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Anne Frank: Critical Thinking


Students will apply critical thinking to a Holocaust situation and then apply the same skills in an American situation.

Background for Teachers

Understanding critical thinking skills and then using them in a real life situation is a most effective tool in allowing students to broaden their perspectives, learn material more thoroughly, and make better decisions. Critical thinking involves the capacity to distinguish beliefs from knowledge, and fact from judgment. Someone skilled in critical thinking is able to analyze, criticize, and advocate ideas. The critical thinker first defines the problem, then examines the evidence, and always analyzes the assumptions underlying the evidence. Critical thinking requires active participation in the learning process.

Intended Learning Outcomes

The student will: Learn to successfully handle controversial subject matter in a way that is most meaningful to them. Consider their own ethics and deal effectively with situations that require ethical decision making. Examine and think critically about their behavior and beliefs within the context of their daily lives.

Instructional Procedures


See preface material from 'Anne Frank in the World, 1929 - 1945 Teacher Workbook.' Have students read 'The Children's Story' by James Clavell. Next, discuss with the students how the circumstances in the story illustrate how propaganda was utilized in the educational environment and impacted the lives of many young people in Germany. After a thorough discussion of the critical thinking skills presented, have the students individually or as a group try to identify how the students would have been able to deal with the situation more effectively if they had been proficient in these skills or how they did use these skills. Have students read 'Anna's Dilemma' and use their critical thinking skills to decide what they would do either individually or as a group. Discuss the questions with the class. Have students read 'John's Dilemma' and use their critical thinking skills to answer the questions as a group or individually. Discuss the questions with the class.

Created: 02/24/1997
Updated: 02/05/2018