1. Values Whip Strategy. Explain to students that you want them to think of one good reason why anybody would want to start a war. Provide them with one or two of your own examples to help start their thought process. (e.g., A person might want to start a war because he/she wants control of others.) Give students enough time to think of a good response to share. Starting on one side of the classroom and making your way around, have each student quickly share their personal thought on why a war would be started. Remind students that this activity works best when everyone shares quickly. (Allow students the option to pass on a comment if they do not want to share.) Summarize the values whip by restating a few of the comments made by the students that were particularly relevant to the lesson.
2. Didactic Discussion. Tell the students that you will be discussing World War II and the Holocaust for the next couple of days. Ask students, by raise of hands, if they can tell you anything about the countries involved in World War II. Pull out the map and review three of the countries in Europe that played a major role in WWII and the Holocaust (i.e., Germany, Poland, and Hungary. These countries have been chosen because they are the ones most used in the book.) Give each student a map of western Europe. Have students color the countries on their map so they will identify exactly where they are in relation to all of Europe. Explain that Germany's leaders wanted control over all of Europe and eventually wanted control of the world. Explain that they wanted to create a perfect world, free of Jews, political dissidents, people with disabilities, gypsies, and all culturally diverse people. Allow time for comments from the students. Close the lesson with a quick review of some reasons why World War II was started and what European countries were involved.