Many students do not know much about, or truly understand, the Holocaust. In order to understand the story of Anne Frank as a critical reader capable of prediction, interrpretation, inferences, and synthesis, some background knowledge of this time period is required. Teachers without a social studies background are encouraged to consider coordinating this literature unit with a history/social studies teacher whenever possible.
This study of The Diary of Anne Frank: The Play includes a week of pre-reading activities, primary source materials, journal writing (a unit long project), vocabulary activities specific to this version of the play, activities focusing on comprehension and major themes, including the Holocaust, and a final assement.
Because learning more about this time period, and the Holocaust specifically, will likely bring up sensitive and possibly disturbing issues, it might be a good idea to communicate a little more than usual with parents. Many of the activities and most of the reading are designed to be done either as a class or within small groups, allowing students to find their own level of comfort with the support of their classmates, and allowing the teacher to closely monitor the atmosphere.
This unit is designed to take approximately 5-6 weeks (25-30 class periods) on a regular 50 minute schedule.
This WebQuest allows students to take a virtual tour of the Museum of Jewish Heritage, described as "a living memorial to the Holocaust," in New York City. Students will examine photographs of artifacts from the Museum's collection and use the photographs and descriptions to answer questions about Jewish belief, traditions, and history. This exploration will help to prepare students to learn about the Holocaust and read Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl.
This collection contains a complete set of resources for teaching Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, including twenty-two daily lesson plans with discussion points; anticipatory activities; a pacing guide for students; suggested homework, classwork, and project extensions; connections to a social studies curriculum on World War II; suggestions for further reading, viewing and experiencing; and a sample essay test.