Number the Stars Activities Chapter by Chapter Discussion Chapter One: Why Are You Running? Literal Questions 1. Why were Annemarie, Ellen and Kirsti stopped by the soldiers? 2. What advice did Mrs. Rosen give the girls about behaving outside? 3. How did Annemarie show her dislike of the German soldiers occupying her country? 4. Compare and contrast the reaction of the three girls to the German soldiers. Inferential Questions 1. Why isn't Kirsti afraid of the soldiers? Chapter Two: Who Is The Man Who Rides Past? Literal Questions 1. How did Mrs. Johansen react to the death of Lise, her oldest daughter? 2. Why does Peter not visit the Johansens? 3. What are some hardships faced by the Danish people because of the war? Inferential Questions 1. How was King Christian different from other kings? 2. What does Annemarie do to show kindness to her younger sister? 3. Why didn’t the Danish army fight the Germans when they invaded Denmark? 4. How do the people of Denmark feel about King Christian? Chapter Three: Where is Mrs Hirsch? Chapter Three: Where is Mrs. Hirsch? Literal Questions 1. What did Annemarie realize about her friend Ellen after Peter’s visit? 2. How did Annemarie know the Hirsch’s were not on a holiday? 3. What items were being rationed? Why? Inferential Questions 1. What happened to Mrs. Hirsch? 2. Why did the girls always take a different route to school? 3. Explain the following sentence from page 23 of the novel. “My work takes me all over the place,” Peter explained. “All of Denmark must be bodyguards for the Jews...,” Annemarie said slowly Chapter Four: It Will Be a Long Night Literal Questions 1. How did the Germans find out the names of the Danish Jews?
2. How did Annemarie and Ellen pass the time when Mrs. Johansen went shopping? 3. Why was Kirsti upset when she and her mother returned from shopping? What was Ellen’s solution to the problem? Inferential Questions 1. Why was the Tivoli Gardens important to the Danes of Copenhagen? 2. Why did the Danes not have leather to make their shoes? Chapter Five: Who Is the Dark-Haired One? Literal Questions 1. How did the Johansens plan to hide Ellen from the Germans? 2. What was Annemarie told about the death of her older sister Lise? 3. Why did the German soldiers come to the Johansen apartment looking for the Rosens? 4. How did the German soldiers show a lack of respect for the Johansens? 5. What features of Ellen made the German soldiers suspicious? 6. How did Mr. Johansen convince the German soldiers that Ellen was not a Jewish girl in hiding? Inferential Questions 1. Why was it important that Ellen remove her Star of David necklace? Chapter Six: Is the Weather Good For Fishing? Literal Questions 1. Why were Ellen and Annemarie kept home from school after the visit by the Germans soldiers? 2. What code words did Mr. Johansen use to refer to the Danish Jews and how they were to be smuggled? 3. Describe the scenery along the way to Gilleleje. 4. What memories of childhood did Mrs. Johansen have when she arrived at Gilleleje. 5. Compare the area around uncle Henrik’s farm during the war to Mrs. Johansen’s memories of the farm from childhood. Inferential Questions 1. Why did Mrs. Johansen make the trip to Uncle Henrik’s without her husband? 2. What did Annemarie think Kirsti was going to say when the soldiers on the train questioned them? Chapter Seven: The House By the Sea Literal Questions 1. What was the name of Uncle Henrik’s boat and where did he get it? 2. What did Annemarie do with Ellen’s necklace? 3. Why did Mrs. Johansen tease her brother Henrik? 4. Describe Uncle Henrik’s farm. Inferential Questions 1. What does the sea represent for Ellen and her family? 2. Why did Mrs. Johansen ask the girls if they saw anyone while playing near the shore? Chapter Eight: There Has Been a Death Literal Questions 1. Why did Mrs. Johansen say that Uncle Henrik needed a wife? 2. What did Annemarie learn about the death of Great Aunt Birte? 3. How did the girls spend their first full day at the farm? 4. Why was Annemarie surprised by Uncle Henrik’s announcement that there was to be a funeral?
Inferential Questions 1. Why is Annemarie so delighted to have oatmeal, milk, cream and butter at breakfast? How and why was this different from Copenhagen? 2. What did Uncle Henrik mean when he said, “Tomorrow will be a good day for fishing.”? Chapter Nine: Why Are You Lying? Literal Questions 1. What does Annemarie learn about bravery in her talk with Uncle Henrik? 2. What did Annemarie learn about Aunt Birte? Inferential Questions 1. Why did Ellen make a sharp, low cry when she went outside with Peter? 2. Why didn’t Annemarie tell Ellen the truth about Aunt Birte? Chapter Ten: Let Us Open the Casket Literal Questions 1. Why did the German soldiers come to Uncle Henrik’s house? 2. How did the people react to the arrival of the German soldiers? 3. What was the first test of Annemarie’s bravery? 4. How did Mrs. Johansen stop the German soldiers from looking in the casket? Inferential Questions 1. Why was Peter’s reading from the Bible so important? 2. What might Peter have been thinking about as he sat at the funeral? Chapter Eleven: Will We See You Again Soon, Peter? Literal Questions 1. What was in the casket and why was it there? 2. What clothes were used to protect the baby? Inferential Questions 1. What did Peter give the baby and why? 2. What was the purpose of Aunt Birte’s funeral? Chapter Twelve: Where Was Mama? Literal Questions 1. Describe the trail from Uncle Henrik’s house to the boat. 2. What advice on walking the trail did Mrs. Johansen give the Rosens? 3. What promise did Ellen make to Annemarie? 4. How did Annemarie pass the time while waiting for her mother to return? Inferential Questions 1. Explain the following thoughts of Annemarie: “It was harder for the ones who were waiting, Annemarie knew. Less dangerous, perhaps, but more fear.” Chapter Thirteen: Run! As Fast As You Can! Literal Questions 1. What happened to Mrs. Johansen on her way back from Uncle Henrik’s boat? 2. What had Mr. Rosen dropped at Uncle Henrik’s house? Inferential Questions 1. Why did Mrs. Johansen tell Annemarie to act as a silly little girl is she were stopped?
Chapter Fourteen: On the Dark Path Literal Questions 1. What fairy tale did Annemarie remember on the trail to Uncle Henrik’s boat? 2. Describe what happened to Annemarie on the way to the boat? Inferential Questions 1. Why did Annemarie choose this particular fairy tale? 2. Why did Annemarie have to be brave when she met the soldiers? Chapter Fifteen: My Dog Smells Meat Literal Question 1. What was in the basket that helped fool the German into thinking it was Uncle Henrik’s lunch? Inferential Question 1. Why did Annemarie behave like Kirsti when she was stopped by the German soldiers? Chapter Sixteen: I Will Tell You Just a Little Literal Questions 1. What was Uncle Henrik’s explanation for each of the following: a. Annemarie not seeing the Rosens on the boat. b. The use of a drug on the baby c. The handkerchief Inferential Questions 1. What would have happened if Annemarie had not got the handkerchief to Uncle Henrik? Separating Fact from Fiction in Historical Fiction Historical fiction is usually a story that combines real events and characters with fictional events and characters. Reading historical fiction is a great way to learn history. But as you read you must be able to separate what is fact from what is fiction. “Number the Stars” is a work of historical fiction. Author Lois Lowry did a lot of research before she wrote the novel and in the end created a story that combined both fact and fiction. Below is a list of events and characters mentioned in “Number the Stars”. Based on what you have read indicate whether each one is “Fact” or “Fiction”. Events and Characters Annemarie German occupation of Denmark Uncle Henrik Smuggling the Jews to Sweden King Christian
Factual or Fictional
Arrest of the Danish Jews Mrs. Hirsch’s button shop Shoes made of fish skin Rationing and curfews Peter Danish Resistance Fishing boats as smuggling boats Train ride from Copenhagen to Gilleje The special handkerchief Destruction of Danish naval ships by the Danes Second World War
Fairy Tales Lois Lowry includes two fairy tales in her novel; one about a king and queen and one about Little Red Riding Hood. Each fairy tales serves a different purpose for the story. To understand why Lowry uses these tales, we must first understand a little about what fairy tales are. Group Discussion List the characteristics common in most fairy tales (Hint: think about characters, themes, plots, and endings.) _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Foreshadowing Authors use many techniques to keep their readers interested. One technique is called foreshadowing. Here, the author provides clues that something is going to happen without telling you exactly what it is. Lois Lowry uses this technique when she writes the following: Uncle Henrik said, “I think your are like your mama, and like your papa and like me. Frightened, but determined, and if the time came to be brave, I am quite sure you would be very, very brave.” (chapter 9, page 76)
Later in the novel, Annemarie proves Uncle Henrik correct. (chapters 14 and 15) What happens in these chapters that show Annemarie was both frightened and brave? _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ _________________________________________________________________________________ Characters
Annemarie Johansen - Annemarie is the protagonist of the story. She lives in Copenhagen, Denmark with her mother, father, and younger sister Kirsti. Annemarie's best friend is Ellen, the girl who lives next door. Annemarie is ten years old. She is tall and unusually thoughtful for her age. She is very aware of the limitations the war has put on her family's daily existence. Annemarie's five-year-old sister Kirsti is oblivious to the war, which only makes Annemarie more conscious of the changes in her life. Annemarie looks up to her parents and Peter Neilsen, her dead sister Lise's ex-fiancĂŠ. She also greatly admires King Christina X, the king of Demark. In all of these people Annemarie recognizes bravery and wishes that she could be brave as those she admires. The events of Annemarie's life finally bring her to the realization that her fear does not prevent her from being brave, too. Ellen Rosen - Annemarie's schoolmate and best friend, she is Jewish. An only child, Ellen is very studious and more serious than her best friend. Ellen wants to be an actress and she had the main role in the school drama. Ellen is always enlivening the paper doll games she and Annemarie play. To Ellen, the events of the war are terrifying. In her fear, Ellen looks to Annemarie for sisterly comfort. Mrs. Johansen - Annemarie's mother, she is a strong and determined woman, firm but warm with her children. Mrs. Johansen willingly risks her life to help Ellen and the Rosens to escape the Nazis. She manages to keep up the spirits of the girls, even when there is danger, by telling stories. Her calm childhood by the sea is very different from the one her daughters are living. Peter Neilsen - Part of the Resistance movement, he was engaged to Lise Johansen, the oldest of the Johansen's three daughters, before she died. He visits the Johansen family occasionally, bringing them news and gifts. Annemarie thinks of him as her "almost-brother." Peter is the effective leader of the plan to get the Rosens to safety. His stoic bravery makes him seem older than his twenty years. Kirsten Johansen - Annemarie's younger sister, she is five years old and a feisty, chatty girl. Completely unafraid of German soldiers and death, Kristi is the embodiment of blissful innocence. She loves stories
about kings and queens and is constantly turning the surrealistic aspects of war into the fantasy of fairy tales. Henrik - Mrs. Johansen's younger brother, he is a fisherman in the sea town of Gilleleje. A bachelor, Henrick still lives in the family home where Mrs. Johansen grew up and Annemarie spent her childhood vacations. Henrick plays an important role in saving Ellen and her family, smuggling them and other Jews to Sweden in his boat. Mr. Johansen - A pillar of strength, he is deeply patriotic and willing to die for Denmark. Mr. Johansen is the teacher of his family and tells Annemarie about the country and the war. Lise Johansen - The eldest Johansen daughter, she died several years before the beginning of the novel, around the end of 1941. Lise was a member of the Resistance with Peter. The Rosens - Mrs. Rosen is Ellen's mother and Mrs. Johansen's friend. The two mothers often have coffee together in the afternoon. Mrs. Rosen fears the ocean, but she overcomes it Henrick takes her family across to Sweden. Mr. Rosen is a teacher and has instilled in his daughter the importance of education. Mrs. Hirsch - The owner of the corner shop, she is Jewish. She and her family are among the first to leave Copenhagen. Great-aunt Birte - The fictional aunt whose fictional death is part of the plan to help Ellen, her family, and other Jews escape. Blossom - Uncle Henrik's milk cow. Thor - The kitten that Kirsti finds. Writing Now that you have examples of the kind of person Annemarie was, you can use the web to write a character sketch in paragraph form. Use the list of suggestions as a guide when writing the description.
Begin with a paragraph that tells a little about AnneMarie; who she is, her age, where she lives, what she looks like and her likes and dislikes. Write a paragraph that includes the examples you have chosen for each characteristic.
Write a first draft. Write complete sentences. Capitalize the beginning letter of each sentence as well as any proper nouns. End each sentence with the correct punctuation mark.
Edit your writing. Proofread your writing for grammatical errors and spelling mistakes. Write the final version Painting Pictures with Words
Writers paint pictures using words. Unlike movies or television, which show scenes and characters in action in full colour, books leave constructing these images to the imagination of their readers. This is what makes books so enjoyable to read and so interesting when shared. Lois Lowry uses words to convey a sense of what the characters are feeling in her novel. Throughout the book, she makes reference to the “whole world”. Below are three quotes. “It was still raining the next morning when Mama told me. Mama was crying, and the rain made it seem as if the whole world was crying.” (p. 41) “The whole world had changed. Only the fairy tales remained the same.” (p. 17) “The whole world was; too cold, too big. And too cruel.” (p. 87) Group Discussion and Writing Keeping in mind the time and events going on in the world, discuss why you think Lowry uses “whole world” so often in this way? _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ _____________________________________________________________________ My Response to the Novel Complete the following to indicate your feelings about the novel. Draw on the feelings you experienced while reading the novel and while thinking about what life must have been like for the Jews at that time. The novel “Number the Stars” by Lois Lowry made me: wish that ______________________________________________________________ because ______________________________________________________________ wonder about __________________________________________________________ because ______________________________________________________________ believe that ___________________________________________________________ hope that _____________________________________________________________
because ______________________________________________________________ be thankful that ________________________________________________________ because ______________________________________________________________ Vocabulary Word Part of speech
[U] when an army or group of people moves into and takes control of a place
the Italian occupation of Ethiopia
[U] when something or someone resists
resistance to disease Government troops offered no resistance (to the rebels). There's a lot of resistance (= opposition) to the idea of a united Europe.
unfair or cruel treatment over a They left the country out of fear of persecution. long period of time because of refugees escaping from political persecution race, religion, or political beliefs
a rule that everyone must stay at home between particular times, usually at night, especially during a war or a period of political trouble
to impose/lift a curfew a midnight curfew He was shot for breaking (= not obeying) the curfew. You'll be in trouble if you get home after curfew.
a limited amount of something which one person is allowed to have, especially when there is not much of it available
During the war, no one was allowed more than their ration of food, clothing and fuel.
to intentionally prevent the success of a plan or action
This was a deliberate attempt to sabotage the ceasefire.
He's becoming increasingly exasperated with the situation.
unreasonably determined, especially to act in a particular way and not to change at all, despite what anyone else says
He can be very obstinate at times. her obstinate refusal to compromise
tall and thin and often moving awkwardly as a result
I was your typical lanky teenager.
to stop fighting and admit defeat
They would rather die than surrender (to the invaders).
Writing Pretend you are Annemarie and write a letter to Ellen after the war is over. Use at least 5 words from this list.