Writing Mini Unit

November 26, 2007

Teaching Writing                                                                                        Mini-Unit Final Version

The Diary of a Anne Frank Mini-Unit

Reading:

Reading of the diary will be done as homework.

Performing of a play will be done in class.

Overarching Questions

1) How can a stressful event affect a person’s identity?

2) How does a person’s thoughts and actions reflect their identity?

3) How do people acquire their identity?

4) How does a person’s identity affect how they are treated?

5) What is a holocaust?

6) What does it mean to discriminate?

7) What does it mean to be discriminated against?

Comprehensive Questions (for each reading chunk)

1) Who are the characters in the diary, the play, and the graphic novel?

2) What do we know about them?

3) How do they relate to each other?     

4) What events are happening in the assigned reading selections?

5) Who are the protagonists?

6) Who are the antagonists?

Interpretive Questions

1) How does the act of identifying Jewish people by branding them affect how they are treated?

2) How does being in hiding have an effect on people?

3) How does the manner in which Jewish people are treated by non-Jews affect the way they

behave towards each other?

4) How does being or not being Jewish make any of the characters different or unique to the

other characters?

5) What differences are apparent in Anne’s diary entries the longer she spent in hiding?

6) How does being in hiding affect the way Anne matures as a teenaged-girl?

Analysis of text

1) What is the effect of naming the diary on the way Anne wrote?

2) Why does Anne chose to use dialogue to relate some, but not other, events in the

attic?

3) Why does Anne use the letter format for some of her entries?

4) How does Anne portray the other people living in the annex?

5) What is Anne’s social world?

Instructional Pathway:

AGENDA 1 (SEE DETAILED LESSON PLAN)

* Identity activity: Learning about how identities are formed.

AGENDA 2 (SEE DETAILED LESSON PLAN)

* Access prior knowledge

* Preview the unit

Share unit objectives and overarching questions

Introduce the unit’s major assignments

AGENDA 3 (SEE DETAILED LESSON PLAN)

* Share prior knowledge

* Finish previewing the unit

Module 1: DETAILED LESSON PLAN

Agenda 1

Identity activity: Learning about how identities are formed

Explain to students that over the next several weeks we will be reading, writing about, thinking about, rereading, and discussing The Diary of Anne Frank, a non-fictional first-person account of one adolescent girl’s experiences while hiding from the Nazis during World War II. One of the major focuses of the diary and the unit will be how identities are formed and how a person’s identity may affect how they and others see that person, and how a person’s identity may affect how they get treated.

Students will be told to sit in a circle so they can see all of their classmates. They will be told to make a circular chart on a piece of paper with a space, block or circle, available for each of their classmates. They will then be given a few minutes to write in the spaces what they think the names of their classmates are. If they already know one’s name they can write that in the space.

Next, they will have to jot down why they picked or guessed this particular name. They will be told to look at the person and think why that name fits for that person. How does that person’s looks, personality, sense of style, and character fit that name.

Once this is accomplished a brief discussion will be held. Students will be asked to give an example or two of a name they chose for a classmate. That student will be asked if that is really their name. After they answer students will say what traits and characteristics they wrote down for that person. A discussion will follow examining these traits and characteristics.

Next, students will do a quick write about their classmates. The questions they will be answering are how do they see that person and what do you think of when you look at them.

Students will then do a quick-write about themselves. They will write down ways they use to identify themselves. Things about their personality, what they like to do, etc. The questions to answer will be the same for as the previous quick-write.

After that is done, a discussion will follow. The basis of this discussion will be the responses to the previous two quick-writes. Questions to answer: How do your responses about yourself and your classmates match with other responses? Do you see yourself the same way your classmates do? Do you see your classmates the same way that they see themselves?

The point is to establish identity. Which is a better to be known, by our names or by the way people see us? Should our names reflect our personalities and character? Or is our given name good enough? What happens when we meet people? We tell them our name, they tell us their name, then we go ask questions about them, they ask questions about us, etc. Could having a name that reflected our true selves be better than just the name?

With what time remains in class they are to write in their journals or notebooks how they feel now that they have examined identity more closely. They will also be told that in the coming unit identity will play a major factor in the actions and motivations of the people they will be reading about.

Module 1: DETAILED LESSON PLAN

Agenda 2

ACCESS PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: LEARNING ABOUT LIFE

Explain to students that today begins the first day studying the text. The study will begin by testing their knowledge about the ideas, concepts, facts, historical events and people they will encounter in their readings. Students will be presented with images, pictures, words and terms relevant to Anne Frank and the Holocaust. Ideally this will be done using giant post-its placed around the classroom, with one post-it for every student. Students will then be given colored markers and told to write on the post-its what they know about the image or term taped to it. This will be an internal discussion activity. Talking to anyone but themselves will be prohibited; it must be done in silence. This activity is attempting to access what students already know and to share it with their classmates. They will have to write something on every post-it, even if it is to say they know nothing about it. Soft classical music will be played during this activity to accentuate its introspective nature.

Students will be told to keep their marker for the entire exercise. The marker colors will be used to identify students with what they wrote on the post-its. There should be something written on each post-it in each marker color. I will mark down in my notebook what student is using what color. They will be able to ask me questions but they talking with their classmates is strictly forbidden. They will also be told to ignore what has already been written on the post-its and to concentrate solely on writing what they know. We are interested in what is already in their heads.

Once this is completed a preview of the unit will be done. Copies of the book will be distributed with one student getting the graphic novels. Reading assignments will be given. One-third of the class will read the diary from the beginning. One-third of the class will start from a point one-third of the way into the diary. The other one-third of the class will start reading from a point two-thirds of the way into the diary. Have class already divided into thirds. Explain that this is being done to enable us to compare Anne’s writing and state of mind at different points during her diary. They may share what they are reading with their classmates but they shouldn’t look at this as “spoiling” it for them. The idea is to study Anne and her diary.

Reading Group A – begins on page 1, diary entry dated June 12, 1942

Reading Group B – begins on page 152,diary entry dated December 22, 1943

Reading Group C – begins on page 268, diary entry dated April 17, 1944

Groups will read in blocks of twenty pages. Every student will read the entire diary, no matter from which point they started. Once Groups 2 & 3 reach the end they will start from the beginning and continue reading until they reach the point where they started.

If time allows complete the unit overview by detailing the assignments they will be doing throughout the unit.

* Secret hideout activity – A design of the secret annex is included with the edition of the diary that will be read. Students will be required to imagine that they must go into hiding and draw a similar diagram of their hiding spot. This would be their home, a favorite relative’s of friend’s home. Someplace they think would be a good spot to hide in. They will also have to consider who would be in that hiding spot with them, meaning who would they take or who would naturally go with them (like their parents would as did Anne’s). They will then have to find their spot, or private area, in the hiding place and spend a whole day or several hours in it. Once in the spot they will have to stay there and not leave or have contact with other people. Once that time is up they will write what it is like to be alone in their secret hiding place and away from everything and everyone else, and also away from their normal life. They will do this several times over the course of the unit.

They will put on the map what they will take with them into their hideout. Remind them that they will be hidden so using lights and making noise must be kept to a minimum. So no loud music or television could be played. Give them copies of the shopping list Anne made as if she was living in Switzerland.

An alternative to this activity will be to have students write about an instance in which they actually had to hide or try to hide from someone or something, or when a time occurred when they were branded as something and made to feel inferior or different because of this branding.  

* Isolation activity –   Isolation activity. Anne was isolated from normal society because she was Jewish. Before beginning the activity students will write a short essay describing how they are treated by their peers, friends, teachers, family members, acquaintances and other people in their lives. The purpose of this is to form a base line of content by which their findings in the isolation activity will be compared. One-by-one students will be “made” different from their classmates for a day. This could be done by having them where a peculiar hat or sunglasses, for instance. They will then observe how people treat them while they are “different” in that way and how it differs from the way they are treated normally. They will write about their experiences using the essay written before the activity to compare and contrast the way they were treated when they were themselves and when they were different from their usual self.  The objective of this activity is not to compare what students go through during the activity to the Holocaust, but instead to help them recognize when they are being picked-on for an insignificant difference they have from others and also when they are the person picking-on other people for an insignificant reason.

* Culminating project – students will write a short paper outlining everything they

have learned from the beginning of the unit until the end of the unit. This will include factual information about Anne, the Holocaust, and World War II, as well as the things they have noticed about the way the reactions they received while doing the various homework assignments.

Module 1: DETAILED LESSON PLAN

Agenda 3

SHARE PRIOR KNOWLEDGE: LEARNING ABOUT LIFE

Explain to students that today they will be sharing the things they wrote on the post-its from the previous day. Sharing means that they will get up, walk around the room, read everything their classmates wrote, and think about it. They will then seek out the classmate who wrote something and ask them about it. How did they know this? Could you explain this to me in more detail? I didn’t know this before and I now that I do know it can I talk to you about it?

This is a discussion class, they should be talking and asking classmates. The noise of multiple voices should be heard. It will be explained that this isn’t a free period, it isn’t fun time. They can laugh and enjoy themselves as long as they are focused on the assignment.

They will be given the same colored markers as they had the previous day so when a classmate has a question about something they can use the color scheme to find the author. They will also be adding to the charts when they learn something new. It will not matter if what they learn is already on the chart, I want it on there in their own handwriting.

Music will be played during this lesson. It will be up-tempo music, rock and jazz, designed to get them into a talking and discussing frame of mind.

It will be explained that they will be required to do research on the topics throughout the unit, and the results of that research is to be added to the charts. They will be told that test questions will be taken from these charts. Not that they will be adding a lot of new stuff, it is not a research assignment. Just enough so that they are doing independent work on the unit. They will be required to add at least ten things total to the charts.

Explain that this is a sharing classroom. There are more than one teacher in the room. We are all responsible for teaching each other. The purpose isn’t to come and listen to me talk all the time.

Also tell them to start similar charts in their notebooks. One page in their notebook for each post-it topic. They will be putting in their notebooks what is one the charts. 

Finish previewing the unit.

Isolation activity begins. One student will be chosen for the day. They will be given the

“marker” or “brand” that will identify them and told to wear it for twenty-fours without taking it off.

Agenda 4

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A – 1-20

Group B – 152-172

Group C  – 268-288

Graphic Novel – 1-20

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 5

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A  – 21-40

Group B  – 173-192

Group C  – 289-308

Graphic Novel 21-40

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 6

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A  – 41-60

Group B  – 193 – 212

Group C  – 309 – 328

Graphic Novel – 41-60

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 7

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A – 61-80

Group B  – 213 – 232

Group C  – 329-10

Graphic Novel – 61-80

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 8

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A  – 81- 100

Group B  – 233 – 252

Group C  – 11 – 30

Graphic Novel – 81 – 100

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 9

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A  – 101 – 120

Group B  – 253 – 272

Group C  – 31 – 50

Graphic Novel – 101 – 120

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

Agenda 10

* Students will be given time at the beginning of class to add to the charts.

* Students will be given time to write in their notebooks what is on the charts.

* Students will be given time to present diagrams of their secret hiding places

* Isolated student from yesterday will be asked to give a report on how their “isolation”

period. A new student is chosen by the previous student to be isolated.

* Readings completed.

Group A  – 121 – 140

Group B  – 273 – 292

Group C  – 51 – 70

Graphic Novel – 121 – 140

* Discussion based upon completed discussion questions. Either whole class or small

group discussion with each group comprised of at least two students from each

reading group.

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