Night by Elie Wiesel Lesson Plan

Instructor: Sharon Linde

Sharon has a Masters of Science in Mathematics

Elie Wiesel's novel 'Night' is a powerful work loaded with literary aspects. Help students deepen understanding with this lesson plan featuring multiple areas of focus, including theme, characters, and literary devices.

Learning Objectives

After this lesson, students will be able to:

  • analyze the characters in Night
  • summarize the plot in Night
  • describe the literary devices used in Night
  • identify the themes in Night


  • 1-2 hours


Key Vocabulary

  • Semi-autobiographical
  • Concentration camp
  • Holocaust
  • Dynamic character
  • Static character
  • Literary devices
  • Imagery
  • Alliteration
  • Allusions
  • Foreshadowing
  • Hyperbole
  • Idiom
  • Irony
  • Metaphor
  • Personification
  • Simile

Curriculum Standards

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1

Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text, including determining where the text leaves matters uncertain.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2

Determine two or more themes or central ideas of a text and analyze their development over the course of the text, including how they interact and build on one another to produce a complex account; provide an objective summary of the text.

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3

Analyze the impact of the author's choices regarding how to develop and relate elements of a story or drama (e.g., where a story is set, how the action is ordered, how the characters are introduced and developed).

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4

Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone, including words with multiple meanings or language that is particularly fresh, engaging, or beautiful. (Include Shakespeare as well as other authors.)

  • CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6

Analyze a case in which grasping a point of view requires distinguishing what is directly stated in a text from what is really meant (e.g., satire, sarcasm, irony, or understatement).


Theme and Imagery

  • Distribute copies of the lesson Elie Wiesel's Night: Themes & Imagery.
  • Have students label their papers 'Identity,' 'Silence,' and 'Night.'
  • Instruct students to read the lesson, taking notes in appropriate columns and highlighting key ideas.

Activity: Independent or Team Options

  • Ask students to dig deeper into these three themes by looking back into the text to find evidence of each one.
  • For a collaborative element, divide students into three teams, or several small teams, and assign each a theme. Instruct them to find evidence in the text to support the themes listed in the lesson.
  • Have students share their answers and discuss.


  • Distribute copies of the lesson Characters of Elie Wiesel's Night.
  • Ask students to read About the Book and Character Analysis: Eliezer.
  • Discuss:
    • Why is Elie a dynamic character?
    • How did the events in Elie's life change his view of God?
    • What did Elie regret?
  • Read the remainder of the lesson, answer any remaining questions.

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