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Lesson Plan

Using Technology to Analyze and Illustrate Symbolism in Night

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Using Technology to Analyze and Illustrate Symbolism in Night

Grades 6 – 8
Lesson Plan Type Standard Lesson
Estimated Time Seven 50-minute sessions
Lesson Author

Catherine Thomason

Roanoke Rapids, North Carolina


International Literacy Association


Materials and Technology

Student Interactives






  • Night by Elie Wiesel (Bantam, 1982)
  • Computers with Internet access
  • Microsoft Paint software
  • Blank CDs or disks
  • Sticky notes
  • Photo-editing software (optional)
  • Data projector


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Literary Graffiti

Grades   9 – 12  |  Student Interactive  |  Organizing & Summarizing

Literary Graffiti

Literary Graffiti, a high school version of the Doodle Splash student interactive, also aims to teach students to visualize what they are reading to help them develop as readers.


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1. Obtain and familiarize yourself with Night by Elie Wiesel; students should read the book before you start the lesson. You will also want to provide students with some background on the Holocaust. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum has an online workshop for teachers and a resource book that you might find useful. You may also want to teach the lesson Fighting Injustice by Studying Lessons of the Past before beginning this lesson.

2. You will also want to familiarize yourself with contemporary examples of ethnic cleansing, hate crimes, and genocide, and have definitions of these terms ready to share with your students. Tolerance.org and the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum are good resources for this information. Choose articles about recent hate crimes and print them off for students to review in groups of three or four (see Session 3, Step 5).

3. Choose a passage from Night where Wiesel uses darkness as a symbol for something else. You will share this passage with students (see Session 2, Step 1). Some examples include:

  • Page 32: "Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, which has turned my life into one long night, seven times cursed and seven times sealed."

  • Pages 34 and 35: "So much had happened within such a few hours that I had lost all sense of time. When had we left our houses? And the ghetto? And the train? Was it only a week? One night — one single night?"

  • Page 63: "Night was falling. Others prisoners continued to crowd in, from every block, able suddenly to conquer time and space and submit both to their will."
In addition, the title itself is symbolic of the hatred and inhumanity of the Nazis and the horrific experiences they caused the victims of the Holocaust.

4. Teach students the procedures for Mix-Pair-Chat and Numbered Heads Together as follows:



Students mix about the classroom as they think about the topic.

b. Call time or use a quiet signal after about 30 seconds to a minute.

c. Students pair with the closest partner and discuss the topic until you tell them to resume mixing.

Numbered Heads Together

a. Have students count off from one to five.

b. Ask a question or introduce a topic and give "think time."

c. Have students write a response individually.

d. Direct students to put their heads together with the group sharing their number and discuss a group response.

e. Call a number. Students with that number stand and share the group response.

5. Make sure your students have permission to use the Internet following your school's policy. If you do not have computers with Internet access available for student use in your classroom, reserve four 50-minute sessions in your school computer lab (see Sessions 2, 4, 5, and 6). Arrange to use a computer with Internet access and an LCD screen in your classroom or computer lab for Sessions 5 and 6 as well. If you do not have access to an LCD, you may choose to have students follow as you work on a computer with a large screen or to guide them as they use individual computers in the lab.

6. Learn about the history of photomontages at Cut and Paste: A History of Photomontage. To learn about making photomontages, go to the Imaging section of Nortel LearniT and watch all of the videos from the Introduction through the Publishing area. Decide which videos your students will need to watch to edit their photos and create their photomontages—their expertise will help you determine what they need to see. Bookmark your selected videos for use during Sessions 5 and 6.

7. Familiarize yourself with the software you will use for this project. The most basic way to create the photomontages will be to use the Microsoft Paint software that came installed on the computers you will be using. (This can be accessed through the Accessories folder in the Start menu.) You may also choose to use photo-editing software like Adobe Photoshop, Roxio Photosuite or Irfanview. Nortel LearniT has a Collage Project video for both Photoshop and Irfanview under the Working with Digital Images heading on the Imaging Tutorials page.

8. You will also want to provide your students with usage and citation guidelines. Copyright and Fair Use Guidelines for School Projects lists what students may use and how when creating multimedia projects.

9. Familiarize yourself with the Literary Graffiti tool. To use it, you may need to download the Shockwave player.

10. Visit and bookmark the other websites you will use for this lesson:

11. Obtain pictures of road signs that contain images but no text (see Session 1, Step 1).



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