Anne Frank
Learning About the Holocaust

Religious Education

Introduction: Anne Frank, Hopes and Fears

This page contains a unit of work for teaching about Anne Frank as part of a programme of study for religious education.

It is aimed at pupils in the last year of primary education in the UK, but may be suitable for older or younger pupils in other education systems.

This unit has been produced to support the locally agreed syllabus for Religious Education in the East Riding of Yorkshire and should also support the expectations of other agreed syllabuses, including national models.

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About This Scheme

The scheme focuses on personal hopes and fears and how religious beliefs may help people to cope with these.

It has the diary of Anne Frank as its central resource.

The scheme has numerous religious links within it, but is primarily concerned with personal, social and moral development alongside ideas relating to citizenship.

The religious context of belief and persecution is however, integral to the objectives.

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Where the Scheme Fits

The issues around the persecution of the Jews and particularly the Holocaust are likely to be covered in greater detail in later key stages.

This unit introduces some of the key concepts that will be considered in more detail at a later date.

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Key Vocabulary

  • hope
  • dream
  • aspiration
  • inspiration
  • persecution
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Suggested Resources

  • Anne Frank: The diary of a young girl
  • The Bible in a modern translation
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Expectations (relating to core assessment objectives)

Most children will be able to
  • explain why hope is an important concept and link it to the story of Anne Frank
Some children will not have made as much progress and will be able to
  • relate the story of Pentecost and say something about its importance for Christians today
Some children will have progressed further and be able to
  • compare the notion of Hope, expressed at Pentecost, to the confirmation or ordination of a Christian
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Pupil Target

“I can compare what I think, feel or believe about a celebration, with the feelings of those who take part in that celebration.”
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Points to Note/Further Suggestions

  • This is an adapted unit, which refocuses on Anne Frank, but looks at personal, social and moral development alongside ideas relating to citizenship
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This Scheme and the National Curriculum

This part of this guide shows you where the scheme of work fits into National Curriculum programmes of study and attainment targets for religious education.

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Programme of Study - People

Children should have opportunities to:

  • (i) continue to explore the lives and work of special people including key religious figures in history and today;
  • (iii) explore commitment to causes;
  • (v) consider how people live their lives according to beliefs and rules.
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AT1 Core Objectives - Reflection and Response

Children should be able to:

  • (c) consider own commitments in relation to people committed to causes;
  • (e) consider influences on own lives which may affect ways of living and behaviour;
  • (f) explore their own thoughts, feelings and beliefs about codes of conduct and moral issues.
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AT2 Core Objectives - Knowledge and Understanding

Children should be able to:

  • (a) give reasons why special people did or do what they do;
  • (b) describe aspects of the lives of key religious figures in detail;
  • (e) give examples of reasons for commitment;
  • (g) explain why members of faith groups are guided by rules, laws and traditions in their lives;
  • (h) give examples of codes of conduct;
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Progression of Teaching Activities

Teachers should use this as practical guidance about how to teach this subject.

Consider and Respond
  • In a circle pupils each give their response to the words “justice” and “freedom”, i.e. justice is...., freedom is...
  • In groups, pupils consider a moral dilemma or issue involving some form of persecution or bullying which may be drawn from reports from the press or from issues within school, e.g. a report on an international situation, a bullying incident in the playground.
  • Pupils discuss what happened and what the consequences were. What are the pupils' reactions to these? Why do they think people acted like they did? Do they act like that? Why do they or why don't they act like that? What stops them? Was there justice involved? What choices (freedom) did those involved have?
  • Introduce the notion of freedom of action. Each individual is free to choose how they act in most situations, but the decision about what to do in any given situation is based on beliefs about the situation and the consequences of the action taken.
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Connect and React

  • Revise the Ten Commandments of the Christian faith - relate these back to their Jewish origins. Focus on the origin of the original commandments as the word of God, the law. Revise the story of Moses receiving the commandments briefly. Discuss the importance of following the law for Jews and later for Christians.
  • Discuss some of the laws which Jewish people follow, including eating kosher foods and keeping the Sabbath. Are there any difficulties in keeping these laws? What might stop Jews keeping the laws?
  • Introduce the diary of Anne Frank using a brief biography of Anne. Discuss why she had to go into hiding and the Nazi persecution (diary entry for Saturday 20th June 1942 is very useful, as may be the entry for Friday 9th October 1942). Focus on the lack of religious freedom.
  • Invite pupils to consider their own lives and what they do that is important. How would they feel and react to being told by other that they could not live their lives in that way.
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Celebrate and Reflect

  • Look at the diary entry for Wednesday 13th January 1943. Ask the children to try to imagine what it would be like living in Amsterdam at that time, either as a Jew or a Christian. They could write a diary entry on a similar theme, but from somebody not in hiding.
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Conclusion and Review

  • Ask the children to reflect on their own beliefs in relation to those they have learned about. Do they feel that there is any common ground and if so, why? Are there any of the beliefs or rules which they do not feel are appropriate in their lives? Why?
  • Give the children an example situation (see introduction above). Ask the children to write about how different people would explain their actions, e.g. somebody is dared to take part in a mugging.
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Recommended Teaching Time

  • One hour per week over half a term. At least one visit to each section of the Progression of Teaching Activities is recommended.
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Download This Guide

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