Curriculum Connections The Resilience of Anti-Semitism: The Lies of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion Overview

Overview of Unit (grades 9-12)


This three-part unit has been prepared in conjunction with the Anti-Defamation League (ADL) special exhibit of Will Eisner’s The Plot (2005), a graphic history of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion.  The purpose of the lessons is to increase student understanding of the history of anti-Semitism and the destructive influence of anti-Semitic myths and stereotypes over time and throughout the world.  The unit also aims to raise awareness about the tactics used to spread hate propaganda, and to provide students with the skills to respond effectively to hate on the Internet and in other arenas.


  • Students will learn about the history/historical context surrounding The Protocols.
  • Students will increase their understanding of the impact of anti-Semitism.
  • Students will learn how to identify propaganda techniques.
  • Students will increase their awareness of hate groups and their destructive influence.
  • Students will increase their ability to critically analyze various media.



Time:  Part I: 90 minutes + research time
Part II: 90 – 120 minutes
Part III: 90 minutes

Grade Level: Grades 9 – 12

Strategies and Skills: analyzing visual media, brainstorming, connecting past to present, cooperative group work, critical thinking, forming opinions, historical understanding, large and small group discussion, media literacy, reading skills, research skills, role play, substantiating factual information, using the Internet, writing skills

Key Words and Phrases: anti-Semitism, Black Hundreds, blood libel, Bolsheviks, Confederate, conspiracy, co-opt, Czar, deception, dehumanize, demonize, Dreyfus Affair, fabricate, fearmongering, forgery, fraud, hoax, Holocaust, ideology, Ku Klux Klan, manipulate, mendacious, nationalism, Nazi, Palestine, parody, persuasive, perverse, plagiarism, pogrom, propaganda, protocol, pseudo-science, resilience, revisionist history, Russian Revolution, satire, scapegoat, superiority, white supremacist, Zion/Zionism


Handouts/Supporting Documents: download all handouts (.pdf format)

  • A Hoax of Hate (one per student)
  • Hate Group Propaganda (one for teacher only)
  • One Lie, Many Versions (one for teacher only)
  • Propaganda Techniques on Hate Web Sites (one per student)
  • Hate Propaganda (one per small group)

Other Materials: Chart paper, markers, laptop/LCD projector/screen, Internet access, copies of The Plot: The Secret Story of The Protocols of the Elders of Zion by Will Eisner

Advance Preparation:

  • Prepare handouts as directed above.
  • Prepare charts as directed in Part I, step #1 and #3; Part II, step #1b and #3c; and Part III, step #3 and #4.
  • Gather copies of The Plot for use in Part II.
  • Prepare laptop/projector/screen and Internet access as directed in Part III, step #4.
  • Arrange for computer/Internet access as directed in Part III, step #7.

NOTE: The content of this lesson may be particularly difficult for Jewish students and their families. It is important for Jewish students and their families to be consulted prior to the start of this lesson to notify them that the topic of anti-Semitism will be discussed in the classroom, and to gauge the comfort level of Jewish students in participating in the lesson. As is true when exploring the experiences of any identity group in the classroom, Jewish students should not be called upon to answer questions on behalf of the whole Jewish community. Every student is an individual and can only answer for their own individual experiences and perspective. These recommendations are true for students belonging to any religious, racial, ethnic or cultural group.


The Resilience of Anti-Semitism: The Lies of The Protocols of The Elders of Zion
  • In This Edition
Lesson Plans
  • Overview of Unit (grades 9-12)
  • Part I
  • Part II
  • Part III
  • Entire Unit (.pdf format -35 KB - requires Adobe Reader)
Additional Resources
  • Will Eisner’s The Plot
  • ADL’s Traveling Exhibit of The Plot
  • ADL Report on The Protocols
  • Student Reading on The Protocols
  • Further Resources on The Protocols
  • Confronting Anti-Semitic Myths With Facts – A Practical Guide
  • ADL Online Catalog: Resources for Classroom and Community
ADL Programs
  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE ® Institute – Anti-Bias Education and Diversity Training
  • Understanding and Addressing Online Bullying
  • The Miller Early Childhood Initiative
  • Holocaust Awareness and Remembrance® Institute
  • Confronting Anti-Semitism
  • Making Diversity Count Online Professional Development Program
  • A WORLD OF DIFFERENCE® Institute Recommended Multicultural and Anti-Bias Books for Children Grades K-6
  ©2010 Anti-Defamation League