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There is much more to explore in our calendar. Find other important events in literary history, authors' birthdays, and a variety of holidays, each with related lessons and resources.
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Elie Wiesel was born on September 30, 1928.
|Grades||7 – 12|
|Calendar Activity Type||Author & Text|
Holocaust survivor Elie Wiesel is the author of over 40 books, the most famous of which, Night, is an autobiographical work based on his experiences during the Holocaust. Sequels to Night include Dawn and Day. Also recognized for his humanitarian and political activism, Wiesel was awarded the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986. He now lives in the United States, where he teaches at Boston University and serves as the chairman of the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
Have students compare and contrast two views of the Holocaust from different authors. Have students first read both Night and Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Then, have them look at the similarities and differences between these two accounts of Holocaust events. Ask students the following questions, using a Venn diagram to record responses during your discussion. If you prefer, students can work in small groups to create their own Venn diagrams using the ReadWriteThink Interactive.
- How are the two authors similar and different?
- How did their experiences during the Second World War differ? How were their situations similar?
- Did Anne Frank and Wiesel's main character share similar feelings?
- How did the formats of these two texts differ?
- What were the differences between the endings? Were there any similarities?
Extend students' study of the Holocaust by having them research stories of other survivors who may or may not have published books. Have students create a presentation highlighting the person they select.
- A Conversation with Elie Wiesel
Random House provides this interview with Wiesel. He discusses Night, his work as a writer, war criminals, religion, and more.
- Elie Wiesel - Biography
This biography is featured on the official website of the Nobel Foundation. The page also offers additional resources related to Wiesel, winner of the 1986 Nobel Peace Prize.
- Elie Wiesel: First Person Singular
This resource from PBS provides a biography of Wiesel, a bibliography of his work, and a teacher's guide.
- Personal Histories: Individuals
This United States Holocaust Memorial Museum page features personal accounts of people who experienced the Holocaust firsthand.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Social injustice occurs every day all over the world. In this lesson, students research a few historical examples of social injustice, including the Holocaust, the Trail of Tears, and Japanese internment.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Students explore a variety of resources as they learn about the Holocaust. Working collaboratively, they investigate the materials, prepare oral responses, and produce a topic-based newspaper to complete their research.
Grades 9 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Unit
Working in small groups, students read and discuss Elie Wiesel’s memoir Night and then take turns assuming the “teacher” role, as the class works with four different comprehension strategies.
Grades 6 – 9 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
After reading or viewing The Diary of Anne Frank, students will make connections between audience and purpose and revise a journal entry with an outside audience in mind.
Grades 10 – 12 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
After students have read a book about the Holocaust, such as The Diary of Anne Frank or Night by Elie Wiesel, students will view Life is Beautiful and complete discussion questions to challenge their ability to analyze literature using film.
Grades 6 – 10 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
To prepare for literature circles featuring historical novels, students research the decades of the 1930s to the 1990s and share their information using Prezi, a web application for creating multimedia presentations.
Grades 6 – 8 | Lesson Plan | Standard Lesson
Images have power—they can trigger memories or symbolize abstract ideas. Students put the power of images to the test as they analyze symbolism in Night and create symbolic photomontages.