Activity Overview

Having students choose a favorite quote or scene from the book allows them to express which parts of the story resonated with them on a personal level. In this way, students are making a text-to-self connection that demonstrates their understanding of the characters and their development or the themes of the novel. Students can share their storyboards afterwards and have a short discussion about what the quotes mean to them.

Some students may end up choosing the same quote, but have different perspectives. This is always interesting for students to see and can open up a discussion as to how not everyone can read the same lines in the same way based on their own perspectives and personal experiences.

Examples of Quotes from A Night Divided

"Truly, it is in the darkness that one finds the light.” - Meister Eckhart, German philosopher

"When I want the west to scream, I squeeze on Berlin." - Nikita Khrushchev, Soviet Union premier, 1958-1964

"They eye looks, but it is the mind that sees." - German proverb

"The Wall will be standing in fifty and even one hundred years if the reasons for it are not removed." - Erich Honecker, first secretary of East Germany, 1971-1989

"Fear . . . was the most powerful weapon possessed by the Stasi." - David Cook, British author

"The penalties for being an accessory to the attempt to flee the [GDR] were greater than the crime of trying to flee itself." - Anna Funder, Australian author

"Start with what is right rather than what is acceptable." - Franz Kafka, German author

"There are none so blind as those that will not see." - German proverb

“Wherever they burn books they will also, in the end, burn human beings." - Heinrich Heine, German poet

"To begin is easy, to persist is art." - German proverb

"Who shows courage, encourages others." - Adolph Kolping, German priest and social reformer

"Forget not the tyranny of this wall, horrid place, nor the love of freedom that made it fall." - written on the Berlin Wall after it came down

"I learned that courage was not the absence of fear, but the triumph over it." - Nelson Mandela, South African activist

"Everything that is done in the world is done by hope." - Martin Luther, German priest

"Freedom is never voluntarily given by the oppressor. It must be demanded by the oppressed." - Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr., American civil rights activist, 1963

"All free men, wherever they may live, are citizens of Berlin. I take pride in saying, "Ich bin ein Berliner!" - John F. Kennedy, U.S. President, 1963

"Geschichte wiederholt sich. History repeats itself." - German proverb

“This early morning light had not ended the long, dark night. No. For us, the dark night had only begun.”

“I couldn't see much, but it somehow seemed brighter across the wall, as if the sun gave more of it's light to the west. Maybe the people there were more selfish, I thought. Because we needed that sunlight far more than they did.”

“We all smiled, but not that much, and frowned but rarely cried. Nobody could succeed here, but most people around me seemed to be okay with that . It meant they wouldn't fail either. I didn't want to be like them. And at the same time, I was beginning to forget how to be different, how to be my own self. It was the feeling of being swallowed up, and I hated it.”

“We called it Communist Gray. It was the color of our buildings, our markets, our streets. The color of the wall. Even the skies were gray today. Somehow the GDR must have figured out how to bleach that out too.”

“Individuality was a weakness, a sickness of the west. So we all walked in step, eyes ahead, and with conversations at a minimum.”

“If I don't stand for freedom, then I must sit in chains."

“Courage isn't knowing you can do something; it's only being willing to try . . .”

“Our country is Germany -- one country that should be reunited. We don't belong to Moscow or to the west. We belong to ourselves and I have never betrayed that. This tunnel has taken every ounce of courage we have. We're not cowards.”

“I felt like a disease. Just as my father had infected me, I could now infect others. But with what? Courage to speak out? To act? To think and question and believe what I wanted to believe? Somehow I lived in a world where these were bad things.”

“With each brick, my hopes faded until nothing was left. If there had ever been a chance of Dominic and my father returning, then the wall took that too. My school teacher taught us a new song that thanked our leaders for building a wall to keep the fascists out. I muted my glares and only mouthed the words when my teacher was looking - I couldn't bear to sing the lies.”

“She wanted us to buy the censored albums instead, but that missed the whole point of rock and roll. Nobody wanted “approved music.”

“I whispered a prayer that God would see him there safely, and then carry his family through the storm that was sure to follow his disappearance."

“...I guess what I'm asking, Gerta, is if that's who you want to be when we're free. Are you willing to sacrifice other people if it means you can get ahead?" I closed my eyes and let only a single tear escape the corner. "No," I mumbled. "No, of course not.”

“Our family was like a house of cards in a stiff wind. And when it became too much to feel the pain of our collapse, all I could do was become angry.”

“If I cannot speak what I think, then it's a crime just to be me.”

""I was wrong about him." That was all I could say, and it didn't seem like nearly enough."

Template and Class Instructions

(These instructions are completely customizable. After clicking "Use This Assignment With My Students", update the instructions on the Edit Tab of the assignment.)

Due Date:

Objective: Create a storyboard that identifies your favorite quote or scene in A Night Divided. Illustrate your quote and write what it means to you.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. Choose a favorite quote or scene from A Night Divided.
  3. Create an image that represents this quote using appropriate scenes, characters and items.
  4. In the description box, write the quote and at least one sentence about what this quote means to you.

Requirements: Quote or Scene, illustration, 1-2 sentences about what it means to you.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 3 (Developing to Mastery)

Type of Assignment Individual

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/RH/9-10/3] Analyze in detail a series of events described in a text; determine whether earlier events caused later ones or simply preceded them.
  • [ELA-Literacy/W/6/6] Use technology, including the Internet, to produce and publish writing as well as to interact and collaborate with others; demonstrate sufficient command of keyboarding skills to type a minimum of three pages in a single sitting.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/1] Read closely to determine what the text says explicitly and to make logical inferences from it; cite specific textual evidence when writing or speaking to support conclusions drawn from the text.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/7] Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media and formats, including visually and quantitatively, as well as in words.
  • [ELA-LITERACY/CCRA/R/9] Analyze how two or more texts address similar themes or topics in order to build knowledge or to compare the approaches the authors take.


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A Night Divided

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