Activity Overview

At the back of White Bird, author R.J. Palacio includes many different terms, people, places, and events related to the Holocaust that helped inspire the story. Previewing these can help students better understand the story and learn about the time period.

Starting a unit or lesson with the key vocabulary terms and allusions aids in overall comprehension and retention. In this activity, students will create a storyboard that defines and illustrates key terms and allusions related to White Bird. Since they can overlap, teachers may want to use this template specifically for vocabulary, or just for allusions, as this example displays.

Examples of Terms and Allusions from White Bird

  • Anti-Semitism
  • The Beast of Gevaudan
  • Concentration Camps
  • Deportations / Roundups in France
  • The Diary of Anne Frank
  • The French Resistance
  • Gendarmes
  • Grandmère
  • The Holocaust
  • The Jewish Resistance
  • Le Chambon-sur-Lignon
  • The Maquis
  • The Milice
  • Muriel Rukeyser
  • "Never Again" and #We Remember
  • Persecution of Persons with Disabilities
  • Polio
  • Reverend Andre Trocmé, Daniel Trocmé, and the Ecole Nouvelle Cévenole
  • Yad Vashem

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 illustrates your understanding of key terms and allusions (people, places, events) in the story White Bird.

Student Instructions:

  1. Click "Start Assignment".
  2. In the title boxes, identify the terms you have chosen.
  3. In the description boxes, write the definition or description of the term.
  4. Create an illustration for each term using appropriate scenes, characters, and items.

Requirements: Must have 3 terms, correct definitions or descriptions, and appropriate illustrations for each that demonstrate your understanding of the words.

Lesson Plan Reference

Grade Level 6-8

Difficulty Level 2 (Reinforcing / Developing)

Type of Assignment Individual or Partner

Type of Activity: Literary Allusions

Common Core Standards
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/3] Apply knowledge of language to understand how language functions in different contexts, to make effective choices for meaning or style, and to comprehend more fully when reading or listening
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/4] Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9-10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies
  • [ELA-Literacy/L/9-10/6] Acquire and use accurately general academic and domain-specific words and phrases, sufficient for reading, writing, speaking, and listening at the college and career readiness level; demonstrate independence in gathering vocabulary knowledge when considering a word or phrase important to comprehension or expression

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