I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944

I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 Teaching Ideas

In I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944, eleven-year-old Paul lived a carefree life until the Nazis invaded his town in Normandy, France. Soon, his father and best friend Gerard were sent to work camps in Germany. Paul sees his favorite teacher, Mr. Leon, get shot and killed right before his eyes. Food and money are scarce. Nazi soldiers are everywhere and life is difficult.

The novel opens at the climax…

Mr. Leon and Paul make it through enemy lines and place the C-3 inside the cannons. Just as they are leaving, airplanes arrive. A warning goes out and hundreds of Nazi soldiers leave a nearby bunker.  Just then a crashing plane falls directly in Mr. Leon and Paul’s path. Paul is hit in the head and passes out.

The novel then flashes back to fill the reader in with the details.

FREE Teaching Ideas for I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944

Activity #1 Learn More About D-Day

These videos provide simple, easy-to-understand descriptions of D-Day.

Activity #2 – Visit the Lauren Tarshis Website

Read an excerpt of the book.

Activity #3 – Topics to Investigate

Topic #1

Victor’s mission was to destroy the Nebelwerfers, a multi-barrel cannon. What types of weapons were used during World War II? How are these different from modern weapons?

Topic #2

Paul’s mouth waters when he remembers the chocolate eclairs, crepes filled with strawberry jam, and madeleines. The French bake incredible pastries. What are some? Pick a favorite and try making it.

Topic #3

The invasion of Normandy covered a 50 mile stretch of beach. Study the map in the novel on pages 54-55. Compare this map to others. Draw a picture map showing troop movement similar to the one in I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944.

Topic #4

The author used Ellie, the carrier pigeon, as a means to move the plot along in the novel.  [Pun intended.] Carrier pigeons were used to transport messages during the war. Learn about the successes of this method of transport. Was using carrier pigeons a good method for sending information? Why or why not?

Activity #4 Free Book Unit Samples

I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 by Lauren Tarshis FREE Book Unit SampleIf you would like to try out the I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 before you buy it, this download contains free samples including:

  • Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
  • Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2 
  • Constructed Response Question

I Survived the Battle of D-Day, 1944 Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook. Vocabulary, comprehension, constructed response writing, and skill practice including a series of lessons on teaching the main idea and supporting details are all included.


Gay Miller



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