The ethical questions of the Holocaust are brought up in this book subtly and by
having this background, the students might pick up on these hints more often.
The Boy in the Striped Pajamas By: John Boyne Copyright: 2007
Anticipation Guide Statement of Purpose: The purpose of this assignment is to find out where your students stand on ethical issues, particularly with the Holocaust. The ethical questions of the Holocaust are brought up in this book subtly and by having this background, the students might pick up on these hints more often. This assignment also requires them to figure out what they think about the Holocaust before they read about characters that are trying to figure what they think as they “live” it.
Context: This strategy would work as an introduction to the novel in two ways. First, you can find out your students’ reactions to the Holocaust and second you can find out how much they know about the Holocaust as they might pull on this prior knowledge to answer the questions. Also, because it brings in these ethical questions of the novel, continuing the discussion throughout the book is wise. Questions like: “Did you agree with what Bruno just did? Why?” or “Most of you put agree that people are people not animals, but what did Bruno’s dad just say here?”
Directions: Materials Needed: Worksheet for students with the statements Overhead copy to facilitate discussion Time Required: about 60 minutes, 5-10 minutes for student response, 25-30 minutes for group response, 20-25 minutes for class response Before the Teacher Comes to Class: 1. Read the novel. 2. Decide which concepts are most important to your students. Find ones that will spark your students’ interest, agitate them, or stimulate reflection. These might be different from class to class as all students are different. 3. Write a series of short, declarative statements about the major concepts. The statements should be thought provoking and reflect the students’ background. General statements are better than abstract or overly specific ones. Famous quotations and idioms work well. The statements should be written in a format that will elicit students to predict and anticipate. In Class: 1. Pass out the worksheet with the declarative statements you prepared to each student, and have them write down “A” for agree and “D” for disagree next to the statement. Also, have the students write why they put agree or disagree or why they had trouble deciding so why they ended up picking agree over disagree or vice versa. Hawks, BYU, 2009
2. Once the students have completed their worksheet, there is a spot for an “agree” or a “disagree” from a group. Place them in groups of 3-4, and discuss what they put down for each statement and come to a consensus as a group of what they would all say. 3. After the groups have discussed, bring the whole class together and discuss what was said for each statement. Have the class raise their hands for if they agreed or disagreed and then have one from each side explain why they chose that. Recommendations for the teacher is to push them, bring up things that they might not have thought of that complicate their problem. 4. Now have the students start reading the text. As you are reading, revisit the guide to allow students to compare and contrast their original responses with current ones.
Assessment: This would be a very easy participation point time in terms of grading. However, the assessment comes as the book is read and the teacher can see whether the ideas and discussion of the book reflects the back and forth of the discussion with the anticipation guide. Also, for an end of reading writing assignment, the students could pick a statement or write their own to argue for or against.
Summary and Segue: At the end of the lesson, bring up the fact that they will be starting a novel that deals with these issues and that they might be modifying these ideas as you read the book.
Hawks, BYU, 2009
Opinion Time! Directions: For each of the statements, write an “A” if you agree with the statement or a “D” if you disagree with the statement. If you’re not sure if you agree or disagree, pick the one you relate to most strongly with. Then underneath the statement explain why you wrote A or D, and if you weren’t completely one or the other bring that up there. Group Ratings
Statements White people are the best race. Justification:
Just because I don’t like someone doesn’t mean that I am mean to them. Justification:
Everyone has fundamental basic rights as a human being. Justification:
If you know of something that is morally wrong, you should do something about it. Justification:
One country is better than the other one. Justification:
You should do everything your boss tells you to, even if you don’t think it is right. Justification:
You can be friends with someone who is different from you. Justification:
Hawks, BYU, 2009
Statements Friends are the most important things. Justification:
The desire for land is a powerful motivator. Justification:
People who try to control other people are good. Justification:
Hawks, BYU, 2009