Night by Elie Wiesel Project Ideas

Instructor: Kristen Goode

Kristen has been an educator for 25+ years - as a classroom teacher, a school administrator, and a university instructor. She holds a doctorate in Education Leadership.

Elie Wiesel was a Holocaust survivor who later wrote about his experiences at the hand of the Nazis during World War II. His book, 'Night', is now studied as a window into the life of a Jewish teen living in Nazi controlled concentration camps.

Understanding Night

As students read and discuss Night, by Elie Wiesel, it is important to help them make connections in order to gain a full understanding of what the author was telling the world through his book. The following projects have been designed to encourage students to make these connections.

Timeline

Highlight the events in the book, Night, by having students create a timeline. This can be done either as the book is read or as a culminating project.

Materials: large white construction paper and/or poster board for each student, markers or colored pencils, notes on the book

  • Give students large, white construction paper or pieces of poster board on which to create their timelines.
  • Have them mark the beginning and ending of their timelines with the dates on which Elie Wiesel begins his book and the date on which he is liberated from the concentration camp.
  • In between, have students mark all of the major events, including (but certainly not limited to):
    • The ghettos in Sighet
    • Capture by the Nazis
    • Separation from mother and sisters
    • The big march
    • Death of Elie's father

Storyboard

Similar to a timeline, have students create a storyboard (basically a comic strip without the humor) for the events that occur throughout the book.

Materials: white paper or construction paper, markers or colored pencils, notes on the book

  • As the book is read, students will create sections (or strips) for their storyboard that follow the events of the story.
  • Each piece should be clearly defined with pictures and words (use of dialogue is recommended) to convey the story.
  • Encourage creativity, color, use of strong adjectives and lots of description, plus indication of physical and emotional state, etc.
  • Allow students to share their work with the class at the conclusion of the unit on Night.

Through His Father's Eyes

Elie Wiesel tells his story in a narrative, journal type of format. Imagine how the story might have been told through the eyes of Elie's father.

Materials: journals, writing paper, or computers

  • Have students create a journal of 8-10 pages.
  • On each page, have them rewrite about a major event in the story as it might have been written from Elie's father's point of view.
  • Once their journals are complete, allow students to share pages of their journal with the class.
  • Allow for class discussion of each journal entry read aloud.

Create a Map

The book, Night, begins in Elie Wiesel's hometown of Sighet. As the story unfolds, he travels to several other places, including the concentration camps of Auschwitz and Buchenwald. For this project, have students create a map highlighting all of the different places mentioned in the book.

Materials: white paper or construction paper, markers or colored pencils, copy of a map of World War II era Europe, notes on the book

  • Put students into groups of 3-4.
  • Give each group materials for creating a map.
  • As a class, discuss the many places mentioned in the story, including Sighet and the concentration camps.
  • In their groups, have students draw a large map of Europe and plot these places so that they can visualize their locations and their proximity to one another.

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