Number the Stars Free Unit Study
Number the Stars
||Author: Lois Lowry
Due to the content of this novel it seems best suited
for upper elementary students. Number the Stars is an excellent book
to introduce children to the World War II time period. This unit is designed
to give students a view of the effects of this war across Europe and in the
United States of America.
reading each chapter, have your child narrate or write a few questions about
the reading. If he is able to formulate the question, he knows the answer.
list of characters and add information about each as the novel progresses.
This is a work of historical fiction but the characters are very believable.
Why? Discuss how the feelings and emotions change throughout the novel. The
characters are not always brave and perfect, they have flaws and weaknesses.
reading the events on pages 33-38, rewrite this part from Ellen’s parents
point of view. How did the parents feel while separated from their daughter?
What are some things that could happen to Ellen?
vocabulary list of words you are not familiar with and design a vocabulary
test. The test should include matching, true or false, and fill in the
about the Jewish Faith and Holidays mentioned in this novel. Discuss the
holidays you participate in that are related to your faith. Discuss how our
beliefs define us and that it is impossible to be separate from our beliefs.
the life of King Christian the 10th. Why were the Danes so
devoted to him? How did he feel about the Jews in his country?
Compare/Contrast King Christian with another leader.
What is the
dominate religion in Denmark? What was the relationship between most of the
Christians and Jews in Denmark? Find out how many Jews were smuggled to
safety by Danes. [It is amazing!]
What is the
Star of David? Why did Annemarie jerk the necklace from Ellen’s neck? In the
USA are you frightened to wear a cross, crucifix or other religious symbol?
What protects our right to do so? [Note: The Denmark Jews did not wear the
Star of David armbands.]
tell your child that he must evacuate his home in 5 minutes. Set the timer
and begin packing. What is most important? What must be left behind? Go
outside and discuss the fear of being forced to leave without warning. Talk
with your child about the laws that protect us and our property. Have these
laws ever been violated? During war time?
soldiers enter and search the Johansen home. What is required before an
officer can search a home in the USA?
many sites on the Holocaust.[ If your child is ready for this information.]
has a picture, name and age of about 12 children.
need to preview sites before allowing a child access. There are many graphic
pictures and the stories are heart-wrenching. This is for 6th
grade and older.
the places mentioned in chapter 2 on a European map. [Copenhagen, Denmark,
Norway, Holland, Sweden, Belgium, France] Locate Germany and compare its
size to Denmark.
Who are the
famous scientists from this time period? What were some of the new
more about the powder that was used to deaden the dogs’ sense of smell.
website is great. The Rationing Challenge encourages problem solving skills.
Planning supper was certainly a challenge. This is a UK site.
these terms- rationing, shortage, supply and demand, black market price.
certain common foods to be rationed this week. Plan a week of menus
internet to search for WWII posters or poster propaganda. Study the posters
and create one of your own to encourage support of USA or British
involvement in the war. Be sure to include a slogan.
[or may not] want to study the way that images of women were used on the
posters. Discuss the appropriateness of using female models on the posters.
Would this be allowed today? Are there more women in the military now than
This site has examples of British poster
Is a person free if he is constantly monitored?
How does privacy relate to freedom?
Why is freedom of the press so important for a
society to remain free? Talk about censorship. When is it appropriate? Is it
In this novel it is important to be “one of the
crowd always”. Why?
said that Denmark didn’t fight because of its small size. Read page 15
through the top of page 16. Do you think the king was right to surrender? Do
you think large, powerful countries should defend small countries from
invasion? Why? Why not?
Annemarie is glad to be ordinary. She believes
that ordinary people are not called upon for great works. Is this true? Can
you think of some ordinary people in the Bible that were called to do great
things? Is anyone “ordinary” to God?
the next to the last paragraph on page 35. Think about what has happened in
that scene. Why are many US citizens opposed to having their names and
private information kept in a data bank? These are some everyday lists most
people are on. Can you think of others?
Social security numbers
Do you think this is good or bad? Is it ever appropriate for the government
to keep track of its citizens? Should some people be
“watched” more than others?
What promise was made by God to Abraham
concerning his descendents?
What do you think was the inspiration for the
title of this novel? Can you think of another appropriate title?