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Night Lesson Plan
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Teachers and professors: Get the most from your time in the classroom when you use this lesson plan for Night by Elie Wiesel. With your class, explore the conflicts and motivations of the prisoners and guards of Hitler's World War II concentration camps as well as the novel's primary themes, including death, sanity, and religion. Examples of guided discussion and study questions from this lesson plan include the following:
- What was the setting and the year for the first section of Night? What was the world condition at the time? The year was 1942. The story started out in the town of Sighet in Transylvania. World War II was in progress. The author mentions 1943, then describes events in 1944. The Fascist party had taken power.
- Describe, in order, the events that happened from the last day of Passover until Pentecost. On the seventh day of Passover the Germans arrested the Jewish community leaders. The Jewish residents were not allowed to leave their houses for three days. At the end of the three days the Jews had to start wearing the yellow star. Then two ghettos were set up. On the Saturday before Pentecost, Stern attended an extraordinary meeting of the council. When he returned he told the others they were all to be deported, starting the next day.
- Who was Martha? What happened when she visited the Wiesel family in the ghetto? Martha was a former servant of the Wiesel family. She visited the family in the ghetto and offered them safe refuge in her village. Elie's father refused to leave. He told Elie and his sisters they could go, but they refused to be separated.
- Describe Elie's meeting with Juliek. The prisoners had arrived at Gleiwitz, and were moving into the barracks. Men were pushing and trampling over each other. Elie heard a voice that he recognized. It was Juliek, the musician from Warsaw who had played the violin at Buna. They spoke for a few seconds. Juliek then played a Beethoven concerto on his violin. The next morning Juliek was dead and the violin had been trampled.
- Who was Meir Katz? What happened to him? He was a friend of Mr. Wiesel's. He had been the gardener at Buna. His son had been taken during the first selection, but he had remained sane. Now he was cracking up. He died in the train just before the men were unloaded at Buchenwald.
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