Lesson Plan : Juliek's last performance in Night

Teacher Name:
 Don Lourcey
Grade:
 Grade 9-10
Subject:
 Literature Activities

Topic:
 Juliek's last performance in Night -- the creation of characterization
Content:
 One of the power goals of the English II Standard Course of Study is Goal 5 which is the learner's demonstration of the literary elements of world literature through interpretation and analysis -- Chapter 6 of Elie Wiesel's Night is a powerful tool to teach characterization. Juliek, in his dying moments, plays a final song on his beloved violin.
Goals:
 Students will read chapter 6, the end of the Death March scene in Night, and read the final moments of Juliek's life, discovering the power of music as a means of expressions. Students will listen to Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D, the music Juliek played, in order to capture his emotion, connecting text to music. Students will discuss the bravery, the pain, the sadness of this act and how this concert reveals who Juliek is. Students will write about the emotions the written word coupled with the music creates.
Objectives:
 The learner will demonstrate analysis of Juliek's character by analyzing what he says, does, and acts in his final moments of life through discussion and writing.
Materials:
 novel, Beethoven's Violin Concerto in D
Introduction:
 Night captivates all levels of readers like no other novel. Chapter 5 shows us Elie's loss of faith as he spends the most holy of Jewish holidays in the concentration camp. Elie is to fast on this day but chooses not in defiance of God. Student would have already read this chapter and traced Elie's dynamic character. Chapter 6 describes in painful detail the forty two mile Death March as the Buna camp is evacuated. To begin this chapter, we will first review Elie's changing character. To introduce and connect to Chapter 6, we will talk about the characteristics of being outside in the cold when their is snow on the group and the weather is brutally cold.
Development:
 Together, we will read Chapter 6, a short, powerful chapter. This is a captivating chapter that even the weakest reader is drawn into. I will read to them in order to show the drama and power of the chapter, stopping as we go to question and allow for group and pair discussion.
Practice:
 Toward the end of the chapter, the starving men have been walking or running for forty two miles in a driving snow. Many of the men have died. The men are forced to go into a barrack that cannot hold all of them, and as the men pile on top of each other, many are suffocated. Elie then hears the beautiful violin music of Juliek, playing a mournful, powerful song -- this is Juliek's last concert that he plays to a room of dying men. We stop here and I play the actual Concerto to the group --as they listen intently, they concentrate on the single violin playing, thinking of Juliek as he played these same notes, knowing that he and his friends were dying. AS they listen, they record thughts, emotions, feelings.
Accommodations:
 As students are working, I will monitor the room to help students with conveying thoughts onto paper. Students will already know how to brainstorm ideas before they write.
Checking For Understanding:
 Understanding will be constantly checked through discussion and then demonstrated independently through the writing of each student. As I read paragraphs, I would examine the development of the topic sentence, details to develop and prove the TS, along with the writer's own ideas and point of view and remaining focused on topic.
Closure:
 To end the class, we will read the last paragraph of the chapter -- we know that when Elie awakes the next morning, surrounded by dead men and yet he is still alive, he see a dead Juliek, his violin smashed. Elie says, "How could I forget that concert, given to an audience of dying and dead men!" I will tell the students that Elie still talks about Juliek today, over 60 years later. I will ask students to share their emotions created by the music and what they learned about Juliek's character.
Evaluation:
 It is key for me to make sure that all students are participating in our on-going class and pair discussion as we read. The writing will also allow me to see that the concept of characterization was realized.
Teacher Reflections:
 Music is a powerful part of a teenagers' lives--it motivates them, challenges them, entices them. This novel captivates students through its historical relevance and the details Wiesel uses to recreate the events in his life when he was 15, separated from most of his family, and questioning his faith in God. I have learned that even the most gifted students concentrate more on the power of the words if a strong reader is reading to them -- I have allowed students to read to the class throughout the years, but in my lower level classes, the students can concentrate more on the reading if I read to them. I do not do this for the entire book, but this is one of those chapters that are powerful to the listener.

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