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Literature Connections

6-8 Core Literature Themes and Connections

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry
It is 1943. Three years of Nazi occupation have brought changes to Copenhagen, the home of 10-year-old Annemarie Johansen where her best friend, Ellen Rosen is protected from the Nazis. Number the Stars was drawn from true accounts of the Danish Resistance, which succeeded in saving the lives of almost all of Denmark's nearly 8,000 Jews.

5th-6th grade Core Literature

Key Concepts and Vocabulary Words
Nazism, World War II, genocide, prejudice, propaganda, Antisemitism, Holocaust, resistance, rationing, curfew, perpetrator

Prejudice, War, Holocaust


English/Language Arts

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

What do you know about World War II?
What was the Holocaust?
What is Anti-Semitism?

WebQuest on Number the Stars
This WebQuest by Erin Rhinestone integrates reading and Social Studies includes activities in cooperative groups, independent work, projects, and responses to the novel through reading, writing, art activities, discussion, research, and an assessment rubric.

Literature Alive Site on Number the Stars
This site provides tools for teachers and activities for students on the novel.

Have students research the Holocaust and write about Nazi goals then ask students to answer: Why did non-Jewish families like the Johansen's want to help Jewish families and individuals like the Rosen's, while other families didn't care?

6th Grade Language Arts Content Standards
2.0 Writing Applications
2.4 Write responses to literature:
a. Develop an interpretation exhibiting careful reading, understanding, and insight.
b. Organize the interpretation around several clear ideas, premises, or images.
c. Develop and justify the interpretation through sustained use of examples and textual evidence.


History/Social Science

Theme Questions


Extensions/ Activities

How can lives be changed by historical events?

The Holocaust History Project
This site includes primary source documents, essays, photographs, and resources about the Holocaust including those that deny there was a Holocaust. Advise teacher to review resources first and develop activities specific to any they choose.

Teacher’s Guide to the Holocaust RESIST/NUMBER.HTM
This site includes activities, resources, timelines, lessons, and activities about the Holocaust for different age groups.

Create a graphical organizer about an historical event in the book including event, who, what, where, why, how, and significance.
Discuss current events and prejudices. Share a vision of a world where people are embraced for their similarities and appreciated for their differences.

6th Grade Language Arts
2.0 Writing Applications
2.3 Write research reports:
a. Pose relevant questions with a scope narrow enough to be thoroughly covered.
b. Support the main idea or ideas with facts, details, examples, and explanations from multiple authoritative sources (e.g., speakers, periodicals, online information searches).
c. Include a bibliography.

11th Grade Social Science
1.7 Students analyze America's participation in World War II.
5. Discuss the constitutional issues and impact of events on the U.S. home front, including the internment of Japanese Americans (e.g., Fred Korematsu v. United States of America) and the restrictions on German and Italian resident aliens; the response of the administration to Hitler's atrocities against Jews and other groups; the roles of women in military production; and the roles and growing political demands of African Americans.




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