The students in my 8th grade advanced ELA classes devour books. They immerse themselves in whatever we are reading as a class. One of the things about my students that never fails to amaze me is their empathy. Whether we are reading Night or The Outsiders, I can see them trying to walk in the characters' shoes. They thrive on Philosophical Chairs and Socratic Seminars. These advanced readers never fail to stretch themselves when they are exposed to new ideas and material. They are driven, motivated, and up for a challenge. I would like to help them reach beyond our rural central coast (CA) town.
A class set of Night by Elie Wiesel will enhance the unit on The Legacy of Anne Frank found in our textbook. This firsthand account of the Holocaust is a powerful read for students. By having a classroom set of books, my students will be better able to interact with this challenging and powerful text. Reading about Wiesel's childhood experience gives the Holocaust a face for my students. It shows how these horrific events happened to individuals, not just a mass of strangers. In Elie Wiesel's words, it is important for my students to read this book "Because if we forget, we are guilty, we are accomplices."
Learning about the past can keep these terrible parts of history from repeating themselves.
This novel assists students in coming to understand and appreciate a portion of history better than most textbooks. Night will help my students tackle the standards, learn about historical events, and all the while they will be further developing the empathy I know they already have.
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