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Subject: English

Grade: 9-12

Brief Description

Students will consider the lasting power of words and how words can change the way an event is viewed.


  • Students will read about the moment Dr. Fisch heard about Jews being sent away in boxcars in Light From the Yellow Star.
  • Students will write about the impact of hearing about an important event.

Key words

Occupation, liaison, boxcars, destination, imminent, advancing

Lesson Plan

Read page 10 of Light From the Yellow Star. Dr. Fisch says, "I heard the news; I trembled and became speechless."

You have heard people say, "Where were you when you heard President Kennedy was shot?" Or Martin Luther King. Or that the space shuttle Challenger exploded. People remember the moment when words made something real for them.

Write about a moment when you heard something that changed your life.

  • Who told you?
  • How did you feel?
  • What did you do?



Hand your piece in or (if you are comfortable) read it to the class. Listen as others read about how words changed their life.

Discussion Questions

  • What do survivorís stories tell us about the power of words?
  • The Nazis were careful note takers and record keepers. How did their words come back to haunt them?

Click here for a printable version of this lesson plan.