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Literature Activities: Number the Stars

By Keren Perles

After reading “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry, taking the literature lesson plans a step further. These free literature activities are great for teaching literature and will hold students’ interest in the novel.

Art Activities

Tell students that they will be making a Star of David, just like the star that Ellen had on her necklace. Provide students with various art supplies, including popsicle sticks, yarn, pipe cleaners, construction paper, and markers to create their Star of David. Encourage them to personalize their stars; for example, a student might write a different word on each leg of the star. You might want to help them research the meaning behind the Star of David (also called the Shield of David).

Alternatively, you can have students make their own symbol. Point out that the Star of David and the swastika are two vivid symbols in the novel, and encourage students to create a symbol of their own. Have them present their symbols to the class and explain what each part of the symbol represents.

Writing Activities

As a class, brainstorm a list of other people who have stood up against injustice. Have students use a Venn diagram to compare and contrast that person with Annemarie. Then have them write a short paragraph discussing how the two figures are similar and different.

You can also have students interview someone who lived through World War II. The person may have been in Europe, the United States, or elsewhere, but should have had some connection with the war. Encourage your students to learn as much as they can about the person’s experience and write a few paragraphs about what they have learned.

Research Activities

Give students some blank maps and some atlases. Have them use the atlases and the book to add details to their blank map about places and events mentioned in the novel. This activity works well in small groups.

Help students do a short research report on the resistance of a specific country during World War II. Have them present their research to the class.