The Wave by Todd Strasser Discussion Questions

Instructor: Kerry Gray

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

'The Wave' by Todd Strasser is a fiction novel that is based on the true story of a high school experiment to help students understand the Holocaust. This asset contains classroom discussion questions about this novel.

The Wave

It's hard to imagine how someone like Adolph Hitler could rise to power and commit the atrocities of the Holocaust. In The Wave by Todd Strasser, a teacher tries to help his students understand the conditions that led to genocide. These questions will help high school students delve a deeper understanding of the themes, characters and events in the book.

Chapters 1-6

In this section, questions explore the characters and the problem Mr. Ross encounters as he tries to help his students understand the circumstances related to the rise of the Nazi party.

  • How is Ben Ross different from the other teachers at Gordon High School? Compare the students' response to Ross to the faculty's response to him. Why are they different?
  • How do the students respond to the film about the Holocaust? How are Laurie and Amy different from the other students? What did you learn about the Holocaust from the film and class discussion? What questions do you still have?
  • Why do you think the class responded to the 'Strength Through Discipline' lesson? What strategies did Mr. Ross use to engage students who would not normally be so responsive? How does this strategy relate to the Nazi party?
  • How do mottos, slogans, and salutes contribute to a sense of community? What are some examples in your life of strength through teamwork?

Chapters 7-12

This section contains questions to help students understand some of the problems associated with the experiment.

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