Although it is an emotionally difficult book to read, I have always enjoyed teaching Night by Elie Wiesel.
Here are a few tips for teaching Night:
- Teach the Context – You aren’t teaching history, but with a text like Wiesel’s Night you have to provide some historical context for your students. Begin your Night unit with a research project through which students learn about the Second World War, the Holocaust, Auschwitz, and other important elements of historical context.
- Keep it Personal – Night is an incredibly personal story. While it is important to provide some historical context to enhance your students’ understanding of the text, make sure most of your focus is on Wiesel’s own experiences. Keeping the focus on Wiesel’s personal story will increase the likelihood of your students forming a personal, more meaningful connection to the text.
- Keep it Candid – Elie Wiesel’s Night is a remarkably candid narrative. Some of the details are horrific and upsetting, but it is important not to skip over these or avoid discussing them. While teaching Night, try, as Wiesel does, to look straight into the face of evil and deal with it directly.
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