The Book Thief 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.

'The Book Thief' is a novel by Markus Zusak about a girl's survival during the Holocaust. This asset supports teachers as they develop instructional plans about this novel.

The Book Thief

What role does fate play in a person's life? How do your choices influence the quality of your life? In The Book Thief by Markus Zusak, Liesel, the protagonist, is an illiterate girl who is sent to live with a foster family because of her parents' communist views. The author uses a variety of literary devices to tell this story of destiny, the power of literacy, and the dichotomous nature of man. The unit plan provides an outline for instruction about The Book Thief.


One of the unique features of this novel is the use of the personification of Death as a narrator to advance the themes of death and destiny. Introducing the novel with The Book Thief Lesson Plan will enable students to have a deeper more enriching experience when engaging in this novel. In addition to analyzing themes, this resource provides opportunities to summarize the text and compare the book and movie versions of The Book Thief.

During Reading

As students are reading the novel, discussions increase comprehension and enable students to make personal connections to the characters and themes. The Book Thief Discussion Questions promote intense text analysis. Further, students engaging in these discussions may learn from the responses of teachers and peers in ways that promote greater understanding. The Book Thief Study Guide Questions offers questions about the plot that are organized by part, which helps students focus on fully comprehending one section of the book at a time.

The Book Thief Activities support further analysis of the novel's themes through active learning opportunities. Students will examine the concept of censorship and the role books play in improving the human condition. Students will also examine the major events from the book that should be included in its summary. A comparison to the movie version to the book version is also explored.

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