Holocaust Literature - 8th Grade

Discussion in 'Middle School / Junior High' started by RainbowsEnd, Nov 15, 2007.

  1. RainbowsEnd

    RainbowsEnd Rookie

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I'm trying to find a good Holocaust novel to use with my 8th grade students - of various levels. I couldn't get through the Diary of Anne Frank myself, so I don't want to ask them to do it. They read Number the Stars in 6th grade.

    There are a few novels that I have in mind (Night, but I'm worried it's too advanced for 8th grade), but I'd appreciate it if anyone could give me some other suggestions. We just finished The Outsiders and they loved that, so I'd like to find another book they'll love.
     
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  3. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I remember reading Night in middle school. I think it was in 6th grade, but was just a read aloud. I don't think that would be advanced for 8th graders.
     
  4. silverspoon65

    silverspoon65 Enthusiast

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    Nov 15, 2007

    Night is taught in a lot of high schools so PLEASE check in your district - I hate pulling a book out and the kids say "We read that in 8th grade."

    The Devil's Arithmetic
    Marika
    Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
    Tunes for Bears to Dance to by Robert Cormier (just about a holocaust survivor)
    Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

    These are all young adult and would probably be more age appropriate than Night.
     
  5. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Nov 15, 2007

    The Devil's Arithmetic! That's the one that I was trying to think of. Thanks silverspoon.
     
  6. Mrs. R.

    Mrs. R. Connoisseur

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    Nov 15, 2007

    I use Night with my 7th grade gifted kids. We have to have a permission slip signed by parents. It is a POWERFUL but DISTURBING book. With the rest of the seventh grade we use Devil's Arithmetic. There is a great online inquiry project at readwritethink.org that I used last year for schema building. You can also get the movie (made for Showtime, starring Kirsten Dunst). It's not a super movie, but the kids have a good time talking about why the book is better.
     
  7. Jamlynn

    Jamlynn New Member

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    Nov 15, 2007

    NIGHT

    I just finished teaching a Holocaust unit in Language Arts and we used the novel Night. It was wonderful and the students really seemed to get a grasp of the Holocaust. The first chapter can be difficult, however; once you get through the first chapter of big words it's great!!! :)
     
  8. tiredteacher

    tiredteacher Rookie

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I have been looking into reading night with my advanced class, or should I read it with all of my classes (there are some real immature 8th graders there) Any good suggestions on obtaining a class set?
     
  9. Mamacita

    Mamacita Aficionado

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    Nov 24, 2007

    I used "Night" in 8th grade, even with my lower levels. They loved the book and often told me that it was wonderful to be treated like the other levels for once, and not made to wade through a baby book.

    Yes, they needed help, but that is our job.

    I am also a big fan of "The Devil's Arithmetic," book AND film, although I agree that the book is far better.

    But then, isn't it always?

    Comparison/contrast of a book and movie is an excellent lesson plan. Dramatic license is a literary element and knowledge of it is a life skill!
     
  10. frodolass

    frodolass Comrade

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    Nov 24, 2007

    Here are some suggestions from the text (Herz & Gallo) from the Young Adult Lit. class I'm taking. I haven't read them, so you might want to read them first yourself:

    After the War by Carol Matas
    Anne Frank and Me by Cherie Bennett and Jeff Gottesfeld
    Behind the Bedroom Wall by Laura Williams
    Briar Rose by Jane Yolen
    But Can the Phoenix Sing? by Christa Laird
    Daniel Half Human: And the Good Nazi by David Chotjewitz
    Daniel's Story by Carol Matas
    The Devil in Vienna by Doris Orgel
    Good Night, Maman by Norma Fox Mazer
    I am David by Anne Holm
    If I Should Die Before I Wake by Han Nolan
    In My Enemy's House by Carol Matas
    The Island on Bird Street by Uri Orlev
    Jacob's Rescue: A Holocaust Story by Malka Drucker and Michael Halperin
    Malka by Mirjam Pressler
    Maus: A Survivor's Tale by Art Spiegleman (and Maus II)
    Milkweed by Jerry Spinelli
    Room In the Heart by Sonia Levitin
    Run, Boy, Run by Uri Orlev and Hillel Halkin
    The Thought of High Windows by Lynne Kositsky

    Herz, S., & Gallo, D. (2005). From Hinton to Hamlet. Westport, CT: Greenwood Press.
     
  11. pacm

    pacm New Member

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    Nov 29, 2010

    holocaust literature

    My eighth graders have a choice of the following novels:
    The Cage by Ruth Sender, Yellow Star by Jennifer Roy,
    All But My Life by Gerda Weissman Klein or Four Perfect Pebbles by Marion Blumenthal Lazan.
     
  12. Maryhf

    Maryhf Connoisseur

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    Nov 29, 2010

    The Book Thief is very good.
     
  13. stargirl

    stargirl Companion

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    Dec 16, 2010

    Kind of a belated response, but just in case somebody might find it helpful...I've read some of the books listed by frodolass, and while some were quite good, I think they are mostly fiction. I understand this is for a literature class and not a history one, but I personally don't care for the idea of fictionalized Holocaust stories...however, like MrsR mentioned, a book like Night can be quite disturbing, especially for students of that age (and especially if they don't know much about the Holocaust). For middle school, I'd recommend the book Alicia: My Story--a true story; very powerful, but not disturbing in a graphic sort of way. I remember reading it on my own at age 12 or 13 and being riveted by the story.
    I also remember reading (this was for school) Friedrich, but maybe that was for history? Anyway, that dealt more with the buildup to the Holocaust (set throughout the 1930's in Germany) rather than the Holocaust itself.
     
  14. krisksiega

    krisksiega New Member

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    Dec 17, 2010

    books about the Holocaust

    I present a few interesting books about the Holocaust:


    I Was Doctor Mengele's Assistant

    Halina Birenbaum. Hope is the Last to Die

    Kazimierz Albin. Warrant of Arrest

    If you want, I can recommend more interesting books about the Holocaust
     
  15. AnonyMS

    AnonyMS SpEd Para! BASE room aide! RTI Facilitator!

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    Dec 18, 2010

    I am surprised no on has added:

    Someone Named Eva by Joan M. Wolf
    escaping into the night by D. Dina Friedman

    Both are VERY GOOD books.
     
  16. Always Learning

    Always Learning Rookie

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    Jan 1, 2011

    I am hoping to read Night with one of my 8th grade classes as well. They are below grade level readers, but I am hoping they will rise to the occasion and enjoy reading a difficult novel. I have found numerous reading schedules, projects, worksheets, reading guides, etc., and hope that I can pull this off. Should I also have my grade level 8th graders read it? Perhaps they could be the ones to help create questions for the other class? Does anyone think that might be "insulting" to my below grade level 8th graders?
     
  17. nstructor

    nstructor Cohort

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    Jan 1, 2011

    The play version of "The Diary of Anne Frank" is REALLY enjoyable-my 7th and 8th graders always love reading it. It's in the McDougal Littel 8th grade anthology book, but I'm sure you can find it other places too. It comes on audio as well.
     
  18. bandnerdtx

    bandnerdtx Aficionado

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    Jan 1, 2011

    Maus is absolutely wonderful, and for a lot of kids, it's the first time they've seen a literature teacher use a graphic novel!

    I would also second the dramatic version of Anne Frank. Again, it's a nice change up in genre for them. I'm a big believer in exploring more than just the traditional novel (after novel after novel) with them.

    (And Night is considered a high school level book here, too, so yes please check with your district/high school before using it.)
     
  19. MissCeliaB

    MissCeliaB Aficionado

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    Jan 1, 2011

    Here, students in 9th grade read both Maus and Night and compare the two. Definitely check with the local high school and see if they teach the books there. It is very frustrating when half of my students have just read a book in 8th grade.
     
  20. Always Learning

    Always Learning Rookie

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    Jan 4, 2011

    Well it looks like Night isn't taught in my district's high school, so does anyone have any suggestions on how to make this meaningful for struggling readers in 8th grade? I have some materials put together, but I'm looking for additional ideas. Thank you in advance!
     
  21. tiredteacher

    tiredteacher Rookie

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Are there any good study guides for The Devil's Arithmetic?
     
  22. smalltowngal

    smalltowngal Multitudinous

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    Feb 8, 2011

    Thank you! I was trying to remember the title of this book.
     
  23. Mark94544

    Mark94544 Companion

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    Feb 9, 2011

    > "Are there any good study guides for The Devil's Arithmetic? " <

    While I haven't taught the novel or viewed any guides for it, you can find a list of the available commercial teaching guides and study guides at:
    http://lessonindex.com/The_Devil's_Arithmetic_by_Jane_Yolen.htm

    I also see a number of additional resources listed at TeachersPayTeachers (http://www.teacherspayteachers.com/Search/devil's+arithmetic).

    Many publishers and resellers provide a "free preview" (PDF) that includes a half-dozen pages or so; Google Books also provides "previews" for many teaching guide resources.

    I'm quite surprised that I haven't been able to find any useful free resources; usually, for a novel this popular, we can quickly find resources shared by other teachers, as well as PDF study-guides from publishers.
     

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