Finding the Light in the Midst of the Darkness: Night
Help me give my students access to one of the most important topics in our curriculum: The Holocaust, in a cross-curricula unit between English Language Arts and Social Studies, reading Night will help them visualize this terrible history.
Our 8th graders are questioning, purposeful young people. Our kids live in the South Bronx, and see and experience things in a daily basis that force them to challenge the status quo early on. They are mostly from immigrant families, where education is a key out of poverty, but social and political policies create barriers to achievement. Reading about the Holocaust will give them eyes to a dark time in history in which another group was targeted. They can make connections to today's world and build their drive to make the world better.
Night will form the basis for our unit on the Holocaust. Students will learn about the historical events of the Holocaust and then dive into the novel as a way to contextualize history. We will question how such a horrific part of history was allowed to happen, and continues to happen. Students will read, develop questions, lead discussions, and participate in debates and research to further their understanding. Many of our students experience discrimination as immigrants. They will be able to connect these events to today's society and analyze what makes people survive such atrocities. Where can we find the light in this dark moment and how can we be beacons of light when our world is bleak?
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