Number The Stars Unit Plan

Instructor: Kerry Gray

Kerry has been a teacher and an administrator for more than twenty years. She has a Master of Education degree.

'Number the Stars' is a Newbery Medal-winning historical fiction novel by Lois Lowry about a Jewish family's escape during the Holocaust. This asset provides a framework for creating lesson plans about this novel.

Number the Stars

Would you risk your life for a friend? Number the Stars by Lois Lowry explores friendship and bravery through the story of a ten-year-old girl, Annemarie Johansen, who helps her best friend, Ellen Rosen, escape from Denmark to avoid being sent to a concentration camp. This unit plan helps teachers create lesson plans for upper elementary and middle school students who are reading Number the Stars.


Before reading this novel, students may need some background information about the Holocaust to fully understand the context of this story. The Holocaust Lesson Plan for Elementary School uses a text lesson, discussion, and a collaborative presentation activity to help students understand the Holocaust, as well as exploring the roles various citizens played during the Holocaust.

Students may also benefit from examining the background of the author and previewing some of the author's other works. Students may have some familiarity with The Giver or other material by the author that will engage the students or provide ideas for continued reading upon the completion of this unit.

During Reading

As students are reading the novel, the Number the Stars Comprehension Questions may be used as a guide to help students understand the characters, setting, and plot. This set of questions is particularly useful for understanding the novel in its literal form.

As students dive deeper into analysis, the Number the Stars Discussion Questions provides questions that help students make connections and examine the symbols and other figurative elements included in this book. Teachers may choose to select specific questions from this asset to use as part of a written evaluation upon completion of this novel study.

The Number the Stars Lesson Plan reviews the major plot points, themes, and symbols through a video lesson and collaborative presentation. This asset may be used during reading or immediately upon completion of the novel.

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