Anne Frank
Learning About the Holocaust

Religious Education

Anne Frank, Justice and Freedom

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

In this unit children will reflect upon and respond to what they learn about the life of Anne Frank and issues of justice and freedom. This will be done, in relation to the principal world religions and secular life. It is related to the rules by which people live their lives and how these rules may originate from religious beliefs. This unit has strong links with citizenship and history. It is designed to supplement a visit to the Anne Frank Exhibition, but can be used at any time.

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The unit builds on work from an earlier unit (4.3 in the East Riding syllabus), which considered commitment and what founders of religions said about how people live their lives. This unit focuses on Christianity and Judaism, and assumes that children:

  • have some knowledge of the origin of the Ten Commandments;
  • have some knowledge of the Jewish way of life;
  • have previously studied Judaism, particularly the story of Moses receiving the Ten Commandments.
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Key Vocabulary

  • freedom
  • justice
  • liberty
  • persecution
  • choice
  • commandments
  • rules
  • God
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Suggested Resources

  • Anne Frank: The diary of a young girl
  • The Bible in a modern translation
  • copy of the Ten Commandments
  • newspapers
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Expectations (Relating to Core Assessment Objectives)

Most children will be able to
  • demonstrate knowledge of beliefs about codes of conduct relating to freedom and justice, particularly in relation to Christianity and Judaism
  • relate key religious beliefs and practices to hypothetical situations in their own lives and the lives of others
Some children will not have made as much progress and will be able to
  • give examples of some of the rules by which people live their daily lives
Some children will have progressed further and be able to
  • explain why people follow codes of conduct rules relating to their beliefs
  • describe the origins of the beliefs relating to the codes of conduct
  • apply a variety of beliefs about codes of conduct to hypothetical situations and compare the reasons behind the different actions
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Pupil Target

“I can tell you about how people live their lives according to their beliefs.”
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Points to Note/Further Suggestions

  • This is an adapted unit, which refocuses on Anne Frank, but has as its basis developing an understanding of belief in action. It would be best used as part of a series of activities, many of which will relate to personal, social and moral development, alongside citizenship.
  • Judaism - The seven Noahide Laws (laws given to Noah) could be considered alongside the Ten Commandments.
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This Unit and the Locally Agreed Syllabus

This part of this guide shows you how the unit supports programmes of study and attainment targets for religious education in the locally agreed syllabus.

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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

You may also like to download this unit of the syllabus as a .doc (Microsoft Word) or PDF (portable document file). Choose the document file if you wish to customize the scheme and save changes. Choose the PDF file if you wish to view or print it. You can open the document in your browser window, or save it (download) to a local drive in your computer. If you are using Microsoft Internet Explorer, then a left mouse-click will open the file in its associated program, and a right mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to save the file. In this case, you can use the save as and browse options to specify where to save. If you are using Netscape Navigator, a left mouse-click will give you a menu, from which you can choose to open or save the file.

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