This should fit into one forty-five minute lesson.

This is independent silent discussion #2. In my experience, students have the hang of it by now, but you may need to continue to troubleshoot today.

Desired Learner Outcomes:

Students will be able to…Students will know…
debate constructively and respectfully with their partners and classmates.
how, when, and why the Frank family and their companions went into hiding.
guide their partner's reading of the Diary.
where the Franks' Secret Annexe was and why this is significant.
read the Diary the Franks and their companions were able to survive.

Summative Assessment(s):

Describe Performance TasksExplain &/or Reference Criteria
Students will read the section
of the book that has been assigned
and complete their "diary entries."
Use your own grading scale to assess
the completeness and thoughtfulness
of each student's response to his/her
reading. I use 1-2-3-4 (1 being the
lowest, 4 being the highest), where a "4"
entry not only summarizes what was read
correctly, but engages in questioning
and extending what has been read.




Students should begin the lesson with their partner (note: an odd number of students in a class may permit the use of a triad, which also works pretty well). Aim for three paper exchanges in this silent discussion. It should be timed as such:

  • 3-5 minutes: Each student writes something to his/her partner. Remind them of the discussion starters referenced in the introductory lesson if they struggle.
  • While students write, circulate around the room with a notepad or clipboard and note students' discussions that are particularly cogent, thoughtful, or provocative. Make sure to choose students who touch on the most important events or ideas in the reading. You may use this as a formative assessment/classwork grade, or it may give you a good sense of who to "call on" in the whole-group discussion.
  • Announce "switch!" after 3-5 minutes. Students should switch papers and respond to what his/her partner wrote. Again, remind strugglers of tools for constructive disagreement and extension.
  • Announce another "switch!" after 3-5 minutes.
  • Announce a final "switch!" after 3-5 more minutes.
  • Then conclude the silent discussion. This should take a total of 15-20 minutes.

In the whole-group discussion, I usually choose three pairs of students whose silent discussions were particularly productive. Touch on these points in your whole-group discussion:

  • Why did the Franks have to go into hiding? [Emphasize that although the Franks tried to tell Anne that her father was called up by the Nazis, Margot tells Anne the truth: that the order was for her.]
  • How did the Franks manage to prepare so well for going into hiding? [The Gieses took some things ahead for them; they layered clothes together; they sent things ahead of time]
  • How do you think Anne and Margot felt while they were preparing to go into hiding? [This is a good time to help your students empathize with Anne and Margot's situation. You probably have students that are their ages13 and 16or near enough to it.]
  • Describe the Secret Annexe. [The map provided is a good reference, as well as Anne's verbal description of it.]


If you are using the "Secret Annexe" activities also posted here, you could use "Your Secret Annexe" and/or "Your Secret Annexe Suitcase" at this point.

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