Elie Wiesel
Lesson plans for Night

|Biography and Background| |Night| |"Hope, Despair, and Memory"|

Biography & Background

April 11, 1945
Background information regarding the liberation of Buchenwald concentration camp from History.com's "This Day in History" site.

Divine Impulses: Elie Wiesel
Video, about 4 1/2 minutes, of Wiesel's interview with Sally Quinn. He mentions "losing everything" to Bernard Madoff and the metaphor of Cain and Abel.

Elie Wiesel
Biography at Wikipedia.

Elie Wiesel: First Person Singular
Biography, a teacher guide, and links to additional resources. This site supports the video/DVD available from PBS.

Elie Wiesel, Winner of the 1986 Nobel Prize in Peace
A collection of links from the Nobel Archives. Be sure to scroll to the bottom.

The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity
Biography, conferences, essay contest, humanitarian award.

A God who Remembers
Read and listen to Wiesel's essay, written for NPR's This I Believe.

Teaching Historical Background
More lesson plans and resources for teaching about the Holocaust.


Colors and Symbols of Stigmatization
The students will research the different colors and symbols used to symbolize the Nazi party's list of undesirable people. The students will gain an understanding of how other people can arbitrarily judge other people as inferior. This activity is designed as a prereading activity for Night.

In the Style of Ernie Pyle: Reporting on World War II
Students using writing by renowned WWII journalist Ernie Pyle as a model for their own researched writing about an event from WWII.

Life is Beautiful: Teaching the Holocaust through Film with Complementary Texts
After students read a book about the Holocaust, they view Life is Beautiful and complete discussion questions that challenge their ability to analyze literature using film. When the film is complete, students write a letter to the director conveying their opinion of the film.

Several reading strategies to use with the book, including a directed reading/thinking activity and a Socratic questioning activity.

How might students use storyboards to demonstrate and to extend their learning? Check the resources here. Students work with vocabulary, plot diagram, symbols, more. Note: Storyboard That helps sponsor this site.

These resources from Oprah's Book Club include a teacher's guide, still photos from the return to Auschwitz, and links to survivors' stories.

This digital booktalk (2:30) can serve as part of a prereading activity.

Putting a Face to the Numbers: Revealing First-Hand Accounts of Historical Genocide
From the New York Times: "In this lesson, students learn about how hearing about experiences of genocide can make an impact on students. Then, students create a text on the history of genocide, using first-hand accounts and other primary sources as the focus of the text."

Study Guide for Night
Background information, prereading activities, vocabulary practice, graphic organizers for active reading, comprehension questions, postreading activities, and handouts for related stories and poems (not included). 22 printable pages; Adobe Reader required for access.

Teaching Theme with Night
This lesson discusses the difference between topic and theme as students identify themes in the novel.

Using Student-Centered Comprehension Strategies with Elie Wiesel's Night
Working in small groups, students use reciprocal teaching strategies as they read and discuss the novel. Everyone takes a turn assuming the "teacher" role as the class works with four comprehension strategies: predicting, question generating, summarizing, and clarifying.

Voices of the Holocaust
Designed for 9th graders who already have a working knowledge of the Holocaust, this site has 28 oral history testimonies gathered from men and women living in Britain today, together with associated background text, biographies, information, teacher resources, and student activities.

Yes, Virginia, there was a Holocaust
An 8th grade interdisciplinary unit exploring persecution during World War II. This 19-page document requires Adobe Reader or compatible application for access.

"Hope, Despair and Memory"

"Hope, Despair, and Memory"
Text of Wiesel's Nobel Lecture, 1986.

Key quotations from "Hope, Despair, and Memory"
Key quotations at WikiQuotes. Also includes other Wiesel quotations.