As a possible future English teacher, I spend a good amount of time thinking about what books I might assign for my future students (provided that the school I’m working with will actually allow me to pick some of the books myself). When I was in high school, I always had such a hard time relating to the books assigned, and finding them even the slightest bit interesting. The same could be said for pretty much all of my classmates. So, needless to say, most of us would skip reading the actual text and just use spark notes instead. And I know full well that many of my students will probably use spark notes too since, after all, it is the easy way out, but I still want to try my best to find books that have the potential to really engage my students, spark their interest, and maybe even be an inspiration to them.
One of the books I decided I would really like to have my students read is “Night” by Elie Wiesel. It was, without a doubt, one of the most incredible, powerful books I’ve ever read. (Plus, it’s really quite short so hopefully my students would be willing to actually read it). “Night” details the true story of a young Jewish boy and his experiences inside the concentration camps during World War II. It was such an amazing story, and such an eye opener in regard to what actually went on inside the walls of those infamous camps. “Night” left a huge impact on me and just made me realize how precious life really is (as corny and cliché as it sounds). I’m really hoping that at least one of my students will find the same inspiration and importance in Elie’s story as I did.
After completing the book “Night”, rather than doing a typical book report, I would like to have my students research information on a holocaust survivor of their choosing. Then I would like each of them to give an oral presentation to the class detailing the survivors’ individual stories, personal experiences, trials and triumphs, etc. I know to some it may seem like a strange topic to pick for an English class, but I believe this was such an important event in our history, and it would be really interesting to get to learn about the different life stories from the people who experienced the tragedies and horrors of this event first hand, and who got through them with incredible strength, courage, and an unshakable faith in God. I really believe there is so much to learn in every one of these stories.
Anyways, that’s my little rant on a possible idea for my future lesson plan. Really hope it succeeds in sparking my students interest and evoking some kind of emotion.