Two Regimes: Witness to War
The purpose of this lesson is to exploredifferentforms of government by examining and interpreting primary and secondary historical sources.
All support materials for this lesson can be found at this Google Link:
Support Materialswhich are included in the above link are listed below.
NOTE: Be sure to preview all materials before using with your students
- Historical Overview for Two Regimes by Dr. Jonathan Grant
- Historical Overview of Holocaust by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
- 7ththGrade Paintings in Exhibition PDF
- Nadia Werbitzky Biographical Information
- Teodora Verbitskaya Biographical Information
- Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Form
- Witness to War: Response Questions
- Questions to Ask about Governments
- Types of Government Graphic Organizer
- Forms of Government Scenarios Worksheet
- Teacher’s YouTube Videos for 7thGrade Exhibition
- Holocaust Hyperlinked Resource Material
- 7thGrade Witness to War YouTube Video
- World War II: Timeline, Holocaust Encyclopedia, United States Holocaust Memorial Museum, Washington DC
Florida: Next Generation Sunshine State Standards
- 7.C.3.1 Compare different forms of government (direct democracy, representative democracy, socialism, communism, monarchy, oligarchy, autocracy).
- FS 1003.42 Required Holocaust Education Mandate Public School Instruction
Amy Burch and Kelly Bowen
NOTE: Be sure to preview all materials before using with your students.
- Teacher will assess students’ ability to compare forms of government via verbal feedback to student’s verbal responses during 7thGrade Witness to War Exhibition
- Teacher will assess students’ ability to compare forms of government via verbal feedback to student’s written responses to Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Form.
- Teacher will assess students’ ability to identify and compare forms of government via written feedback to students’ written responses to Witness to War: Response Questionsindependent practice worksheet.
- Teacher will assess students’ ability to define and identify different forms of government via written response to Forms of Government Scenariosindependent worksheet.
- Teacher will assess students’ ability to identify and describe different forms of government and tell how different forms of government impacted the lives of Teodora Verbitskayaand Nadia Werbitzkyvia written or verbal feedback to student’s written or verbal response to Exit Ticket
- Students will receive verbal feedback to their verbal responses during 7thGrade Witness to War Exhibition
- Students will receive verbal feedback to their written responses to Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Form.
- Students will receive written feedback to their written responses on Witness to War: Response Questions
- Students will receive written feedback on Forms of Government Scenariosindependent practice assignment.
- Students will receive verbal or written feedback on Exit Ticket assignment.
Summative Assessment Task:
Students will write an essay that describes how the socialist governments of Lenin, Stalin and Hitler impacted the lives of families in Russia and Germany in 1930s and 1940s AND compares that socialist government and its impact on its citizens with the representative democracy form of government of the U.S.A. and its impact on the lives of its citizens today using information from Two Regimes: Witness to War.
Teachers will determine their own grading criteria. However, written responses should include specific examples from Two Regimes that demonstrate their understanding of forms of government.
Students will interact with primary and secondary sources to:
- Define and describe different forms of government (direct democracy, representative democracy, socialism, communism, monarchy, oligarchy, autocracy).
- Compare different types of government especially socialism and democracy.
- How did the socialist governments of Lenin, Stalin, and Hitler impact the lives of families in Russia and Germany in the 1930s and 1940s?
- How does that compare with the representative democracy form of government in the U.S.A. today?
- Students should have some background knowledge of forms of government.
- Students should have some background knowledge of WWII and the Holocaust.
- Students should have some background knowledge of the overthrow of the government of Nicholas II and the socialist government takeover of Stalin.
Socialism:form of government where the economy is controlled by the government
Economy:the wealth and resources of a country or family, especially with goods and services
Holocaust:Mass killing of Europeans, especially the Jews, by the Nazis during WWII
Republic democracy:form of government where the power is with the people
Collective farming:small farms that are owned and controlled by the government
Concentration camp:a place where large numbers of people are imprisoned to await death by mass killings
Steppe:large area of flat, unforested grassland in southeastern Europe and Siberia
Kremlin:location in Moscow of the central offices of the Russian government
Trench:A large deep ditch
German prison camp:a prisoner of war camp where outdoor work is done for the government
Pre-Teach or Review Types of Government Vocabulary:
Absolute monarchy: a form of autocracy where a person becomes the sole leader of a country by being born into a family of rulers; there are no limits on the monarch’s power
Autocracy: a form of government where one person has unlimited power
Communism: a form of government in which a single ruling party owns and controls the entire economy, and in which no private ownership is allowed
Dictator: a military leader who becomes the head of a country, often by force
Direct democracy: a form of government in which the power to govern is directly in the hands of the people rather than elected representatives
Monarchy: a form of government headed by a king or queen who inherits the position, rules for life, and holds power that can range anywhere from between limited to absolute
Oligarchy: a form of government in which a small group (often of wealthy people) has total control and power
Representative democracy/republic: a form of government in which the people elect representatives to make laws for them
Socialism:a form of government in which the government plays a major role in running the economy, but private ownership is also allowed and leaders may be elected by the people
Introduce lesson by telling the story ofa Ukrainian woman namedTeodora Verbitskaya and her daughters, Lucy and Nadia who experienced the military occupation forces of Nazi Germany inlate 1941 during World War II. They witnessed the deportation of 7,500 Jews from Mariupol who were later murdered. The Germans forced Teodora and her daughters to move to Germany and serve as slave laborers. They were liberated from German control by American forces at the end of World War II.
Explain that Teodora Verbitskaya kept diaries of her life experiences that were later published. Then explain that her oldest daughter, Nadia Werbitzky, went on to become an artist and that many of her paintings are memory paintings from her life experiences as a young person.
Explain to students that in this lesson they will learn about different forms of government, which forms were in place in the Ukraine and Russia during WWII. They will learn how these forms of government, as well as the Holocaust impacted the lives of European people. This will be accomplished by interacting with the primary source memoir of Teodora Verbitskaya and paintings of her daughter, Nadia Werbitzky. Share that works of these two women were later published in a book entitled Two Regimes – A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survival.
For background information see Support Materials:
Historical Overview of Two Regimes by Dr. Jonathan Grant
Historical Overview by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
Nadia Werbitzky Biographical Information
Teodora Verbitskaya Biographical Information
PresentHistorical Overview for Two Regimesby Dr. Jonathan Grant to entire class.
Distribute Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Formto each student to use to during presentation and afterward to detail how the governments under Lenin, Stalin and Hitler regimes impacted ordinary families in Russia and Germany.
Next, present 7thGrade Witness to War Exhibition PDF or Videoto entire class.
After viewing Exhibition, have students work in pairs or small groups to discuss their responses on Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Form.
In small groups, have students discuss the following discussion questions:
What did we learn about the forms of government?
How did the government impact the lives of these people?
Compare that to the way our government controls our family life.
Discuss student responses to discussion questions as whole group. Record for visual display if desired.
See Support Materials for:
Historical Overview for Two Regimes by Dr. Jonathan Grant
Historical Overview of Holocaust by Dr. Michael Berenbaum
7thGrade Paintings in Exhibition PDF
7thGrade Exhibition YouTube Video
Evidence of Government Involvement Note-Taking Form
Distribute to each student a copy of Witness to War: Response Questions. Have each student complete independently. Discuss and share responses at the end of lesson.
Next, Distribute Questions to Ask about GovernmentsandTypes of Government Graphic Organizerto each student.
Allow students time work in pairs, or small groups to discuss both handouts and then complete the Types of Governmenthandout.
Ask students to think about some of the advantages and disadvantages of each form or type of government.
Students will be provided:
Distributeor displaya copy of Forms of Government Scenariosworksheet to each student. Have students complete independently. Review and discuss afterward.
Name and describe the 8 forms of government.
Tell how different forms of government impacted the lives of Teodora Verbitskayaand Nadia Werbitzky.
Students with visual or hearing difficulties may be seated closer to audio/visual equipment.
Students who are non-sighted will be provided with a verbal description of each painting.
Teacher should seek assistance from student’s ESE service provider in adapting necessary materials to meet student’s needs.
Teacher will stop the video as necessary for clarification and discussion.
Students who are unable to work in pairs for discussions may choose to share their ideas independently in writing.
Students who struggle with motor skills can use word processor or dictate the independent practice and summative assessment task.
To further extend this lesson:
- Students may create role plays to present to the class that depict different forms of government. They should present a scene from which the rest of the class will have to identify the form of government the actors are “living” under.
- Students may research the form of government of participating countries during WWII and the role their government played in their participation.
- Students may research to learn how different forms of government have changed over time.
Teacher must determine if the paintings in the exhibition are appropriate for the class. It is recommended that the teacher listen to the narrative in advance of lesson.
Students will learn about different forms of government through a memoir entitled Two Regimes – A Mother’s Memoir of Wartime Survivalwritten by Teodora Verbitskaya and illustrated by Nadia Werbitzky who experienced the military occupation forces of Nazi Germany during World War II, witnessed the deportation of 7,500 Jews who were later murdered, were forced to serve as slave laborers by the Germans, and were liberated from German control by American forces at the end of World War II.
Sponsored in part by the State of Florida, Department of State, Division of Cultural Affairs, the Florida Council on Arts and Culture and the Foundation for Leon County Schools.