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Free Unit for Night by Elie Wiesel

Updated: Mar 4

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This are materials that I used to teach Night, by Elie Wiesel, to my 9 Intensified students. Since it is a short book and my 9 Intensified students are very strong readers, the unit is quick. This was also, clearly, one of my very early units and not my most cohesive work. I think the strengths of the unit are the extension activities and some of the literary device handouts. The lessons are detailed below and the handouts are linked to Google Docs. Please enjoy this free unit for Night.

Unit Title: Night, by Elie Wiesel

Unit Theme(s):

  • Tolerance can make a difference in the world

  • The only way to not repeat history is to study it and work towards fixing past mistakes

We are reading and studying Night in order to:

  • Analyze Elie Wiesel’s objectivity (and discuss the meaning of objectivity) and his writing style;

  • Identify causes for genocide, anti-Semitism, and the Holocaust, and to discuss their meaning to our current generation;

  • Analyze Night as a non-fiction literary response to extraordinary personal experiences and political events;

  • Find themes in common between Night and other works of literature, and with our year-long theme of identity

  • Continue to develop skills in reading, writing, thinking, and listening.

Grade Level: 9

Time Frame: 2 ½- 3 weeks

Reading Schedule:

Day 1-Chapter 1 (section 1) (15 pages )

Day 2-Chapters 2-3 (sections 2/3) (17 pages)

Day 3-Chapters 4-5 (sections 4/5) (28 pages)

Day 4- Chapters 6-7 (sections 6/7) (14 pages)

Day 5-Chapters 8-9 (sections 8/9) (8 pages )

Stage 1-Identify Desired Results

Virginia SOLs-Reading

  • Explain the relationship between the author’s style and literary effect (tone and theme)

  • Identify and analyze an author’s use of diction to convey ideas and content (understatement)

  • Describe the use of images and sounds to elicit the reader’s emotions

  • Read and analyze a variety of informational materials (manuals, textbooks, business letters, newspapers, brochures, reports (media),…

  • Evaluate clarity and accuracy of information

  • Synthesize information from sources and apply it in written and oral presentations

Essential Questions

  • What is genocide?

  • Why should we reach out and help others?

  • What is a crime against humanity?

Essential Understandings

  • Genocide was not an isolated event during World War II, it is still happening today

  • Judging others is unhealthy and leads to devastation

  • We cannot just sit back and say “Oh well!.” A lot can be done to help others in the world.

  • The only way to not repeat history is to study it and work towards fixing past mistakes

  • Events on a national level can have global effects.

Stage 2 –Evidence of Expected Outcomes/Performance Tasks

  • Communicate with decision makers about the need to provide humanitarian assistance, protect civilians, stop the violence, and promote solutions to the crises.

  • Unit Test

Daily Lessons

Day 1-What is the Holocaust?

  • Research: Assign each student a topic from this list and have them write a 1-page paper about the topic with two sources.

  • Share out: If time, have kids share out what they learned from their research. Have the students who are listening take notes on this note-taking guide.

Day 2

  • Introduction to Night Key Terms: Go through “Intro to Night-Key Terms” PowerPoint-Ask students what they know about the following words: Judaism, Adolf Hitler, Fascism, Anti-Semitism, Final Solution, Genocide, Holocaust, Master Race, Nazi Party. For my kids, this activity was a review of information they already covered in history class. It should also be a review of the research they conducted on Day 1.

  • Watch “Survivors of the Holocaust” (30 minutes)

Day 3-Introduce book and style

  • Journal: In your journal, reflect briefly on how you felt after watching “Survivors of the Holocaust”

  • Style: Briefly introduce the term "style" as it applies to writing. Have students write down the information and then read the first bit of Night out loud to them.

  • Exit Response: Directions to kids: Look back on your style notes and write three observations about Elie Wiesel’s style of writing.

Homework: Read section 1 of Night and complete these questions.

Day 4

  • Journal: Re-read the section on the top of page 32 (34 in new copy) that starts… “Never shall I forget that night, the first night in camp, that turned my life into one long night…. "

After, do the following:

A. Explain the context of the passage

B. Analyze the structure and style of the passage

C. What is the purpose of this passage?

  • Discuss journal

  • Go over the homework questions

  • Reading time: Read sections 2 & 3 of Night. Finish the reading for homework.

Day 5

  • Journal: Re-read the last three paragraphs on page 25 (continuing onto p. 26). Reflect on the meaning and structure of this passage.

  • Discuss journal

  • Reading time: Read sections 4 & 5 of Night. Finish the reading for homework.

Day 6

1. Based on the evidence in chapters 4-5 – Elie’s months in Buna – describe the relationship between Elie and his father and the changes in that relationship.

2. Reflect on the role of religion in the book so far, particularly in sections 3, 4, and 5 – in Elie’s life, in the lives of others, in the interconnection between cruelty and faith and survival.

3. Chapters 4 and 5 are, on one level, a series of anecdotes about Elie’s life in Buna (May 1944-Jan. 1945). (Dentist 1 and 2, French girl, Idek/girl/whipping, bombing and soup, hangings 1 and 2; Rosh Hashanah and Yom Kippur, selection, inheritance, Akiba Drumer, foot operation, evacuation). Is there some “rhyme and reason” to this series of stories that Wiesel tells? What do they all add up to?

  • Discuss Journal

  • Reading Time & Homework: Finish reading Night. Bring in a wire hanger for a class craft.

Day 7

Day 8

  • Conversational Round Table: This activity is from Jim Burke's The English Teacher's Companion. For those of you who have read a few of my blog posts, you know that I find his books to be very helpful in improving my classroom practice. This is a synthesis activity where students choose characters from other works they have read over the course of the year and then have those characters engage in a "conversation" about themes you are studying.

Day 9

  • Movie: Continue with God Grew Tired of Us

  • Business Letter Assignment: In this assignment, students need to write to a person in power about ongoing human rights violations around the world. The kids did not really know how to write formal letters, but there was a nice section in the textbooks that we used to have that covered this. I had students read that section and fill in this business letter note-taking guide.

  • Homework: Finish rough draft of letter.

Day 10

  • Revise/Edit Letters

  • E-mail/send letters and CC me on the emails or otherwise show proof that you letter was sent.

Day 11

  • Facilitate Socratic Seminar. There are many ways to run a Socratic Seminar. If I have a small enough class, I like to have kids sit in one circle and discuss their ideas. If I have a huge class, I split them in half and have two separate discussions going at once.

  • Seminar Rubric

  • Homework: Study for unit test. Optional study guide provided.

Day 12

*End of Unit*

Extra Materials

The materials below I must have used at some point but not in this particular iteration of the unit.

Materials I Used For Grade Level Kids

Other Books Connected to Night

(that you can use in the classroom)

I have taught Survival in Auschwitz in conjunction with Night, but I have not found my notes for that unit, yet. If I find those handouts, I will post them. They pair well together because they focus on different aspects of the concentration camps.

When I taught 8th Grade, there was a really great unit for the play version of The Diary of Anne Frank in our HOLT textbook. Below is my blog post for those materials.

This play was a great way to get the whole class involved in the story.

​Anne Frank is a classic WW2 text. After her family goes into hiding in Amsterdam during WW2, Anne Frank starts a diary. Her family stayed hidden for about two years before they were found by the German police and sent to concentration camps. All died except for Anne's father, who published her diary after he was release. Like all WW2 books, a heartbreaker.

I have not read this yet, so would love to hear opinions in the comments.

The Book Thief by Marcus Zusak takes place during WWII and is narrated by death. I know it sounds creepy but it's a beautiful read.

Survival in Auschwitz is about how Levi survived a concentration camp.

Maus 1 & 2 were groundbreaking because no one has used the graphic novel genre for a serious topic before.

Reading Now to Determine:

I am reading this book now to see if I would/could use it in the classroom. Has any read it and enjoyed using it in the classroom? Please leave a comment below.

Movies Connected to Night

(that you can use in the classroom)



I watched a lot of WWII movies to prepare for this unit and felt this was a movie I could use in the classroom.

I hope these free materials for Night are helpful to you.

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1 Comment

I cannot thank you enough for providing these materials. I am teaching Night for the first time and have been struggling to parse essential information from the overwhelming mountain of information I want to teach. Plus, as a Virginia teacher, I was so pleasantly astonished to see your list of aligned SOLs, which is a rare sighting! Your free materials, in this and other units, are of such high quality that I confidently purchased several of your TPT products without the slightest hesitation.

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