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Historical Era

Thinking Skill


Number the Stars-Pre-Reading Activitiy

Launch Lesson

Ms. Scheetz
Focusing on Details: Compare and Contrast
Historical Era:
The Great Depression and World War II (1929-1945)
Primary Historical Thinking Skill:
Historical Analysis & Interpretation
blooms taxonomy
Bloom's Taxonomy:

Use to create an Activity

Number the Stars-Pre-Reading Activitiy


This activity is used as a Pre-reading activity for the novel Number the Stars by Lois Lowry. It gives the students an opportunity to delve into the feelings and hardships felt by real people in history.

Author’s Notes

Objectives: Students will analyze the photos of two points of despair in history-The Great Depression and The Holocaust in order to reflect upon what a society’s responsibility is to those in despair. Essential Question: How can studying events in history help us become socially just citizens?

1. Have students work in heterogenous groups to discuss photographs and complete the analysis worksheet together. Distribute the Photograph Analysis Worksheet from the Tool Box. Look at both pictures carefully. Explain what you are seeing-the emotions on the people’s faces, the condition they are in as well as their clothes and any other detail that you may see.

2. Use the following questions as a guide for a whole group discussion. Discussion points for students: How are these pictures alike? How are they different? What had happened to the two sets of subjects? After discussing their hypothesis on what happened in each picture, discuss the context of each picture (Impoverished Farmers, Depression Era United States and Holocaust Survivors, WWII Era Germany).

3. Have students create an online e-journal for the novel, Number the Stars. Have them answer the following questions in the pre-reading section of the journal.

Student Reflection:‘ What are some causes of poverty and despair? What is a government’s responsibility to people experiencing poverty and despair? A community’s responsibility? An individual bystander’s responsibility?

4. Finally, have students complete the online activity with their own personal responses to the photographs. E-mail your responses to Ms. Scheetz ( or Mrs. Thurston ( Make sure you write a paragraph for each response and include your own personal feelings about the subject.

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Documents in this activity: