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16 June 2016

Lesson walk-through: Hitler's aims for Germany

I had quite a lot of interest in my previous post which dissected a lesson and the planning process behind it.  So here's another - this time on Hitler's aims for Germany.

Lesson enquiry: What kind of Germany did Hitler want to build?

To start with, a register teaser.  Here I'm trying to engage students and get them thinking the minute they enter the room.  This time, I'm asking them to prioritise the problems facing Hitler when he first took power.  I'm aiming for two things here: Firstly, I want to generate some brisk opening dialogue, so we do some feedback and students begin to see that the problems are connected.  Through making connections we start to make decisions about which problems are more immediate.  Secondly, I'm also foreshadowing the next activity, which is going to be about Hitler's 'solutions' to the problems Germany faced.  This register teaser allows us to recap the problems and lays the ground for what is coming next.

Next up, I share the aims with students.  I'm dividing this into what I want students to KNOW and what I want them to be able to DO.

Then we're into the first task.  I use some brief teacher exposition to identify Hitler's key aims and engage students' interest.  To make effective use of time here, I then allocate students one of these three areas to read on in this textbook.  I ask them to think about "What did Hitler mean by this?"  We then feedback as a class and unpack each aim.  Here, I'm also thinking about the poster analysis activity which is coming next, so I need to make sure I've laid the groundwork in terms of knowledge in order for the students to analyse the posters in a meaningful way.

My students are still developing their ability to analyse visual sources.  I want them to explore how Hitler's aims for Germany are depicted in Nazi propaganda from the period.  They need some modelling on how to do this, so I demonstrate for them on an example. 

Now students are put into differentiated groups and each is allocated with a large copy of one of the posters to look at.  There are six groups in total, each doing a different image.  This is strictly time-limited, after which each group's annotated poster is displayed around the room.  Students then do a one minute silent museum tour, in which they look at all the other groups' annotations.  This is a time-effective way of exposing them to a range of different sources.

Finally, I want to see what students are capable of and whether or not my objectives have been achieved.  This time, it's a written task with differentiated success criteria tailored to the specific class.  Written responses are collected at the end, marked and then returned to students for improvement the following session.


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