Unit Plan Overviews
Holocaust Unit Plan; Informational Text and Night Novel Study
Focus CCSS: 1.) Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RL.8.1]
2.) Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text. [RL.8.2]
3.) Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or provoke a decision. [RL.8.3]
4.) Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts. [RL.8.4]
8.) Analyze how a modern work of fiction draws on themes, patterns of events, or character types from myths, traditional stories, or religious works such as the Bible, including describing how the material is rendered new. [RL.8.9]
10.) Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text. [RI.8.1]
11.) Determine a central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to supporting ideas; provide an objective summary of the text. [RI.8.2]
13.) Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in a text, including figurative, connotative, and technical meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including analogies or allusions to other texts. [RI.8.4]
14.) Analyze in detail the structure of a specific paragraph in a text, including the role of particular sentences in developing and refining a key concept. [RI.8.5]
15.) Determine an author's point of view or purpose in a text and analyze how the author acknowledges and responds to conflicting evidence or viewpoints. [RI.8.6]
23.) Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience. (Grade-specific expectations for writing types are defined in standards 20-22 above.) [W.8.4]
24.) With some guidance and support from peers and adults, develop and strengthen writing as needed by planning, revising, editing, rewriting, or trying a new approach, focusing on how well purpose and audience have been addressed. (Editing for conventions should demonstrate command of the first three standards in the Language strand in Grades K-8.) [W.8.5]
25.) Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing and present the relationships between information and ideas efficiently as well as to interact and collaborate with others. [W.8.6]
Essential Question: What do our responses to war and other conflicts teach us about ourselves?
Overview: How do we behave during war? In the dangerous, heightened period of war, people make extreme decisions, sometimes reflecting the very best of humankind, and sometimes the worst. What do our responses to war and other conflicts teach us about ourselves? This Grade 8 unit prompts students to explore this question and consider the complexities of wartime morality as it existed during World War II. The unit opens with a powerful speech, “Blood, Toil, Tears and Sweat,” delivered by Winston Churchill as the United Kingdom entered into the war against German fascism. Other selections explore both the hope and despair created by war, as expressed by Anne Frank, John Boyne, Elie Wiesel and other Holocaust survivors, young people in Germany, Japanese Americans, as well as proponents of peace, prisoners of war, and more. Students will explore the brave, critical, and illuminating choices that those in extreme conflict are forced to make, and the ramifications of these choices.
Objectives: Students will engage in annotations for both non-fiction works and fiction works pertaining to the Holocaust. Students will practice and apply concrete strategies for identifying and analyzing author purpose and point of view and media in an excerpt from the "Nobel Prize Acceptance Speech." Students will complete a close reading of a passage of an informational text. Students will practice using concrete strategies for delineating and evaluating the argument in a nonfiction passage. Students will practice using concrete strategies for identifying reasons and evidence. Students will practice using concrete strategies for analyzing and understanding characters. Students will create a blog analyzing their chosen element of literature (theme, motif, symbolism, character development, author’s style) after reading Night by Elie Wiesel.
Summative Assessment: Academic Scholars students will be assessed on their understanding of literary elements through a blog on Weebly.
Students will be assessed on their understanding and comprehension of literary elements in fiction and non-fiction texts.
Students will be assessed on their ability to identify claims and reasons and the main idea of a non-fiction.
Formative Assessment: Graphic Organizers, Exit Slips, Quick Writes, Group Discussions, Journal Reflections, Think Questions
Reading Materials: Winston Churchhill’s “Blood Sweat Toils and Tears”, Elie Wiesel’s Nobel Peace Prize Acceptance Speech, Elie Wiesel’s Night, Hitler’s Youth: Growing up in Hitler’s Shadow, The Boy in the Striped Pajamas: A Fable, Anne Frank: A Young Girl’s Diary, Remarks in Memory of the Victims of The Holocaust, Teaching History Through Fiction
Student Activities: Book mark collaborations, graphic organizer prewriting groups, character analysis charts, analyze mediums, interactive annotations, carnival group discussions;
Group Discussion Questions for Night
In Night, there’s a lot of corpse imagery. What do corpses symbolize in this novel? Discuss with your group, and find textual evidence to support your answer.
Having and then losing faith in God, is an important theme in Night. Discuss and explain how this theme is developed and use textual evidence to analyze your answer.
There are many mentions of flames and fire throughout the novel, Night. What do you think flames and fire represent? Find textual evidence, and discuss with your group.
The relationship between Father and Son is an important theme in Night. Discuss how this theme is developed and use textual evidence to support your answer.
When Elie and his family are warned by Moshe of the danger coming to them, they do not listen. What would have been the outcome if they had listened to Moshe’s warnings? Do you think they would have been captured later on?
Compare Elie and his father’s relationship at the beginning of the novel, to how it is now in the concentration camp. How has it changed? Use textual evidence to support your answer.
Elie watches as his father is beaten, but he does nothing to help. What would have happened if he would have stepped in to stop the beating?
“How I sympathize with Job! I did not deny the existence of God, but I doubted his absolute justice.” Why does Elie sympathize with Job? You may need to look up who Job is. What does this allusion add to the deeper meaning?