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Teaching Suggestions the Book Thief Essay

•Book covers
Students talk about their expectations by looking at the title and the various book covers. Suggestion: one cover per group, then exchange with other groups.

•Prologue activity
Hand out prologue without title, read in class (together or silently), students invent their own title, discuss questions: – Who’s telling the story?
– What do you expect from a book which has Death as a narrator? – What’s with the colours?
– Who is the book thief?
•Titles of chapters
Look at chapter titles of Part One, anticipate content by writing short story using the words from the titles. While-Reading (Portfolio)
•Dictionary of terms
Students keep a vocabulary log. Different ways of recording vocabulary should be treated beforehand. •Character mind map
Create a mind-map about characters, their relationships, add during reading •Bubble sheet
Collect memorable (important, interesting, funny) quotes, e.g.:”At that moment you will be lying there (I rarely find people standing up)”, “The only thing worse than a boy who hates you: a boy that loves you.” •Soundtrack to the book

Students create a soundtrack to the book and comment on their choice of music. •Keyword summaries
Students write a summary of a part by using its chapter titles.

•Wall chart summary
in groups, students create a wall chart about the book in any way they like. (e.g. comics, drawings, crossword, pictograms, etc.). Put a photo of it into

Additional suggestion:
•Parallel reading
Reading books with similar themes parallel to The Book Thief, e.g.: –The Boy in the Striped Pyjama
–The Diary of Anne Frank
– In class:
•Just a minute activity
Students have to talk about the book for a minute without stopping. Possibly give them more concrete topics (e.g. a certain scene, character, symbol). •“Top of the Characters”
Students have to rank their favourite/least favourite characters from the book and should be able to explain their reasons for ranking •Book trailer
Show book trailer (youtube) as an inspiration for their own. •Formal analysis & interpretation for older students

– Concept of a book within a book & potential meanings (The Standover Man, The Word Shaker, The Book Thief) –Discussion about intertextuality & symbolism & irony

– Portfolio:
•Create your own
–book trailer or board game
–book cover or illustration
•Write a letter
Liesl writes a letter to her Mum (as mentioned in the book)
•Pick a Pocket
Students describe the content of a character’s pockets
•Written Dialogue
Students write a dialogue between Liesl and Death when he finally comes to take her away (alone or silent dialogue in pairs)

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