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Teaching Guide

Teaching The Diary of a Young Girl

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We’ll be Frank with you. Anne Frank, that is. We've got the key to analyzing this text.

In this guide you will find

  • activities for students to do some diary-ing (or journaling, if they insist) of their own.
  • literary and historical resources from WWII, the Holocaust, and beyond.
  • two years’ worth (in book time) of reading quizzes.

And much more.

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Inside each guide you'll find quizzes, activity ideas, discussion questions, and more—all written by experts and designed to save you time. Here are the deets on what you get with your teaching guide:

  • 13-18 Common Core-aligned activities to complete in class with your students, including detailed instructions for you and your students. 
  • Discussion and essay questions for all levels of students.
  • Reading quizzes for every chapter, act, or part of the text.
  • Resources to help make the book feel more relevant to your 21st-century students.
  • A note from Shmoop's teachers to you, telling you what to expect from teaching the text and how you can overcome the hurdles.

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Instructions for You

Objective: Time for a history lesson! Context is everything, right? So in this activity, students will read about World War II and explore some accompanying photos to get a feel for what the history surrounding The Diary of Anne Frank. They will conduct outside research on this historical period and create interactive, multi-media timelines of the war.

Length of Lesson: 2 class periods; one for the initial classroom discussion and to assign the project, and a second (a week or so later) for students to present their work. 

NOTE: You'll need to assign a little homework in advance of the first class period—the night before is ideal—or tack one more class period on to the beginning and have students complete the "homework assignment" in that first class.

Materials Needed: 

  • Access to Shmoop's Guide to World War II, and the accompanying World War II Photos 
  • Shmoop's WWII Timeline 
  • Computer/internet access for additional research outside of class
  • Software or apps (such as DipityTimeToastTiki-Toki, or Photoshop) for students to create digital timelines
  • Art supplies (colored pencils, etc.) for students creating hand-made timelines

Step 1: As homework, ask students to explore Shmoop's guide to WWII and the accompanying photos. These resources are accessible, engaging, and best of all, right here!

World War II: The plight of Anne and her family takes place against one of the most influential and horrific backdrops in history: World War II. Here, students can read about the events of the war and consider where the Franks and other Jewish families ended up and how they fared en masse.

World War II Photos: While reading about the Great War, students can view the accompanying photos, which will help bring them closer to what seems like distant history.

Step 2: In class, ask your students what they learned from the Shmoop guide. Here are some questions to help guide your discussion:

  1. Did anything in particular stand out to you? 
  2. What was shocking? What was sad? What was hopeful? 
  3. Relate the history of WWII to The Diary of Anne Frank. Where do Anne and her family fit in?
  4. What moments do you think were the most pivotal in the war? 
  5. Scroll through Shmoop's WWII timeline. Are there any events we haven't mentioned that seem important to you, or central to the war? Which ones and why?

Step 3: Give students their assignment. Here's a prompt: 

You've seen Shmoop's timeline. Now it's time to make your own. 

First, you'll conduct your own research (online, at your library, inside your history books, etc.). Be sure to take notes on any websites and other external materials that you find, and not just on their content, but on the sources themselves. You'll need to cite them so you can demonstrate that your information is coming from somewhere reliable, and you'll need to turn in a Works Cited page along with your timeline. (More on this below.)

When you've completed your research, construct your timeline of WWII. Get creative! Shoot for something eyepopping, like this interactive timeline of the top grossing movies of 2008, or go for a multimedia approach. You can present your timeline however you want: as a PowerPoint presentation, an online creation, a board game (i.e., Monopoly style), a poster, a video, or any other format you can think of! (Just be sure to get teacher approval beforehand.)

The following websites could be helpful if you want to take a digital approach:

But wait, here's the kicker: make sure you include on your timeline the events that Anne Frank documents in her diary. And be sure it's clear which events are Anne's. When you're done, you'll be able to see how Anne's life fits in to the history of World War II. Pretty neat, huh?

A quick note on citing sources: This awesome resource from Purdue's Online Writing Lab (the OWL) will show you how to format everything on your Works Cited page, from books to magazine articles to websites according to three different stylebooks. You'll want to use MLA format (the first column) for your English class. If you need more assistance, check out the OWL's MLA Formatting and Style Guide or ask your teacher for help.

Step 4: Have students present their timelines in class—after all this hard work, they'll deserve a chance to show it off! And of course, have the other students ask questions so the historical and literary discussion can continue. 

When students complete their presentations, they should turn in their Works Cited pages so you can see what resources they used and also check their formatting. Putting together a good Works Cited page is an important skill. If your students don't have it yet, this lesson can be a great introduction to the process. 

(California English Language Arts Standards Met: 9th and 10th grade reading standards 1.1, 1.2, 2.1, 2.2, 2.3, 2.5, 3.2, 3.6, 3.7, 3.8, 3.12; writing 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.8, 1.9, 2.2, 2.3; listening & speaking 1.1, 1.3, 1.4, 1.9, 1.11, 1.14, 2.1, 2.4. 11th and 12th grade reading standards 1.3, 2.1, 2.2, 2.4, 2.5, 3.2, 3.3, 3.6, 3.7; writing 1.1, 1.2, 1.3, 1.4, 1.5, 1.6, 1.9, 2.4, 2.6; listening & speaking 1.3, 1.4, 1.9, 2.2, 2.4.)

Instructions for Your Students

The Diary of Anne Frank gives us a rare glimpse into the life of a young person living through a time of extreme trauma and tragedy. Often we're given all the facts about history, but we never get to see it in such an intimate way. 

For this activity, you're going to make sure that the opposite doesn't happen. As important as it is to read Anne Frank's words, it's also important to understand the context around them. So, now you'll have the chance to place Anne Frank's story within a larger historical context, and build your own multimedia timeline interpretation of World War II.

Step 1: As homework, explore Shmoop's guide to WWII and the accompanying photos (links below). These resources should help you understand the facts of the war, so you can start thinking about the broader context of The Diary of Anne Frank.

  • World War II: The plight of Anne and her family takes place against one of the most influential and horrific backdrops in history: World War II. Here, you can read about the events of the war and consider where the Franks and other Jewish families ended up and they how fared en masse.
  • World War II Photos: While reading about the Great War, check out the accompanying photos. This will help you feel closer to the history, as sad as its reality may be.

Step 2: In class, talk about what you learned from the Shmoop guide. Here are some questions to help guide your discussion:

  1. Did anything in particular stand out to you? 
  2. What was shocking? What was sad? What was hopeful? 
  3. Relate the history of WWII to The Diary of Anne Frank. Where do Anne and her family fit in?
  4. What moments do you think were the most pivotal in the war? 
  5. Scroll through Shmoop's WWII timeline. Are there any events we haven't mentioned that seem important to you, or central to the war? Which ones and why?

Step 3: Assignment time. You've seen Shmoop's timeline. Now it's time to make your own. 

First, you'll conduct your own research (online, at your library, inside your history books, etc.). Be sure to take notes on any websites and other external materials that you find, and not just on their content, but on the sources themselves. You'll need to cite them so you can demonstrate that your information is coming from somewhere reliable, and you'll need to turn in a Works Cited page along with your timeline. (More on this below.)

When you've completed your research, construct your timeline of WWII. Get creative! Shoot for something eyepopping, like this interactive timeline of the top grossing movies of 2008, or go for a multimedia approach. You can present your timeline however you want: as a PowerPoint presentation, an online creation, a board game (i.e., Monopoly style), a poster, a video, or any other format you can think of! (Just be sure to get teacher approval beforehand.)

The following websites could be helpful if you want to take a digital approach:

But wait, here's the kicker: make sure you include on your timeline the events that Anne Frank documents in her diary. And be sure it's clear which events are Anne's. When you're done, you'll be able to see how Anne's life fits in to the history of World War II. Pretty neat, huh?

A quick note on citing sources: This awesome resource from Purdue's Online Writing Lab (the OWL) will show you how to format everything on your Works Cited page, from books to magazine articles to websites according to three different stylebooks. You'll want to use MLA format (the first column) for your English class. If you need more assistance, check out the OWL's MLA Formatting and Style Guide or ask your teacher for help.

Step 5: Now it's time to show off your masterpieces. Because everyone's timeline will be different, this will be a chance to learn even more about the history of World War II (different presentations of history make us think differently, right?) and also learn about some new multimedia techniques. Not bad for a few days' work.

When you complete your presentation, be sure to turn in your Works Cited page!

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Common Core Standards  

The following standards are covered in this course:

CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.9-10.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.9-10.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RL.11-12.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.SL.11-12.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.9-10.8
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.9
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.W.11-12.8
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.9-10.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.9-10.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.4
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.10
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.7
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.RI.11-12.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.1
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.2
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.3
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.5
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.6
CCSS.ELA-Literacy.L.11-12.4

WANT MORE HELP TEACHING THE DIARY OF A YOUNG GIRL?

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Intro    Summary    Themes    Quotes    Characters    Analysis    Questions    Quizzes    Flashcards    Best of the Web    Write Essay    
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