Grade: Senior
Subject: Literature

#3139. Teaching Night with Web Research Assignments

Literature, level: Senior
Posted Thu May 27 14:44:25 PDT 2004 by J. Carvalho Spector (
Dr Phillips High School, Orlando, FL, USA
Materials Required: computer
Activity Time: week
Concepts Taught: Holocaust, web research, historical literature

Background Information:
Night is a true historical autobiographical narrative of the life of Elie Wiesel, the author, a Holocaust survivor. He was deported from Hungary, along with his family, to concentration camps at the age of fifteen.

These three research assignments provide students with the opportunity to research the historical background of the Holocaust. One of the assignments entails researching Children of the Holocaust, in order to more fully comprehend the real life basis for the novel. Students will pick one child to research, exploring the life of that child in depth. Finally, students will synthesize their research into a final paper, comparing the life of their researched "child" with that of Elie Wiesel, the author of Night. This essay will be drafted and edited on Microsoft Word.

Content Area Skills:
Historical Literature -- students will demonstrate understanding of Historical/ Holocaust literature; research and understand the historical background necessary to comprehend the historical and social significance of the novel.
Technology Integration & Research -- students will research using appropriate computer technology.
Reading/ Writing-- students will demonstrate their ability to synthesize information that they have researched relating to the topic; students will edit and re-write their summaries on a word processor.

Text: Night by Elie Wiesel
Classroom Computer Technology and Internet Access required to perform web search activities and compose Microsoft Word document.
Handout of procedure and online reference materials

Teacher Procedure:
1. Ask students what they already know about the Holocaust.
2. Provide background information on the Holocaust (include film, historical facts, and discussion). It is especially important that enough time is spent discussing this topic because of the serious nature of Holocaust studies.
3. Handout instructions for Holocaust research assignments.

Assignment #1: Research Historical Background Information about the Holocaust
Students will research Historical information about the Holocaust. The primary website will be the United States Holocaust Memorial Museum online ( A list of additional websites will be provided. Students are encouraged to explore websites, but they should cross-check their research.

Students will explore these websites to answer appropriate questions about what happened, how, and why. In this initial assignment, the students should examine the historical background of the novel and strengthen background knowledge.

Assignment #2: Research Children in the Holocaust
Students will research Children of the Holocaust. Handout instructions include an assignment to summarize facts and basic information regarding the situation of children in the Holocaust; examples might include: children in hiding, children separated from their loved ones, and children in concentration camps.

The class will spend a day researching and discussing the life of Anne Frank. Then, on the next lab day, students will be asked to pick a child in the Holocaust to research. Students will distinguish between primary and secondary sources.
Web Resources:

Assignment #3 : Writing Assignment
Students will draft an essay comparing and contrasting the life of their "child" and that of Elie Wiesel. Essays should demonstrate a comprehensive understanding of the living conditions of children in the Holocaust.