Number the Stars is a phenomenal story of courage. This makes it a great book for students to use as a writing prompt.
Number the Stars begins in September 1943. Nazis occupy Copenhagen, Denmark. Annemarie and her best friend Ellen see German soldiers on the street corners. They play the part of silly school girls to keep the soldiers from causing trouble.
A little later Annemarie’s world is turned upside down. Jewish owned shops close. Families run from home. Late one night, Peter Neilsen tells Annemarie’s family that Ellen and her family must flee as well. Germans will be rounding up Jewish citizens.
Ellen’s parents leave, but Ellen remains behind in the care of Annemarie’s family. Late one night, German soldiers come to Annemarie’s home. Ellen pretends to be Annemarie’s sister. After a few frightening moments, the soldiers leave.
The next day Annemarie’s mother takes Ellen, Annemarie, and Annemarie’s younger sister to to her brother Henrik’s home in Gilleleje.
The danger doesn’t end there. Annemarie must go alone on a mission through the woods to take an important package to her uncle. The mission reminds Annemarie of the fairy tale Little Red Riding Hood. Annemarie tells herself Riding Hood’s story as she travels through the woods. Author Lois Lowry does a beautiful job interweaving Annemarie’s and Riding Hood’s stories together.
In the first activity, students complete a chart to compare the parallel events taking place to Annemarie and Little Red Riding Hood. Both Google Slide and printable charts guide students through making comparisons of the two stories. Answer keys are included.
Extend the activity by having students write their own story. A chart guides students’ planning. After completing a chart of comparisons, students try writing in this style. The two intermingled stories include a scene from The Wonderful Wizard of Oz and the story of The Engine that Could. You’ll be surprised at the end results!
This link will take you to both activities.