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Characterization in Elie Wiesel's Night

Characterization in Elie Wiesel's Night

Author: Vanessa Brazil

CCSS.RL.9-10.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

CCSS.RL.9-10.3  Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme.

CCSS.RI.9-10.7 Analyze various accounts of a subject told in different mediums (e.g., a person’s life story in both print and multimedia), determining which details are emphasized in each account.


Grade: 10 -  Pre-AP ELA

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Light Bulb Question: Seeing the Big Picture

Why is understanding characterization in historical literary texts an important factor in understanding history and our role in history?

Source: Globe Lightbulb. Digital image. The Heart of Innovation: 14 Ways to Get Breakthrough Ideas. Idea Champions, 18 Sept. 2010. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. .

Monday Entrance Ticket

Watch this video (you may begin at the 1:30 mark of the video, and then watch until the end) of Elie Wiesel remembering his little sister, Tzipora, and then answer the questions below.


1. Did anything in the video surprise you?
a. If so, what and why?
b. If not, why?


2. Compare and contrast how Wiesel describes his sister and his feelings for her in the video to how he describes her in Night. List at least 2 similarities AND 2 differences.

a. Why do you think they are different?


3. How do the different versions of the description of Elie's sister effect your reaction to his experience? Be specific, and use evidence from the text and video.

Source: OWN TV. "Elie Wiesel Remembers His Little Sister | Super Soul Sunday | Oprah Winfrey Network." YouTube. YouTube, 9 Dec. 2012. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. .

Beyond Characters: People of the Holocaust

Weekly Homework Assignment - Due Friday

PART 1:     Look at the below photographs. Think about who these people might be. 

                          Select three of the people from the below images. Based on just the photograph, write 3-5                           sentences describing who you think the person is.

                          Some ideas to get started: their age, occupation, where they lived, what they liked to do,                               their personality, their family, etc.

PART 2:   Locate your three people at The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum                                   website, and answer the below questions for each.

1. What is their name?

2. What is their date of birth?

3. Where are they from?

4. What concentration camp(s) did they live in? (if any)

5. Did this person survive or die in the Holocaust?

6. What is one interesting or surprising fact you learned about this person?

7. Why did you originally choose this person?

8. Was anything you predicted before looking up their information correct? (or close?)

9. How is this person's story similar to Elie Wiesel's? How is it different from Elie's?

10. Write 3-5 sentences describing your personal reaction/response after reading about this person; be specific with your response, and use evidence from the text you read about them to support your response.




Source: "Identification Cards." United States Holocaust Memorial Museum. United States Holocaust Memorial Council, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. .

Extra Connections = Extra Credit


Click on this image to find survivor testimonies from the Rwanda Genocide. 

For each survivor testimony you select, answer the below set of questions. Each accurately and thoughtfully completed testimony response entry is worth 5 extra points. You may complete up to 3 different testimony responses (for a maximum of 15 extra credit points). All entries are due on the last of the Quarter Unit. 

Survivor Testimony Read & Respond Questions:

1. What is the survivor's name?

2. How old was the survivor at the time of the experience(s) they describe? 

     a. How old are they now (if different)?

3. When did the experiences they describe occur?

4. Write a 3-5 sentence summary of the survivor's story.

5. What is one interesting or surprising fact you learned from reading the survivor's testimony?

6. List 2 ways this survivor's story is similar to Elie Wiesel's survivor story (memoir).

7. List 2 ways this survivor's story is different from Elie Wiesel's survivor story (memoir).

8. Write a 3-5 sentence personal response to this survivor's story; be specific and use evidence from the          texts to support your responses.

     a. How was it the same or different than your response to Elie's story? ​Why?

     b. How was it the same or different than your response to the story(ies) you read about other Holocaust          victims (from the Holocaust Museum ID Cards homework)? Why?

     c. What did you learn from reading this story of genocide along with those you have been reading about          the Holocaust?




Source: "Survivor Testimonies." Outreach Programme on the Rwanda Genocide and the United Nations. UN, n.d. Web. 29 Nov. 2014. .