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Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Teacher Guide by Anna Warfield

Find this Common Core aligned Teacher Guide and more like it in our Middle School ELA Category!

Student Activities for Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Include:

The Holocaust is one of the blackest periods in world history. Extraordinary racism and hatred led to millions of needless deaths. Anne Frank was a Jewish girl whose family tried to escape persecution and imprisonment by hiding in secret rooms. Anne kept a diary of her experience in the “Secret Annexe” that shows the difficulties the Franks faced, as well as courage, wisdom, and hope in the face of adversity.

By the end of this lesson your students will create amazing storyboards like the ones below!




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For more information about teaching The Holocaust, see our History of the Holocaust Teacher Guide.


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A Quick Synopsis of Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

Anne Frank is a thirteen year old Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, Holland. Her parents give her a diary for her birthday and she writes all of her thoughts and experiences in letters to her friend, "Kitty."

The Franks live in German occupied Holland during World War II. Anne’s sister, Margot, is called up for deportation by the Schutzstaffel (the S.S.). The Frank family go into hiding in Mr. Frank's old workplace with the help of his coworkers. They are joined by another Jewish family, the Van Daans.

Life in the Secret Annexe is very difficult. There is not much space, very little fresh air, few resources available, and little more to do that cook, clean, read, and sleep. They have very limited supplies, must stay very quiet during the day, cannot go outside, and live in constant fear of discovery. People keep busy by reading, studying, writing, preparing meals, and listening to the radio when it is safe, but boredom is a common problem. Personalities clash in the small space: Anne with her mother, Mr. Van Daan with Mr. Frank, and Mrs. Van Daan with everyone else. It is hard to escape annoyances, and small irritations fester.

Another Jewish runaway, Mr. Dussel, comes to stay with the Franks and the Van Daans. The Secret Annexe is now even more cramped. Anne has to share a room with Mr. Dussel, and she does not always get along with him. The added person makes life that much more difficult in the small space.

Anne becomes depressed and lonely. She struggles with her relationship with her mother and cannot always talk with her sister. As many teenagers do, Anne feels misunderstood and very lonely. Her loneliness is amplified because she is so isolated with only the same few people as company, day in and day out.

Anne and Peter Van Daan start a friendship that develops into more. Both young people are very lonely and find comfort in one another. Anne later comes to realize that she may have allowed things to progress too much with Peter, and sees that he loves her more than she loves him. Still, their connection is important to Anne because it gives her much needed comfort in an impossibly difficult time.

The warehouse below the Secret Annexe is broken into. Police come to investigate and nearly find the entrance to their hiding place. Because they cannot use the water due to noise, the occupants of the Secret Annexe need to use a wastepaper basket as a chamber pot. Everyone has to stay still and quiet for a long time to avoid being found.

Anne and the rest of those in hiding hear news from friends and the radio about the Gestapo making arrests and taking many people away in the occupied countries. Those arrested are sent to various camps in Germany, and are rarely heard from again. The “vegetable man” down the street, who provided produce to them, is arrested for hiding two Jews. The Secret Annexe receives even less food than before.

Anne’s diary ends abruptly after a philosophical entry about Anne’s inner and outer character. Their hiding place is discovered! The Gestapo come to the Secret Annexe and take the Franks, the Van Daans, and Mr. Drussel away. We learn from the Afterword that Mr. Frank was the only person of the Secret Annexe to survive. The journals and notebooks in Anne’s handwriting were later published as Het Achterhuis (The Secret Annexe).


Essential Questions for Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl

  1. What events led to World War II and the Holocaust?
  2. What would it be like to live like Anne Frank?
  3. Are there higher laws than those prescribed by an individual’s nation?
  4. What can we learn from past hate?
  5. What rights do people have as humans?
  6. How does war affect economy and the availability of goods?
  7. How do we keep from giving up hope?

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Lesson Plans, Student Activities and Graphic Organizers

Plot Diagram | Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl Summary


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A common use for Storyboard That is to help students create a plot diagram of the events from a story. Not only is this a great way to teach the parts of the plot, but it reinforces major events and helps students develop greater understanding of literary structures.

Students can create a storyboard capturing the narrative arc in a work with a six-cell storyboard containing the major parts of the plot diagram. For each cell, have students create a scene that follows the book in sequence using: Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.



Example Diary of Anne Frank Plot Diagram

Exposition

Anne Frank is a thirteen year old Jewish girl living in Amsterdam, Holland. Her parents give her a diary for her birthday and she writes all of her thoughts and experiences in letters to her friend, "Kitty."


Conflict

The Franks live in German-occupied Holland during World War II. Margot is called up for deportation by the Schutzstaffel (the S.S.). The Frank family goes into hiding into Mr. Frank's old workplace with the help of Dutch coworkers.


Rising Action

Another Jewish runaway, Mr. Dussel, comes to stay with the Franks and the Van Daans. The Secret Annexe is now even more cramped. They have very limited supplies, must stay very quiet during the day, cannot go outside, and live in constant fear of discovery.


Climax

More fear. The warehouse below the Secret Annexe is broken into. Police come investigate and nearly find the entrance to their hiding place. Everyone has to stay still and silent for a long time, to avoid being found.


Falling Action

The Gestapo make arrests and take many people away all over the occupied countries. The green grocer down the street is arrested for hiding two Jews. The Secret Annexe receives even less food than before.


Resolution

The “resolution” of the story comes in the afterword. Their hiding place was discovered! The Gestapo come to the Secret Annexe and take the Franks, the Van Daans, and Mr. Drussel away. Anne didn’t have time to write more in her diary before the Gestapo came.


Anne Frank Plot Diagram

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a visual plot diagram of Diary of Anne Frank.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Separate the story into the Exposition, Conflict, Rising Action, Climax, Falling Action, and Resolution.
  3. Create an image that represents an important moment or set of events for each of the story components.
  4. Write a description of each of the steps in the plot diagram.
  5. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.



Plot Diagram Template

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Diary of Anne Frank Character Map Graphic Organizer

We see many characters through Anne’s eyes, and while her descriptions are sometimes biased, Anne shows a surprising amount of insight. Anne takes great care to give “Kitty” lots of information, and she reflects on earlier entries when she may have been overcome with emotion. The members of the Secret Annexe, as well as those helping them, are are a huge part of the story. There are many conflicts that arise (and stick around) because of the confinement, which contributes to how each character develops over the two years.

In this activity, students will depict the characters of the story, paying close attention to the physical and character traits of both major and minor characters. Students provide detailed information regarding the characters’ actions and how they influence other characters. In addition, students can identify how the main character changes over time.

Have students create the characters and fill in the information from a template, or you can make the characters on a blank map and print it out for students to complete. Alternatively, assign different characters to different students or groups to go into greater detail. Students or groups can present their information to the rest of the class.

Additional characters could include:

  • Elli Vossen
  • Mr. Koophius
  • Mr. Kraler
  • Henk Van Santen
  • Mouschi
  • Boche
  • Lies
  • Granny
Anne Frank - Character Map

Example

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Diary of Anne Frank Literary Conflict


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Literary conflicts are often taught during ELA units. An excellent way to focus on the various types of literary conflict is through storyboarding. Having students choose an example of each Literary conflict and depict it using storyboards is a great way to reinforce your lesson.

Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl is rife with conflict. There are many interpersonal conflicts between the characters, as well as larger societal conflicts. The Franks are driven into hiding because of the anti-Jewish policies of the Nazi regime, and on a smaller scale, Anne gets annoyed and hurt by the adults who criticize her.

Have students choose one, or a few, of the conflicts in Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Using a T-Chart or a traditional storyboard, students can identify various examples of conflicts and depict them with explanations. In the prototype example below, each cell contains a particular type of conflict. The type of conflict is displayed, and visually represented with an explanation of the scene, and how it fits the specific category of conflict.

Examples of Literary Conflict in Anne Frank

MAN vs. MAN

Mrs. Van Daan and Mr. Van Daan regularly get into arguments, sometimes over very trivial matters. The limited space in the Secret Annexe means the rest of the occupants are also affected.


MAN vs. SELF

Anne struggles with the isolation and boredom of the seclusion in the Secret Annexe and with fear of being caught. She writes letters to her friend, "Kitty", that are really diary entries.


MAN vs. SOCIETY

Leading up to and during World War II, Nazi Germany persecuted and eventually imprisoned Jews in concentration camps. Millions of Jews died there.

Anne Frank Literary Conflict

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Create a storyboard that shows at least three forms of conflict in the Diary of Anne Frank.


  1. Click "Use this Template" from the assignment.
  2. Identify conflicts in the Diary of Anne Frank.
  3. Categorize each conflict as Character vs. Character, Character vs. Self, Character vs. Society, Character vs. Nature, or Character vs. Technology.
  4. Illustrate conflicts in the cells, using characters from the story.
  5. Write a short description of the conflict below the cell.
  6. Save and submit the assignment. Make sure to use the drop-down menu to save it under the assignment title.



Literary Conflict Template

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Diary of Anne Frank Vocabulary Lesson Plan


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Learning new vocabulary is an important part of reading any book. Often, new words pertaining to an unfamiliar context need to be mastered before a student can understand what’s happening in a story. This is especially important when the story is set in a different time or different country and many words or context are quite unlike what students know.

Example Vocabulary from the Diary of Anne Frank

  • ration
  • clandestine
  • Gestapo
  • S.S. (Schutzaffel)
  • scrounging
  • forbidden
  • monotonous
  • optimist
  • invasion
  • wireless
  • florin
  • occupied
  • bombardments
  • concentration camp

Anne Frank - Vocabulary

Example

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Copy Assignment", change the description of the assignment in your Dashboard.)


Student Instructions

Demonstrate your understanding of the vocabulary words in Diary of Anne Frank by creating visualizations.


  1. Choose three vocabulary words from the story and type them in the title boxes.
  2. Find the definition in a print or online dictionary.
  3. Write a sentence that uses the vocabulary word.
  4. Illustrate the meaning of the word in the cell using a combination of scenes, characters, and items.
    • Alternatively, use Photos for Class to show the meaning of the words with the search bar.
  5. Save and submit your storyboard.



Vocabulary Template Blank

Example

(Modify this basic rubric by clicking the link below. You can also create your own on Quick Rubric.)





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Diary of Anne Frank: Timeline of Important Events

Understanding the setting of a story, whether fictional or historical, is extremely important for any reader. The historical setting of the Anne Frank diary is paramount to comprehending the significance of the Franks going into hiding and the difficulties they faced there. Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl stands on its own as a good read for young people growing up, but is also an excellent book to accompany a unit on the Holocaust.

Even though the occupants of the Secret Annexe are very isolated from the outside world, they still get news from their Dutch helpers and from the radio programs out of England. Anne points out that she is not very interested in politics, and so she does not talk about the particulars very much, but she still keeps us apprised of the major events. Because her future is so dependent on the developments of the war, Anne hints at or directly states important information for “Kitty” to understand her situation.

Whether you teach World War II alongside the Anne Frank diary, or merely review the major events of the war, a timeline is a great activity to map how the story aligns with history. The example timeline only takes a few events into account, but, of course, there are many, many options from which to choose, such as the Treaty of Versailles after World War I, D-Day, the end of the war, when the English or the Americans entered the war, burglaries of the warehouse, arrest of the green grocer for housing Jews, or the start of air raids. Use Anne’s diary and other historical resources to find important events.

Anne Frank Timeline

Example

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Check out other teacher guides on history and literature during World War II and Holocaust


The History of the Holocaust

Introduction to World War II

World War II: 1939-1941

World War II: 1942-1945

The Diary of a Young Girl by Anne Frank

Number the Stars by Lois Lowry

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas by John Boyne

Night by Elie Wiesel

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal


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•   (English) Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl   •   (Español) Anne Frank: El Diario de una Chica Joven   •   (Français) Anne Frank: le Journal D'une Jeune Fille   •   (Deutsch) Anne Frank: Das Tagebuch Eines Jungen Mädchens   •   (Italiana) Anna Frank: Diario di Anna Frank   •   (Nederlands) Anne Frank: Het Achterhuis   •   (Português) Anne Frank: O Diário de uma Rapariga   •   (עברית) אנה פרנק: יומנה של אנה פרנק   •   (العَرَبِيَّة) آن فرانك: مذكرات فتاة صغيرة   •   (हिन्दी) ऐनी फ्रैंक: एक जवान लड़की की डायरी   •   (ру́сский язы́к) Анна Франк: Дневник Молодой Девушки   •   (Dansk) Anne Frank: Anne Franks Dagbog   •   (Svenska) Anne Frank: Anne Franks Dagbok   •   (Suomi) Anne Frank: Nuoren Tytön Päiväkirja   •   (Norsk) Anne Frank: Anne Franks Dagbok   •   (Türkçe) Anne Frank: Genç Kızın Günlüğü   •   (Polski) Anne Frank: Pamiętnik Młodej Dziewczyny   •   (Româna) Anne Frank: Jurnalul Unui Tânăr Fată   •   (Ceština) Anne Frank: Deník Anny Frankové   •   (Slovenský) Anne Frank: Denník Mladého Dievčaťa   •   (Magyar) Anne Frank: Anne Frank Naplója   •   (Hrvatski) Anne Frank: Dnevnik Mlade Djevojke   •   (български) Ан Франк: Дневникът на Едно Младо Момиче   •   (Lietuvos) Anne Frank: Iš Jauna Mergina Dienoraštis   •   (Slovenščina) Anne Frank: Dnevnik Ane Frank   •   (Latvijas) Anne Frank: No Jauna Meitene Dienasgrāmata   •   (eesti) Anne Frank: Päevik Young Girl