online assistance. Using them, you and your students will help the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum answer questions about what Americans knew about the Holocaust and how they reacted. In the process, students will learn critical thinking skills as they conduct real historical research using primary sources.
This project encourages students to:
- Engage in inquiry-based learning and historical thinking
- Perform scholarly research with primary sources
- Practice close reading and develop media literacy skills
- Explore Holocaust history as an American and local story within the broader context of the New Deal era and World War II
- Think critically about America’s responsibilities in the world today
The lesson plans below align with a variety of subject areas including Social Studies, US History, World History, English and Language Arts, and Journalism. They can be used to enrich middle school, high school, and college curricula.
Each lesson is also compatible with learning management systems or web browsers for students to complete individually or as a class.
Lesson Plans and Supporting Materials
Getting Started with History Unfolded
Spanish Language Newspapers Coverage of the Holocaust
Cobertura del Holocausto en Periódicos en Español
Materials in English
Materiales en Español
Black Press Newspaper Coverage of the Holocaust
Youth Responses to the Holocaust
Tips for Using this Website
- Review the step-by-step guide to get started.
- Create an account and set up a class group. When students create accounts, ask them to join your group. As group owner, you can track and review their contributions.
- Make sure that students are submitting new research to the database. Read and share this guide for how to avoid duplicating research.
- Need help getting started? Visit our online help center or contact the community manager.
- Learn how teachers are using History Unfolded, what their students are finding, and get tips for using the project, all in the Resource Center.
You and your students will find and submit newspaper articles that will help the Museum and other researchers better understand this important, but under-researched, aspect of Holocaust history. Your discoveries will join those of other citizen historians which are available to the public on this website.
For additional assistance using History Unfolded in your classroom, please contact David Klevan at firstname.lastname@example.org or 202.488.0462.
History Unfolded is part of a larger Museum initiative on how Americans responded to Nazism, from the party’s rise in the 1930s through the Holocaust and World War II. The keystone of the initiative is an exhibition that opened in 2018. History Unfolded will be accepting new research contributions through the end of the 2023 spring semester.