Website Questions for Elie Wiesel’s Foundation for Humanity
What does Elie Wiesel do for a living? What influence does Night still have on society? Are there author websites where you can get more information? Get these answers and more at the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Website, plus some ideas for a webquest for your students.
Elie Wiesel’s first hand account of life in a concentration camp has become a popular selection in high school English classes. Night by Elie Wiesel, written in 1960, is more than just a horrifying tale. It’s a call to action, a call to end hatred, injustice, and indifference.
Now, in addition to teaching and writing, Wiesel has worked to end suffering worldwide. Shortly after winning the Nobel Peace Prize in 1986, Elie and his wife Marion established the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity. According to its website, “The Foundation’s mission, rooted in the memory of the Holocaust, is to combat indifference, intolerance and injustice through international dialogue and youth-focused programs that promote acceptance, understanding and equality.”
ELA Common Core Standards
W.9-10.6 Use technology, including the Internet, to produce, publish, and update individual or shared writing products, taking advantage of technology’s capacity to link to other information and to display information flexibly and dynamically.
W.9-10.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
SL.9-10.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9-10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively. SL.9-10.1a Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.
The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Website
An effective way to promote tolerance, justice, and mercy is to teach Night by Elie Wiesel. Very few literary works have the ability to move students as does Night. Upon completion of the novel, it’s important to show students that Wiesel used his horrific experiences as motivation, motivation to end suffering. For that reason I created questions to motivate students to navigate the Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity Website. Wiesel’s site differs from author websites insomuch that it promotes Wiesel’s cause more than it promotes his literature. It also demonstrates the profound effect literature can have on the world. Most importantly, it informs students on the need for human rights work.
Use these questions to inspire discussion and research. I’ve provided answers in parentheses. Be sure to delete the answers if you use these questions in a handout.
- Night by Elie Wiesel recounts the end result of intolerance. What can you do as an individual to make sure an event such as the Holocaust does not happen again? (Stop bullying, don’t laugh at inappropriate jokes, don’t promote stereotypes, don’t encourage fighting, etc.)
- Record the following biographical information about Elie Wiesel: birthdate, birthplace, death. (1928; Sighet; Transylvania; He’s still alive).
- Where did Wiesel go after the war and what did he do for a living? (Paris; journalist and teacher).
- Name five awards Wiesel has won.
- List five humanitarian causes Wiesel’s foundation has supported.
- In his Nobel Prize acceptance speech, Wiesel promises never to be ______________. (silent)
- Why did Wiesel make this promise? (Because the world knew of the holocaust and remained silent).
- According to Wiesel, whom does neutrality help? (the oppressor)
- According to Wiesel, when must we interfere in world affairs? (When human lives are endangered, when human dignity is in jeopardy. Wherever men and women are persecuted because of their race, religion, or political views.)
- List five books by Elie Wiesel other than Night.
- What is the purpose of the Beit Tzipora Centers? (Educational centers in Israel to educate Ethiopian Jews)
- Who is Tzipora? (Elie’s sister)
- Briefly summarize the five conferences sponsored by The Elie Wiesel Foundation for Humanity.
- Six individuals have won the foundation’s humanitarian award. List them and give a brief explanation why they won.
Student Interest and Appropriateness
Teaching novels to a disinterested class of teenagers makes going to work dreadful. Teaching novels to a class that’s engaged in the learning process makes teaching a joy. Students love this novel.
Keep in mind some students are more mature than others and handle it differently. There are sections of the novel that may prove traumatic to younger students; however, it is a story that must be told and it exposes students to the dangers of discrimination and racism. Be thoughtful of student feelings and allow them to discuss mature themes the novel brings out.