Pinterest/Lesson Plan for Maus

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Bree uses a pinterest page to gather useful information for teaching Maus.  In her lesson plan she often refers to how she would use the material.  After seeing her work, I’m thinking about starting something similar.  While I graded this as a lesson plan, she got lots of extra points for the pinterest.

Maus Lesson Plan

Instructor: Ms. Bree Nieves

Course: 12th Grade World Literature, 55 minutes

Course Meetings: Monday-Friday 8:30-9:25

Texts:

The Complete Maus by Art Spiegelman

Selected passages

Lesson Objectives:

–   Students will focus on the historical context within the confines of the Holocaust and how it relates to the graphic novel.

–   Students will learn new terms regarding comics and the graphic novel and will discuss how we can fit this genre into the literary cannon.

–   Students will examine narrative techniques used in Maus and discuss other literary techniques used in the novel, while keeping in mind the memoir-nature of the novel.

–   Students will develop a well-written critical response to Maus and several journal entries to add to their course portfolio.

–   Technology used:

  • Class Pinterest board that links to maps, sites, and audio and movie clips to supplement discussions and provide journal prompts.
  • Projector
  • Computer lab

–   Students will be briefed on classroom etiquette and the importance of respecting other cultures and religions and how to discuss these topics analytically without insulting.

Reading Assignments:

Day 1: Maus Book 1, Chapters 1-3

Day 2: Maus Book 1, Chapters 4-6

Day 3: Maus Book 2, Chapters 1-2

Day 4: Maus Book 2, Chapters 3-5

Day 5: Related Passages

Day 1:

Timing Procedures Talking Points, Questions, Notes
7 minutes Lead in: Journal: What were your first reactions to reading the first part of Maus? What did you find interesting or confusing? Take attendance, watch students.
3 minutes Discuss journal entries. Assess students’ comprehension and understanding of first reading assignment. Talk about any complications they may have experienced with the reading, especially with the graphic novel genre.
2 minutes Play Holocaust Map video. Use video on the Maps board of the class Pinterest board.
18 minutes Lecture on historical context of Maus using select pins from class board. Show the following pins:

-World War II Interactive Map; Major Concentration and Death Camps; Map of Jewish Population of Europe Before the Holocaust.

-Also show snippets from the pinned Hitler speech at 2:40 and 7:00; discuss Hitler’s influence and the Nazi Party.

-Display images of Nazi propaganda; discuss their importance in the Nazification of Germany.

10 minutes Individual Panel Discussions Show images of individual panels from the novel, ask discussion questions. Use the pins from the class Pinterest board and the questions that are captioned beneath each pin. Assess students’ analytical strategies of the text and their understanding of the reading assignment.
10 minutes Key Terms Handout in pairs Have students break into pairs to begin completing this handout.

Assess students’ ability to find relevant information and cite sources correctly.

5 minutes Closure: What did we learn today?

Homework: Read Maus Book 1, Chapters 4-6; complete the rest of the key terms handout.

What have we learned about the Holocaust and the Nazi Party? How can we apply what we learned to our reading of Maus?

Name: ________________________________

Date:   _________________

Class:  _____________

 

Maus Historical Key Terms

Directions: With your partner, choose 10 of the 20 terms you believe are most significant when reading Maus. For each term you choose, give a 1-2 sentence definition and explain why it is important in the context of reading Maus. You may use quotations from the novel or from sources provided by the course Pinterest board, but remember to provide page numbers or the source name.

Adolf Hitler                                                                Ghetto

Anthropomorphism                                                  The Holocaust

Anti-Semitism                                                            Joseph Mengele

Auschwitz                                                                   Nazification

Birkenau                                                                    Parsha’s Truma

Blood Libel                                                                 Pogrom

Dachau                                                                       Propaganda

Eugenics                                                                     Sosnowiec

The Final Solution                                                     Swastika

Gestapo                                                                      Zyklon B

 

Day 2:

Timing Procedures Talking Points, Questions, Notes
5 minutes Lead in: Journal: We are reading a graphic novel, which means the text is supplemented with images. How can we approach ‘reading images’? What is important to understand when studying images in a graphic novel? Take attendance, watch students.
5 minutes Discuss journal entries. Assess student responses and their understanding prior to learning about how to read comics and graphic novels.
2 minutes Hand out list of comics terms for students to take notes. Explain that students should jot down notes from the lecture and readings.
18 minutes Lecture on terms that are important to know when talking about comics and graphic novels. Use Powerpoint presentation with terms and images from Scott McCloud’s Understanding Comics. Have students take notes on handout from the presentation and lecture.
20 minutes Activity: Comics Scavenger Hunt in teams of four. Students will use the terms from Comics Key Terms Handout and find examples of at least 10 terms in Maus.

Assess students’ understanding of the terms and the comics genre and the ability to apply their understanding to the text.

5 minutes Closure: What did we learn today? What kind of examples did you find in the text?

Homework: Read Book 2, Chapters 1-2.

What specific examples did students find in the text to describe comics terms? What terms were new ideas for them? Assess oral responses using new terms.

  

Name: ________________________________

Date:   _________________

Class:  _____________

Understanding Comics – Terms to Use to Talk About Comics and Graphic Novels

1) Comics:

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2) Icon:

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3) Cartooning:

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4) Audience Involvement:

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5) Masking:

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6) Closure:

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7) Gutter:

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8) Moment-to-Moment Transition:

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9) Action-to-Action Transition:

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10) Subject-to-Subject Transition:

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11) Scene-to-Scene Transition:

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12) Aspect-to-Aspect Transition:

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13) Non-Sequitur Transition:

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14) Polyptych:

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15) Synaesthetics:

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16) Word Specific:

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17) Picture Specific:

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18) Duo-Specific:

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19) Additive:

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20) Parallel:

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21) Montage:

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22) Interdependent:

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Day 3:

Timing Procedures Talking Points, Questions, Notes
5 minutes Lead in: Journal: Some could argue that the comic book nature of Maus isn’t serious enough to discuss the Holocaust. In your opinion, does Art Spiegelman’s Maus deal with the topic successfully or not? Why or why not? Take attendance, watch students.
5 minutes Discuss journal entries. Assess students’ responses and their understanding how comics can deal with serious issues.
20 minutes Team Discussion Questions in groups of four. Assign one question per group. Students will break into groups and answer their assigned discussion question. Assess students’ ability to work in groups together and discuss the text.
15 minutes Team Discussion Questions presentations. Each team presents their findings and discussion in front of the class for their assigned question. Students not in the team presenting can ask questions or add thoughts of their own to the discussion question. Assess students’ understanding of the questions and their oral responses; assess their ability to create an argument and support it with evidence.
5 minutes Journal: What did you learn from the discussion with your peers? Did you have any initial opinions that were changed by your peers?  
5 minutes Closure: What did we learn today? What are your thoughts on the book so far?

Homework: Finish reading Maus.

Assess students’ responses.

 

Discussion Questions:

1)   What kind of man is Vladek Spiegelman? Is he a good father? A good husband? What are some of the characteristics of Vladek explicitly or implicitly described throughout the book so far? Provide specific examples.

2)   What do you think the significance is of Spiegelman’s use of animals for different nationalities? Why do you think he used these specific animals for this story?

3)   There are several panels that the swastika appears as an icon not just used on the Nazi officers’ uniforms or flags. Where are these panels, what is their significance? Why do you think Spiegelman decided to do this?

4)   Vladek Spiegelman is a survivor of the Holocaust, and the novel is characterized as a “survivor’s tale.” In what instances does Vladek show his means of survival and how does it end up affecting his life after the Holocaust is over?

5)   Discuss the artwork of Maus. Is it precise and clean, or is it rough and messy? Does it vary throughout the novel? What is the purpose of drawing the novel in this manner? What do you think the message is from the art work?

6)   What is the relationship between Art and Vladek like? Why does Spiegelman include this relationship in a story about the Holocaust?

7)   Maus is a story within a story. Art gets mad at his father when he finds out that his father had burned his mother’s journals. Why is this significant? Is it important to preserve different points of view from the Holocaust? What is the importance of storytelling in preserving history?

 

Day 4:

Timing Procedures Talking Points, Questions, Notes
10 minutes Lead in: Journal: What were your final thoughts of Maus? What have you learned about the Holocaust? What have you learned about the comics genre? Take attendance, watch students.
6 minutes Videos: Oral histories from Holocaust survivors Using the class Pinterest boards, show the oral history pins under the Auschwitz Concentration Camp board.
30 minutes Audio: Oral testimony from Holocaust survivors arriving in America Using the class Pinterest board, go to the Holocaust board and click on the Life After the Holocaust pin. Go to the exhibition page in the website and play the story of Lisa and Aron Derman.
4 minutes Discuss the stories. How were these oral testimonies like or unlike Vladek’s story? Define “memoir,” and “biography.” Assess students’ response to the stories.
5 minutes Closure: What did we learn today?

Homework: Write a five-paragraph essay on what was learned about Maus, the Holocaust, and how to read comics.

What did you learn about the Holocaust that you didn’t know before?

 

Day 5:

 

Timing Procedures Talking Points, Questions, Notes
15 minutes Lead in: Video: European Antisemitism from its origins to the Holocaust Take attendance; have students turn in essays; play video that is pinned on the class Pinterest board under the Holocaust board.
10 minutes Video: Art Spiegelman discusses Maus On the class Pinterest boards, play the POV video from the Art Spiegelman board where Art Spiegelman discusses the text and his inspirations.
25 minutes Fishbowl discussion about Maus Arrange the desks in one large circle with 5 desks in a small circle inside the larger circle. Have 4 students begin in the center with one empty desk. To start, begin with the introduction of Maus and its implications. Gradually direct students through the book and have them discuss form, purpose, themes, characters, and historical context within Maus.

Assess students’ analysis of the text, their understanding of the week’s lessons, and the ability of forming and executing a well thought out argument. Also assess students’ abilities to listen and respectfully agree or disagree with others’ opinions.

5 minutes Closure: What did we learn? Closing on the text and what was learned about the comics genre and its relevance in literature. Was Maus a successful text? Can we canonize this piece of literature? Are there other ways to study graphic novels and comic books, or even this text?

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