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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

Page history last edited by Wendy Rooney 2 years, 5 months ago

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The Boy in the Striped Pajamas - 2

 

 

the-boy-in-the-striped-pajamas-2008-cover

 

 The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas by John Boyne

 

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas is a fictional tale of the unlikeliest of friends: the son of a Nazi commandant and a Jewish concentration camp inmate. Written by John Boyne and published in 2006 by David Fickling Books, the story was made into a major motion picture in 2008.

The novel, set in Nazi Germany, begins when nine-year-old Bruno and his family must move from their lovely home in Berlin to a new house in an unfamiliar place called "Out With." Tempted to explore his new environment, Bruno is told that there are certain places that are "Out Of Bounds At All Times And No Exceptions." Unable to fight his adventuresome spirit, however, Bruno ventures forth into the unknown one afternoon.

Bruno comes upon a fence that he follows until he sees a young boy sitting on the other side of the fence. The shoeless boy is wearing striped pajamas and a cloth cap. Bruno also notices that the boy is wearing an armband with a star on it. Bruno makes fast friends with the boy, Shmuel, and they quickly discover that they share the same birthday. The boys discuss their families and where they are from. At the end of their first meeting, Bruno asks Shmuel why there are so many people on his side of the fence and what they are doing there. A few days later, Bruno's father has dinner guests; the man's name is "the Fury" and his date is called Eva. Bruno instantly dislikes the couple. Bruno's sister Gretel, whom he refers to as "the Hopeless Case," is smitten by the man and tries hard to impress him and his lady friend. Bruno, however, is disgusted by his sister's behavior and her budding romance with a young soldier.

Much like Bruno hears "Auschwitz" as "Out With," he also incorrectly hears "the Führer" as "the Fury." Boyner masterfully tells the story from Bruno's perspective; it is clear that the innocence of Bruno's childhood remains intact despite the fact that he is living on the periphery of a death camp and has met Adolf Hitler.

Bruno continues to explore the woods near his house and often finds himself at the fence spending time with Shmuel. Bruno brings him food, and the friends lament the fact that they cannot explore together or play a game of football. Shmuel confides in Bruno that he is unable to find his father and he is worried. Bruno vows to help Shmuel look for his father; to that end, Shmuel promises to get Bruno some pajamas so that he will blend in on his side of the fence.

One fateful day, Bruno sheds his clothes, dons the pajamas, and sneaks onto Shmuel's side of the fence. As the boys search for Shmuel's father, the soldiers herd the prisoners, Bruno among them, into the gas chambers where they meet their untimely death hand in hand.

The Boy in the Striped Pajamas explores the beauty of a child's innocence in a time of war, the common desire we all have for friendship, and the fences—both literal and figurative—that we must all navigate and choose whether or not to break down.

 

 

 

 

http://novelinks.byu.edu/uploads/Novels/TheBoyInTheStripedPajamas/Vocabulary%20Strategy.pdf - Vocabulary Strategy

 

Genocide

Auschwitz

Ghettos

Holocaust

Nuremberg Laws

Compulsory

Indoctrinate

Aryan

Hitler Youth Movement

Propaganda

 

 

http://novelinks.byu.edu/uploads/Novels/TheBoyInTheStripedPajamas/Graphic%20Organizer.pdf - Characterization - Venn Diagram

 

 

 

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/tv/printables/TCR/1557342105_43_key.pdf - Fact or Opinion

 

http://www.teachervision.fen.com/tv/printables/TCR/1557342105_47.pdf - ABCs of the Holocaust

 

 http://www.besthistorysites.net/wwii.shtml - WW II History Sites

 

http://webtech.kennesaw.edu/jcheek3/holocaust.htm - Holocaust Sites

 

http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/timeline/timeline.htm - Timeline

 

http://www.adl.org/children_holocaust/children_main1.asp - Children of the Holocaust

 

http://www.pbs.org/daringtoresist/synopsis.htm - Daring to Resist - Story of 3 Women

 

http://www.bbc.co.uk/pressoffice/pressreleases/stories/2004/12_december/03/auschwitz_facts.shtml - Auschwitz facts

 

https://www.westpoint.edu/history/sitepages/wwii%20european%20theater.aspx - West Point 

 

Questions:

Think about the characters:

  1. What adjectives would you use to describe Bruno?  Do you like him?  Would you want to be his friend?  Are there times when he disappoints you?  Did he ever impress you?
  2. Do you think Bruno changes during the book?
  3. How does Bruno’s limited understanding of the circumstances surrounding him change the way you understand them?
  4. Were you surprised by what you learned about Pavel’s past in chapter seven?  How does that make you see the circumstances differently?
  5. Compare and contrast Bruno’s father and Pavel.  Do they have similarities?  What are their differences?  Does Pavel ever act like a father?  Does Bruno’s father ever not act like one?
  6. What do Bruno and Shmuel have in common?  What are their differences?

 

Think about the story:

  1. In Chapter 10, Bruno meets Shmuel.  If you were Bruno would you have talked to him?  Why or why not?
  2. Explain the relationship between Gretel and Bruno.  In chapter 14, would you have trusted Gretel enough to tell her about Shmuel?  What might have happened if Bruno had told her?
  3. In Chapter 15, Bruno denies that Shmuel is his friend.  Why do you think he did this?  Would you have done something different?  Shmuel forgives Bruno.  Would you have forgiven him?  Why or why not?
  4. Bravery is one of the themes of the novel.  Bruno thinks soldiers and explorers are brave.  Bruno says he feels like a coward when he denies Shmuel is his friend.  What do you think bravery is?  What characters show bravery in the novel?  Which characters aren’t brave?
  5. Why do you think of the end of the book?  Did it surprise you?  What did you expect to happen?
  6. In the end, the author says, “Of course, this all happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again.  Not in this day and age.”  Do you think that’s true?  Why or why not?  Why do you think the author ended the book this way?

 

 

Keep a journal of your reactions:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

 

Activities:

  1. Research Auschwitz.  Draw a Venn diagram and use it to compare and contrast what you read about Auschwitz with Bruno and Shmuel’s descriptions of it in the novel. 

 

  1. Research the Holocaust.  Make a time line of important events during the Holocaust.  When do you think Bruno’s story might have taken place?

 

  1. This story is told through Bruno’s view of the world.  Pick a part of the story to tell from the point of view of Bruno’s mother, Gretel, or Shmuel.  Consider how the other character would feel and react in those circumstances and what that character might think of Bruno.

 

  1. Bruno tells many stories about his Grandmother and even sends her a letter.  Imagine you are Bruno’s grandmother and received his letter.  Write a letter back to Bruno.

 

  1. This book has no illustrations.  Pick the scene that you think is most important and make an illustration for it.  Consider what mediums and colours might be most appropriate for the book.

 

  1. Many of the characters have surprising lives in their past that we don’t know much about.  Start the story from a different point.  Write about the life of Maria, Pavel, or Shmuel before Bruno meets them.

 

  1. In chapter 18, Shmuel tells Bruno his father is missing.  Bruno offers to ask his father to help find Bruno’s father, but he decides not to.  Imagine that Bruno had asked his father for help and write a scene of dialogue.

 

  1. In the end, Bruno’s mother goes home to Berlin.  Write a letter from Bruno’s mother to his father after she returns home.

 

  1. Write an alternative ending to the book.  How did you imagine the ending?  What other things might have happened to Bruno and Shmuel?

 

Because this is a longer book, some classes may choose not to read the entire novel.  These classes can refer to the general questions or have the option to read chapters four and five and use the following:

 

 Chapters 4 and 5 

 

Questions:

Chapter 4:

  1. What did Bruno and Gretel see through the window?  How does it make them feel?
  2. What are some of their explanations for what they saw?  How would you explain it?
  3. How would you describe Bruno?  Gretel?  How are like alike and how are they different?
  4. In the book, Bruno is nine and Gretel is twelve.  Do you think their responses are realistic?

 

Chapter 5:

  1. What do you think of Bruno’s father?  How would you describe him?
  2. How does Bruno act in his father’s office?  Does this surprise you?
  3. On page 53, Bruno finally asks his father about the people in the striped pyjamas.  His father says, “Those people…well, they’re not people at all, Bruno.”  Why does he say this?  What do you think Bruno thinks his father means?  Does this change you feel about Bruno’s father?

 

 

Activities:

  1. Draw a picture of the view from Bruno’s window.  Consider all his descriptions in chapter four, not just of the fence but in the rest of the yard.  Also, consider how the different things in the yard make him feel.  Can you use different colours or drawing styles to convey Bruno’s feelings?

 

  1. Research the Holocaust.  Compare and contrast Bruno and Gretel’s ideas about the place on the other side of the fence with actual descriptions that you find of concentration camps.

 

 

Vocabulary List:

 

Appallingly

 

Foreseeable

 

The Great War

 

Greengrocer

 

Herr

 

Incumbent

 

Insolent

 

Mercilessly

 

Peckish

 

Persuaded

 

Sarcastic

 

Simpered

 

Traitors

 

Tubercular

 

 

 

 

 

 

Worksheets: The Boy in the Striped Pajamas

by John Boyne

1. Compare the book covers and read the blurb.

Read chapters 1 and 2.

1.When and where is the book set?
2.How old is Bruno?
3.Where does he live and with whom?
4.What impression do we get of his character?

In pairs:
5. Why have Bruno's family suddenly moved house?
6. Who are the Fury and the beautiful blonde woman?
7. What does Father's new job appear to be?

Homework:
Read chapters 3 and 4, and think of two questions which you would now like to ask
about the characters and the story.
How do Gretel and Bruno react to the camp and the people there?

Chapters 3 + 4
What is the writer trying to achieve?
Look at the following hints and clues. Think about why John Boyne uses these

particular words and phrases to describe people and places.

 

A hint from the writer...
Gretel has a few titles, such as „The Hopeless Case“ and „Trouble From Day One“

(page 21)
Why do you think Boyne has Bruno call her this?
Another little clue...
Gretel calls their new home „Out-With“ (p. 24).
Why do you think Boyne chooses to have Gretel call the place this?

What does the name suggest to you?
Hinting through description...
The writer describes the house as „hollow“ and says „it may collapse around their

ears“ on page 26.

What impression does this give of „Out-With“, and why do you think Boyne uses this

particular description?

Do a shared read of page 36 and 37.

 

In a pair make notes, showing which words and phrases hint at danger and how they

achieve this.

Plenary:
When are „pajamas“ referred to for the first time?
Carry out a word association!

HW: Research task using the Internet: Jewish Ghetto in Krakow, Final Solution,

Holocaust, Auschwitz

Chapter 5

5.Why is Bruno's mother afraid when she realizes that Maria has overheard her (p.
40)?
6.P.41: The train is mentioned. Why is this another „hint“ to the horror?
7.Characterize Bruno's father and describe their relationship. Find hints in the
text.
8.At times Father is shown as a loving parent and husband. How is this possible
given his role as a Nazi officer?

Chapter 6

1.Characterize Maria.
2.Explain what she means when she says, „(...) which makes me wonder (...) wonder
what he... how he can...“ (p. 62)
3.Comment on the following statement: „“I'm not allowed to say what I feel?“ he
repeated, incredulous.“ (p. 64)

Chapter 7

1.Mother saying „Thank you“ to Pavel for treating Bruno is an important turning
point for her. What has changed for her at this point?
2.Why does she take credit for the treatment?
3.Contrast Pavel's treatment of Bruno when the boy fell off the swing with the way
Pavel is treated by Bruno's family.

 

Chapter 8

1.Grandmother disagrees with the views of the Nazis. How does she stand up for her
beliefs?
2.Characterize her.
3.P. 90 ff: How does the writer suggest through his words here that Father is just
„playing“ at being a Commandant?
4.What is implied by „puppet on a string“?

Chapter 9

1.Does Bruno and Gretel's tutor take advantage of the children's innocence in what
he teaches them? How? What are these ideas?
2.Bruno compares the people in the camp to the people in his house. (p.100) What
are his conclusions?

Chapter 10

1.Although Bruno and his family have moved to a desolate place, Bruno continues to
display his strong sense of adventure and creativity. What are some examples?
2.Can you give an example from your own life when your sense of adventure and

 

imagination allowed you to escape from a sad or painful situation?
3.Why do you think Bruno and Shmuel become friends and stay friends?
4.What are Shmuel's most striking features?
5.What do the two boys have in common?
6.What do we learn about Shmuel's family?
7.P. 112: Bruno talks about Germany. Does he believe in what he says?

Read chapters 11 + 12: Think of as many adjectives as possible to describe the

character of the Fury.

Shared read p. 128 + 129.
1.Why do you think the writer includes details of the Jewish citizens of Cracow?
2.Compare Shmuel's description of the journey, the train with Bruno's (p.41 –
p.129). Highlight all the descriptive words and adjectives. Write down the feeling
and atmosphere created by these descriptions.

In class: Chapters 13 + 14 – taking parts.

1.Bruno secretly takes food from his house to give to Shmuel. Have you ever done
something to help people who didn't have enough food? What can people do today to
help others who are starving around the world?
2.How does Shmuel react when Bruno starts talking about Kotler? Which
atmosphere/theme is developed here? Note down words and phrases that convey that
theme.
3.How has Pavel changed?
4.What surprising fact do we learn about Kotler? Draw your conclusions and
characterize him.
5.Why do you think does Kotler grow so terribly angry with Pavel and why does
nobody stop him?
6.What do you think has happened to Shmuel's grandfather? Find one sentence in
chapter 14 that makes you draw this conclusion.

Chapter 15

1.Describe Bruno's feelings towards Lieutenant Kotler.
2.Why doesn't Bruno try to protect his friend when he is attacked by Kotler?
3.Have you changed your attitude towards Kotler? How would you describe him now?
4.Why does Shmuel forgive Bruno?
5.What has happened to Shmuel in the meantime? How do we know?

Chapter 16

1.What has happened to Lt. Kotler?
2.How has Gretel changed? Who has influenced her?
3.P 182-183: What conclusion can you draw from the conversation between Gretel and
Bruno?

As a class read chapters 17 + 18.

1.What do we learn about Father's thoughts and feelings here?
2.How does Mother feel about living at Out-With?
3.What are her hopes and plans for the future?
4.How aware are the parents of the children's perceptions of the place?
5.P. 198: „It would be a great adventure Our final adventure (...) All in all it
seemed like a very sensible plan and a good way to say goodbye (...)“ - Write a

short prediction of what will happen in Bruno and Shmuel's adventure. Can you

gather any evidence from this chapter of how the story will end?

Chapter 19 + 20

1.What Happens the Next Day?
2.Bruno tries to help Shmuel find his father despite being frightened and wanting
to go home. Why?
3.Using evidence from pages 215-216,describe how Bruno's father reacts when he
realizes what has really happened to his son.

Further questions

9.When Bruno dresses in the filthy pajamas, he remembers something his grandmother
has once said. „You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you're
pretending to be.“ (p. 205) How is this true for Bruno? What about his father?What
does this statement contribute to the overall meaning of the story? How does the
author use clothes as a symbol of status in the book?
10.Have there been times when you've betrayed a friend? How can you make amends
with those you've shunned or scorned?
11.How do shame and remorse figure into the friendship between Bruno and Shmuel?
How does Bruno show his remorse?
12.How can people use the power of friendship to cross boundaries of race,
religion, and culture?
13.Have you ever been in a situation when a person was mistreated? What actions
did you take?How did you feel after acting or not acting?
14.What is peer pressure? Have you been in situations in which you felt compelled
to go along with a group? Describe those situations and why you acted as you did.
15.How is obedience constructive and how can it be destructive? Give examples of

the story of each?
16.List examples in history where civil disobedience was/has been constructive.
17.When you hear someone make a biased comment on a group of people, what do you
usually do? How hard is it to stand up to prejudice and discrimination? Why?
18.In your opinion, what does the end of the story symbolize? Why?

Activity Ideas:

4.Learn more about the Holocaust by reading one of the books, visiting one of the
websites, or seeing one of the films listed in the appendix.
5.Do research to learn about genocide occurring in the world today.
6.Interview a survivor of the Holocaust or a child or grandchild who knows the
personal stories of a friend or relative.
7.Visit an exhibition related to the Holocaust near where you live.

 

The opposite of love is not hate, it's indifference. The opposite of art is not
ugliness, it's indifference- The opposite of faith is not heresy, it's
indifference. And the opposite of life is not death, it's indifference.
Ellie Wiesel

 

 

http://www.nate.org.uk/cmsfiles/news/00000427.pdf - Lessons

 

Questions:

Think about the characters:

  1. What adjectives would you use to describe Bruno?  Do you like him?  Would you want to be his friend?  Are there times when he disappoints you?  Did he ever impress you?
  2. Do you think Bruno changes during the book?
  3. How does Bruno’s limited understanding of the circumstances surrounding him change the way you understand them?
  4. Were you surprised by what you learned about Pavel’s past in chapter seven?  How does that make you see the circumstances differently?
  5. Compare and contrast Bruno’s father and Pavel.  Do they have similarities?  What are their differences?  Does Pavel ever act like a father?  Does Bruno’s father ever not act like one?
  6. What do Bruno and Shmuel have in common?  What are their differences?

 

Think about the story:

  1. In Chapter 10, Bruno meets Shmuel.  If you were Bruno would you have talked to him?  Why or why not?
  2. Explain the relationship between Gretel and Bruno.  In chapter 14, would you have trusted Gretel enough to tell her about Shmuel?  What might have happened if Bruno had told her?
  3. In Chapter 15, Bruno denies that Shmuel is his friend.  Why do you think he did this?  Would you have done something different?  Shmuel forgives Bruno.  Would you have forgiven him?  Why or why not?
  4. Bravery is one of the themes of the novel.  Bruno thinks soldiers and explorers are brave.  Bruno says he feels like a coward when he denies Shmuel is his friend.  What do you think bravery is?  What characters show bravery in the novel?  Which characters aren’t brave?
  5. Why do you think of the end of the book?  Did it surprise you?  What did you expect to happen?
  6. In the end, the author says, “Of course, this all happened a long time ago and nothing like that could ever happen again.  Not in this day and age.”  Do you think that’s true?  Why or why not?  Why do you think the author ended the book this way?

 

 

Keep a journal of your reactions:

  1.  
  2.  
  3.  
  4.  
  5.  

 

Activities:

  1. Research Auschwitz.  Draw a Venn diagram and use it to compare and contrast what you read about Auschwitz with Bruno and Shmuel’s descriptions of it in the novel. 

 

  1. Research the Holocaust.  Make a time line of important events during the Holocaust.  When do you think Bruno’s story might have taken place?

 

  1. This story is told through Bruno’s view of the world.  Pick a part of the story to tell from the point of view of Bruno’s mother, Gretel, or Shmuel.  Consider how the other character would feel and react in those circumstances and what that character might think of Bruno.

 

  1. Bruno tells many stories about his Grandmother and even sends her a letter.  Imagine you are Bruno’s grandmother and received his letter.  Write a letter back to Bruno.

 

  1. This book has no illustrations.  Pick the scene that you think is most important and make an illustration for it.  Consider what mediums and colours might be most appropriate for the book.

 

  1. Many of the characters have surprising lives in their past that we don’t know much about.  Start the story from a different point.  Write about the life of Maria, Pavel, or Shmuel before Bruno meets them.

 

  1. In chapter 18, Shmuel tells Bruno his father is missing.  Bruno offers to ask his father to help find Bruno’s father, but he decides not to.  Imagine that Bruno had asked his father for help and write a scene of dialogue.

 

  1. In the end, Bruno’s mother goes home to Berlin.  Write a letter from Bruno’s mother to his father after she returns home.

 

  1. Write an alternative ending to the book.  How did you imagine the ending?  What other things might have happened to Bruno and Shmuel?

 

Because this is a longer book, some classes may choose not to read the entire novel.  These classes can refer to the general questions or have the option to read chapters four and five and use the following:

 

Read chapters 4 and 5 depending on time.

 

Questions:

Chapter 4:

  1. What did Bruno and Gretel see through the window?  How does it make them feel?
  2. What are some of their explanations for what they saw?  How would you explain it?
  3. How would you describe Bruno?  Gretel?  How are like alike and how are they different?
  4. In the book, Bruno is nine and Gretel is twelve.  Do you think their responses are realistic?

 

Chapter 5:

  1. What do you think of Bruno’s father?  How would you describe him?
  2. How does Bruno act in his father’s office?  Does this surprise you?
  3. On page 53, Bruno finally asks his father about the people in the striped pyjamas.  His father says, “Those people…well, they’re not people at all, Bruno.”  Why does he say this?  What do you think Bruno thinks his father means?  Does this change you feel about Bruno’s father?

 

 

Activities:

  1. Draw a picture of the view from Bruno’s window.  Consider all his descriptions in chapter four, not just of the fence but in the rest of the yard.  Also, consider how the different things in the yard make him feel.  Can you use different colours or drawing styles to convey Bruno’s feelings?

 

  1. Research the Holocaust.  Compare and contrast Bruno and Gretel’s ideas about the place on the other side of the fence with actual descriptions that you find of concentration camps.

 

 

Vocabulary List:

 

Appallingly

 

Foreseeable

 

The Great War

 

Greengrocer

 

Herr

 

Incumbent

 

Insolent

 

Mercilessly

 

Peckish

 

Persuaded

 

Sarcastic

 

Simpered

 

Traitors

 

Tubercular

 

In "The Boy in the Striped Pyjamas", Bruno writes a letter to his Grandmother. This is a prediction of what it would have said.

 

 

 

Dear Grandmother, 

 

I have been missing you very much. I wish we could have stayed in Berlin with you and Grandfather instead of coming here, to Out-With. I don’t like it here at all. The house is only three stories, and is a lot smaller. Because it is so small, there is barely any room to explore inside it. There are no other houses near it which means there are no other boys to play with. It is in the middle of no where. There are no fruit stalls with big trays piled high with cabbages, carrots, cauliflowers and corn nearby and I couldn’t see any cafes anywhere. The house makes me think that no one ever laughs there. There is nothing to laugh about or to be happy about. I don’t think this will ever be my home.

 

            Outside of my window there is a nice garden and then after the garden there is a bench with a plaque on it but I can’t read what it says all the way from my window. After the bench with the plaque on it, there is a very, very, very big fence. There are tall telegraph poles all along it to hold it up. At the top, it curves inward and then there is a heap of barbed wire bales that looks very sharp. After the fence there is a lot of hard ground. In the distance on the hard ground there are a lot of little huts and small buildings scattered around the place. There are smoke stacks and soldiers at the huts and small buildings. The soldiers don’t do much except order a heap of people around. The people that I can see that aren’t soldiers are wearing striped pyjamas and cloth caps. There are children on the other side of the fence except they don’t look like the sort of children I would want to play with. They stay in small groups and get scared when the soldiers talk to them. I know soldiers are scary, except not even the Hopeless Case would be that scared of them.

 

            In our new house at Out-With, there are always soldiers walking around as if they own the house and they always go into Father’s office and everyone calls him ‘the Commandant’ now. For some reason, the Hopeless case came with us and she brought all her evil dolls with her and set them up in her room so they can watch everything that I do.

 

            We have Maria as a maid still but we have three new maids that only whisper to each other and we have an old man who comes in every afternoon and peels the vegetables for dinner. At dinner time the old man waits on us. His name is Pavel, and one time a made a swing from a tyre and I fell off it. He was the only adult home and he saw it happen so he carried me inside and fixed my leg. He said he used to be a doctor. Do you know why he stopped being a doctor?

 

            I am missing you a lot and I wish you could come to our house at Out-With and do another production for Father, Mother, and Grandfather again.

 

Hope to see you again soon,

 

Your loving grandson, Bruno.

 



Read more: http://authspot.com/letters/the-boy-in-the-striped-pyjamas-brunos-letter-to-grandmother/#ixzz1FwA0HBrL

 

Book Club Discussion Questions 

 


1. Discuss the relationship between Bruno and Gretel. Why does Bruno seem younger than nine? In a traditional fable, characters are usually one-sided. How might Bruno and Gretel be considered one-dimensional?

2. At age 12, Gretel is the proper age for membership in the League of Young Girls, a branch of Hitler's Youth Organization. Why do you think she is not a member, especially since her father is a high-ranking officer in Hitler's army?

3. What is it about the house at Out-With that makes Bruno feel "cold and unsafe"? How is this feeling perpetuated as he encounters people like Pavel, Maria, Lt. Kotler, and Shmuel?

4. Describe his reaction when he first sees the people in the striped pajamas. What does Gretel mean when she says, "Something about the way [Bruno] was watching made her feel suddenly nervous"? (p. 28) How does this statement foreshadow Bruno's ultimate demise?

5. Bruno asks his father about the people outside their house at Auschwitz.His father answers, "They're not people at all Bruno." (p. 53) Discuss the horror of this attitude. How does his father's statement make Bruno more curious about Out-With?

6. Explain what Bruno's mother means when she says, "We don't have the luxury of thinking." (p. 13) Identify scenes from the novel that Bruno's mother isn't happy about their life at Out-With. Debate whether she is unhappy being away from Berlin, or whether she is angry about her husband's position. How does Bruno's grandmother react to her son's military role?

7. When Bruno and his family board the train for Auschwitz, he notices an over-crowded train headed in the same direction. How does he later make the connection between Shmuel and that train? How are both trains symbolic of each boy's final journey?

8. Bruno issues a protest about leaving Berlin. His father responds, "Do you think that I would have made such a success of my life if I hadn't learned when to argue and when to keep my mouth shut and follow orders?" (p. 49) What question might Bruno's father ask at the end of the novel?

9. A pun is most often seen as humorous. But, in this novel the narrator uses dark or solemn puns like Out-With and Fury to convey certain meanings. Bruno is simply mispronouncing the real words, but the author is clearly asking the reader to consider a double meaning to these words. Discuss the use of this wordplay as a literary device. What is the narrator trying to convey to the reader? How do these words further communicate the horror of the situation?

10. When Bruno dresses in the filthy striped pajamas, he remembers something his grandmother once said. "You wear the right outfit and you feel like the person you're pretending to be." (p, 205) How is this true for Bruno? What about his father? What does this statement contribute to the overall meaning of the story?

11. Discuss the moral or message of the novel. What new insights and understandings does John Boyne want the reader to gain from reading this story?

12. Discuss the differences in a fable, an allegory, and a proverb. How might this story fit into each genre?

 

 

 

http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005151#seealso

 

Holocaust concentration camp photos- http://www.history.com/topics/the-holocaust/photos#holocaust-concentration-camps

 

More Holocaust photos- http://www.history.com/topics/the-holocaust/photos#remembering-the-holocaust

 

http://fcit.usf.edu/holocaust/timeline/timeline.htm - WWII Timeline

 

http://earthrenewal.org/Holocaust.htm - The Holocaust 

 

Children of the Holocaust-  http://graceproducts.com/fmnc/main.htm

 

Website for fact/reaction activitiy- http://www.ushmm.org/wlc/en/article.php?ModuleId=10005143

 

 

Group One: Concentration Camps

 

  1. How many concentration camps existed during WWII?  In what countries were they located?
  2. What was the name of the first concentration camp?  Where was it located? When was it built?
  3. What was the biggest concentration camp?  When was it built?  Where was it located?
  4. Can old concentration camps be toured?  If so, which ones?  Where are they located?

 

Group Two: Adolf Hitler

 

  1. Print out a picture of Adolf Hitler. When & where was he born? When & how did he die? 
  2. Was he married? Did he have children? 
  3. Research the beliefs of the Nazi Party. 

 

 

 

Group Three: Lodz, Poland 

 

      1.    Print a map of Poland. Identify where Lodz is. Print a picture of the ghetto (or one that typifies a ghetto). 

    2.    When was the ghetto in Lodz created?  When was it liberated (set free)?

    3.    Who was Mordekchai Chaim Rumkowski?

     4.    Research the issue of hunger in the ghetto. 

 

 

Group Four: the Jewish people & their culture

  

  1. Print a picture of the Star of David. What does it symbolize? 
  2. Research the Jewish New Year. 
  3. How many Jewish people lived in each of these countries during WWII: Germany, Poland, Denmark.  How many Jewish people were killed during the Holocaust?  How many other people who were not Jewish? 
  4. Define "Holocaust." Research Anne Frank.  Include her date of birth, how she died, where she died. Summarize her life. 

 

 

http://www.filmeducation.org/theboyinthestripedpyjamas/reading_history/reading_history.html - Survivor's Opinion on why the Holocaust should be remembered

 

 

Terms to Know:

 

Deportations

Extermination

Kristallnacht

Pogrom

Dachau

Concentration Camps

Aryan

Nuremberg Laws

Nuremberg Trials

Holocaust - 1933 - 1948

Ghetto

Fuhrer (Fury, Hitler)

Star of David

Auschwitz (Out-With)

Warsaw (Poland)

Final Solution

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