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Activity Overview

The 5 Ws are a powerful and simple way for students to get an overview of a topic and better enhance their understanding. By creating a spider map or narrative storyboard that showcases the 5Ws, students can demonstrate their knowledge using concise descriptions and visual scenes. Giving students a visual with each category helps students to better understand and remember the details and importance of the topic.

When learning about the Who, What, When, Where, and Why of the Holocaust, students may need teachers to provide a variety of resources. The use of diverse resources such as primary sources, videos, readings from textbooks, encyclopedias and literature can be helpful for students to gain an accurate and complete picture of the time period. Students can use graphic organizers with spaces for the 5Ws and to write down their notes while they read or watch.

After learning about the Holocaust, students will create a spider map to explain the 5Ws about this complex topic. They will create scenes and a short description to answer the following questions about The Holocaust: What was the Holocaust? When did the Holocaust occur? Who was affected by it? Where did it occur? Why did it happen and/or why did it continue for so long?

Template and Class Instructions

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Due Date:

Objective: Create a spider map that answers the following questions about the Holocaust: What was the Holocaust? When did the Holocaust occur? Who was affected by it? Where did it occur? Why did it happen? and/or Why did it continue for so long?

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the description boxes, write a concise statement that answers the question.
  3. Create a picture for each cell using appropriate scenes, characters, and items to illustrate your answer.

Lesson Plan Reference

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/WHST/6-8/2/B] Develop the topic with relevant, well-chosen facts, definitions, concrete details, quotations, or other information and examples.


(You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)

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