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A Teacher’s Guide for Grades 4-6:

Number the Stars

This novel tells the story of Annemarie, a brave 10-year-old growing up in Denmark during the time of the Nazi occupation. Annemarie seeks to protect her best friend Ellen, who is Jewish, from the dangers that confront them both during this dark period in history. We chose this book for its brave female protagonist, cautious introduction to the dangers Jews faced during World War II, and its attention to rich social and emotional themes like friendship, family, bravery, honesty, protecting others, and life during wartime. This curriculum will inspire students to build connections between Annemarie and Ellen’s courageous story and their own.

Number the Stars tells the story of Annemarie Johansen, a young girl growing up in Denmark during World War II. Annemarie’s best friend, Ellen Rosen, is Jewish–this puts her in danger, as Nazi soldiers targeting the Jewish population are becoming increasingly more prevalent in Denmark during this time. Annemarie has spent years dealing with the effects of the war, like rationing and soldier patrols. Her hardships come to a climax when German soldiers decide to “relocate” all of the Jews from their homes. This action sparks a journey in Annemarie’s life that requires intense bravery and compassion.

Author:  Lois Lowry

Our Reading with Relevance teacher’s guide breaks the novel into a series of thoughtful lesson plans. Each lesson is designed to support you to meaningfully explore the social and emotional themes of the day’s reading with your students, inspiring them to read deeply, think critically, talk openly, and write reflectively about topics that matter.

This teacher’s guide includes:

  • A facilitator’s guide with tips and resources for implementing the curriculum.
  • A map of Common Core Standards addressed through this program.
  • Ten individual lesson plans, including vocabulary, discussion questions, journal prompts, extension activities, and all handouts.
  • Two assessments to monitor student progress throughout the program.
  • Regular checkpoints to help teachers assess their students’ progress on ELA standards.
  • A culminating essay-writing unit.
  • An appendix with additional teaching resources and activities to continue exploring this novel.

Pages: 76
Dimensions: 8.5” x 11”



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