Literature Lab Lesson

November 1, 2007

30 Minute Literature Lesson

Lesson Focus: An introduction to “The Diary of a Young Woman” by Anne

Conceptual Focus: This unit’s focus is the Holocaust with Anne Frank’s diary being the unit’s primary text. During this unit we will explore themes that arise during the reading, such as identity, isolation, ostracism, racism, etc. Today’s lesson will primarily focus on testing students’ prior knowledge of the things we will be covering in the . 


            * Charting

            * Gallery Walk

            * Silent reading of diary entries

            * Discussion

            * Listen to music while charting and walking


            * Students will demonstrate fluency and comprehension in reading (PDE 1.1.8.H)

            * Students will read a variety of texts to gain an understanding of world cultures

                        (NCTE 1)

            * Students apply a wide range of strategies to comprehend, evaluate and appreciate

                        texts (NCTE 3)

            * Read and understand works of literature (PDE 1.3.8.A)

            * Students will produce work in at least one literary genre (PDE 1.2.8.C)

Instructional Materials:

            * Post-it

            * Markers

            * Stereo and music cd

            * Copies of diary

            * Index cards

            * Map of secret annex

            * Anne Frank shopping list


            * Students will do the charting individually and discuss responses as a whole class group 


            1) Introduction to lesson – Students will be told that a Holocaust unit is starting, be given

                        some minor background details and told of some of the things we will be doing.

2) A volunteer will be asked for. Beforehand they will be told what they will be doing and

            that all students will be doing the same thing. The volunteer will

                        be taken outside in the hall and sat in a chair. They will be told to make a diary

                        entry on what it is like to be outside of the normal classroom and set aside by


3) The rest of the class will be given magic markers (of different colors) and told to go to a blank post-it sheet, and write their thoughts on what is posted near or written on that sheet, then move to the next sheet, and do them all until they have hit all eight and keep writing until the music has stopped. Beethoven’s Violin Romance #2 will be playing. (9.5 min )

4) Student will then be instructed to do a gallery walk. They will take their notebooks and

                        pencils, read what their classmates have written, and take notes on what new things

                        they learned, any questions they may have about what they read. Motivating music

                        will be playing during this period. (8:11 )

5) After music has stopped students will be placed into a complete circle, with the instructor not included. Group will be asked “what do you know now that you didn’t before?” The volunteer from the hallway will be brought in and will be asked how they felt about being “ostracized” by being alone in the hallway.

6) A quick debriefing on the group activities during which copies of the text will be passed out. The initial entries from the three different periods of the Frank diary, plus “Maus” will be given to one student. (5 min)

7) Quick closing discussion. Questions: “What did everyone read? and “Why do you think

              the texts were presented this way ?” (3 min)                              

            8) Homework will be passed out.


* Students will be assessed on participation, on completion of the charting exercise, and will also be assessed on how they well they participate during the quick writes and on the completion of the homework assignment.

Differentiated instruction:

            *Music, charting, gallery walk


            * The Diary of a Young Woman by Anne Frank

            * Maus I by Art Spiegelman

            * “Violin Romance #2” by Ludwig Van Beethoven

            * “Stayin’ Alive” by the Bee Gees

            * “Unchained” by Van Halen

            * Anne Frank, the Biography by Melissa Muller

These were the justifications for doing each exercise:

 I will be teaching a Holocaust unit in the spring with Anne Frank’s Diary as the primary text. This lesson is part of an interactive introduction to the text. I do not want to just give a short lecture, then tell have them read the diary chronologically.

 I want to know what students already know about the Holocaust, Anne Frank, WWII, genocide, etc, before beginning the unit. What they already know will help me design what we will do. I don’t want to teach things students already know.

 The charting will be more extensive in my classes, as there are approximately 20 students per class. I couldn’t think of any other way to get prior knowledge out of each student and spread it through the class.

 The Beethoven music is peaceful and soft, a choice designed to aid deep thinking. The other music is upbeat, designed to encourage sharing and discussion. My plan is to use music in the unit, relative to the people and times. Ex. Wagner

 Students will be required to make a map of their house, or a friend’s or relative’s house, and outline how it could be used as a secret hiding place.

 Students will be required to pretend they are going away and have to make up a shopping list, as Anne did.

 Teacher will be outside of the discussion group. The focus will be on students talking to other students, not to the teacher.

 Tests prior knowledge without students having to sit in their chairs and listen the whole time. Everyone gets to participate at the same time.

 Prior knowledge is shared and spread throughout the class, in again, an interactive way. Students will learn what all their classmates know, all at once, in theory.

 A short discussion, but I am planning this as if it were to be 1/20th of the unit.

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