Social Conformity versus Free Thinking

Michael Richards, Social Studies, Bailey Middle School

Final Unit(pdf)   Implementing Teaching Standards(pdf)


For this unit students will be able to understand, and identify, when a charismatic, and maniacal, ruler may be trying to grab power. Our most comprehensive topic during the year is World War II. Before we dive into that topic we do cover the time period between the two World Wars, and we discuss the rise of dictators in Italy, Germany, and the Soviet Union. While students tend to understand the underlying reasons these men were able to seize power in their respective countries, they do struggle with fully understanding how the masses could be so easily persuaded to follow and adore tyrants like Hitler or Stalin. In using the novel The Wave, by Todd Strasser, I can use the story in the book to help students understand how a group of people could be made to blindly follow someone.