Reflection: Connection to Prior Knowledge World War II: Anne Frank - Section 3: Independent Practice: Words from a Diary


I was so EXCITED about doing this activity with my students! I had confidence that my students knew much about Anne Frank and Adolf Hilter since these topics were studied in prior grades of middle school. However, I wanted to engage students with a process that would connect their prior knowledge to what Anne could not see while being restricted in hiding. 

Instead of having students read the entire diary of Anne Frank, I pulled excerpts that spoke to the BIG IDEAS of why Jews and the Nazi's where feuding during this historical time. While I asked specific questions for students to answer, this task seemed challenging since students had not read the entire diary entry. What spoke volumes was the need for my students to hear the beginning and ending of each entry before answering each question. Of course, I did not provide that for them. As a result, I got very short, non-descriptive answers which in my mind deflated the use of students meeting the curriculum expectations of this lesson.

If I did this lesson again, I would indeed provide more access to each journal entry since more details are needed for students to (1) understand what's going on in Anne's mind and (2) develop deeper meanings to the historical time period of WWII. Common Core Standards require students to use textual evidences to draw conclusions and interpretations of literary text. While this lesson incorporates that skill, it also requires students to develop an understanding of missing information to the thoughts of Anne while in hiding. No matter what behaviors were exhibited by students in this lesson, its contents were a GREAT way to infuse writing across the content in the classroom.

  Questioning Reflection
  Connection to Prior Knowledge: Questioning Reflection
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World War II: Anne Frank

Unit 4: Risking it All
Lesson 3 of 14

Objective: SWBAT explain how Anne Frank's diary entries shows her personality and decision-making during the Holocaust.

Big Idea: Remaining undercover: Hiding who I really am from the Nazis

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  49 minutes
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