Lesson Plans Based on Movies & Film!                                                  

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Benefits of the Movie
Helpful Background

Additional Discussion Questions:
      Subjects (Curriculum Topics)
      Social-Emotional Learning
      Moral-Ethical Emphasis
            (Character Counts)

Additional Assignments

Other Sections:
      Bridges To Reading
      Links to the Internet
      CCSS Anchor Standards
      Selected Awards & Cast

Go to the Learning Guide for this film.


Nothing can substitute for reading the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl. Not only does it intimately acquaint adolescents with the Holocaust but it also facilitates their own character development. Reading Anne's thoughts about her family, career, adults, boys, her own sexuality, her dreams for the future, and the horror of events in the world outside, encourages adolescents to think about those issues in their own lives. For generic suggestions about using filmed adaptations of literary works in the ELA classroom, see Lesson Plans Using Film Adaptations of Novels, Short Stories and Plays.

Each of these films, two documentaries and two dramatizations, are excellent. They will supplement and confirm the lessons derived from reading Anne Frank's diary. A fifth film, Anne B. Real, will be extremely useful in motivating children to read the book. "Anne B. Real" is a fictional account of a modern-day black Hispanic girl from the slums of New York who takes inspiration from the Diary. It helps her to face a host of calamities and find the courage to pursue her dream. "Anne B. Real" is valuable when seen at any time, before, during, or after children have read the Diary.

This Learning Guide relates to the book, Anne Frank: The Diary of a Young Girl, and to each of the four films. See also our separate Learning Guide to Anne B. Real.

Age: 12+; No MPAA Rating; Drama; 1959, 171 minutes; B & W. Available from Amazon.com.

This is the classic Academy award-winning movie version of the play based on the diary.
Benefits of the Movie:

Age: 12+; MPAA Rating -- PG for emotional thematic elements and depictions of the Holocaust; Documentary made for television; 1995, 122 minutes; Color. Available from Amazon.com.

Winner of the 1995 Academy Award for Best Documentary, this film contains actual footage briefly showing Anne Frank from the balcony of her apartment, the meeting between the son of Dr. Pfeffer (the dentist who shared a room with Anne) and Miep Gies, and much more.
Age: 12+; No MPAA Rating; Documentary made for television; 1998, 50 minutes; Color.

This is an excellent documentary of Anne's life and times, featuring interviews with her father, Miep Gies, and several of Anne's friends. At 50 minutes it can be conveniently shown in one class session.
Each of these films will supplement and confirm the benefits of reading the book, Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl.

The Secret Annex

This illustration is from a website for a company called Art Engineering and is presented with their permission. For a better view see, cut away view of The Secret Annex.

BUILDING VOCABULARY: This list relates to the passages quoted in this Learning Guide: Sun., June 14, 1942: brooch; Sat., June 20, 1942: unbossomings, "outside the common round," pogrom, capitulation, "quick succession," bearable, restrictions, October 9, 1942: acquaintances, "by the dozens," "without a shred of decency," barbarous, hostages, sabotage, saboteur; December 24, 1943: privilege; January 12, 1944: "a craze for," petticoat; February 23, 1944: compensation, privations; April 11, 1944: Netherlanders, representatives; May 3, 1944: capitalists; July 15, 1944: condemning, incapable, superficial, "the whole young brigade;" July 15, 1944: transformed, tranquility.

For a list relating to the entire book and vocabulary projects, see Vocabulary University,


Additional Discussion Questions:

Continued from the Learning Guide...

1.  [Standard Questions Suitable for Any Film]. [No suggested Answers.]

2.  Was the Holocaust inevitable? Suggested Response: No. It was the product of several factors: (1) unique historical and economic circumstances (including world-wide economic depression, a tradition of anti-Semitism in Europe, nationalistic fervor in Germany, the terms of the Treaty of Versailles which humiliated and impoverished Germany as punishment for its aggression in WWI, the ineffectiveness of the Weimar Republic); (2) the ability of Hitler and his inner circle to manipulate and intimidate, (3) the immorality and racism among the Nazis and those who carried out their genocidal policies; (4) racism and moral insensitivity among the Germans and the people in the occupied territories who knew what was going on and who either approved or didn't take steps to stop it; and (5) weakness and indecision on the part of the decent people in Germany, in the occupied territories, and in the world at large. Had the Germans rejected racism and looked at the moral issues involved in what the Nazis were inducing them to do, and had they stood up to the Nazis, the Holocaust would not have happened.

3.  In your opinion, what will it take for humankind to cure itself of the urge to kill other people and wage war? Are we doomed to always repeat the cycle of violence? Justify your answer. Suggested Response: There is no one right answer to this question. Good answers will use historical and current events to support conclusions.

4.  Anne Frank has been called the best known victim of the Holocaust. Actually, she is probably the best known victim of any holocaust, including, the Turkish genocide of the Armenians, Stalin's murder of tens of millions of Ukrainians, the Cambodian holocaust, the decimation of the Tutsis in Rwanda, and the ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo, to name some of the more infamous. Certainly she was not the most accomplished or talented person to have died in the concentration camps: distinguished doctors, scientists, musicians and other talented and accomplished people, were all killed indiscriminately. The destruction of Anne Frank's family is just as tragic, but no more tragic than the millions of families that have been destroyed in the various holocausts. Take for example, the family in Rwanda in which a Hutu village leader was induced to murder his Tutsi wife and his sons in front of the entire village. Anne's story is certainly not the most heroic. Her family hid from the Nazis. They offered no resistance. The Franks and the Van Daans were able to help only one other person, Dr. Pfeffer, while some others helped many. The Dutch people who sheltered the Franks and the Van Daans were real heros. They could have done nothing and lived through the war without undergoing the tremendous risks that they undertook to help the inhabitants of the secret annex. Given these facts, why has Anne Frank's story captured the imaginations of so many? Suggested Response: There is no one right answer. A good response would include some of the following concepts: (1) Anne Frank, epitomizes the lost promise of all the people, especially the children, who have perished in holocausts. (2) The death of a child exemplifies the innocence of all victims of holocausts. (3) Anne Frank's diary deals with much more than just the Holocaust. It helps students work through many of the issues that all children face in adolescence. (4) Through her diary Anne Frank shared some of her innermost thoughts. People around the world got to know her as a person. Stalin, dictator of the Soviet Union from 1924 to 1953 and probably the most accomplished mass murderer of all time put it succinctly when he said, "A single death is a tragedy, a million deaths are a statistic." (Adolf Eichmann, the bureaucrat in charge of Hitler's "Final Solution" said something similar: "One hundred dead are a catastrophe, a million dead are a statistic.") The fame of Anne Frank can be seen as a prime example of this principle in action. Anne, however, didn't buy into this fallacy because she personally knew many people who were taken away and knew that each suffered a uniquely horrendous and personal tragedy. In her diary entry for July 15, 1944 she said, "I see the world being slowly transformed into a wilderness, I hear the approaching thunder that, one day, will destroy us too, I feel the suffering of millions...." You might want to point out that as terrible as her circumstances were, Anne did not lose hope. She continued the passage with these words " ... And yet, when I look up at the sky, I somehow feel that everything will change for the better, that this cruelty too shall end, that peace and tranquility will return once more. In the meantime, I must hold on to my ideals. Perhaps the day will come when I'll be able to realize them!"

5.  How does one hold onto his or her human dignity when faced with a holocaust? Suggested Response: The answer is that we resist to the best of our ability. The United States Holocaust Memorial Museum tells us that "Resistance, for example, usually refers to a physical act of armed revolt. During the Holocaust, it also encompassed partisan activity; the smuggling of messages, food, and weapons; and actual military engagement. But resistance also embraced willful disobedience such as continuing to practice religious and cultural traditions in defiance of the rules or creating fine art, music, and poetry inside ghettos and concentration camps. For many, simply maintaining the will to remain alive in the face of abject brutality was an act of spiritual resistance." See USHMM Guidelines page 4. Most people take from the study of the Holocaust the lesson that no one is "just a bystander" and that all involved must fight. The victims should not go meekly to their deaths, but more importantly, those in the larger society must step forward and stop the persecution. But there are limits. The victims and resisters should not respond with atrocities themselves. The innocents in the community of the oppressor cannot be punished for the actions of the evil people in their community. Sometimes, however, the resources and power of an entire community are taken over by the oppressors and the entire community must be attacked. In WWII the Nazis controlled and harnessed the power of the German state and the energies of the German people. Thus, to stop the evil, the Allies were forced to conquer the German people and destroy the German state. This resulted in injuries to noncombatants and children as well as to the oppressors. Similarly, in the 1990s, the power of the state of Serbia supported ethnic cleansing in Bosnia and Kosovo. The U.S. and NATO selected aerial bombing, in which some innocent people were killed, as the strategy to force the Serbs to withdraw and stop their atrocities. This strategy, and the application of limited direct force, avoided the much more lethal and destructive alternative of a full scale invasion of Serb controlled territories. In the unresolvable debate about whether the U.S. should have used atomic bombs to end the Second World War, most people concede that a full scale invasion of the Japanese home islands would have resulted in more casualties to the Japanese people through direct injuries, starvation, and disease, than were caused by the atomic bombs. The question involved in that debate is whether a Japanese surrender could have been obtained through less lethal means than either of those two alternatives. See Learning Guide to Fat Man & Little Boy.

6.  Edmund Burke (1729-97) a British political philosopher whose writings strongly influenced the Founding Fathers of the United States said that "All that is necessary for the triumph of evil is that good men do nothing." How does this apply to the Holocaust? Suggested Response: The Holocaust happened, indeed all holocausts happen, because good people are silent and afraid and don't speak up to stop them. Look at the experience of Holland. While some 20,000 courageous Dutch sheltered Jews during the war, and many more supported them (like the grocer who gave Miep Gies extra produce and didn't turn her in), there were millions of Dutch people who did little or nothing as the Jews were led away to their deaths. If those millions had actively resisted many more could have been saved. The same is true of any holocaust. There were many people living in Serbia and many Serbs living in Kosovo and Bosnia who knew that ethnic cleansing was wrong. Had they stood up to Milosovich and his henchman and thrown them out of power, the atrocities would have stopped.

7.  The Talmud is a set of commentaries on religion and life by Jewish religious scholars. It has the force of law for religious Jews. The Talmud states that "To save one life is as if you have saved the world." How does this apply to our reaction to Anne Frank's tragic story? Suggested Response: The statement from the Talmud elaborates the concept that in every human consciousness there is an entire world. Anne Frank's diary is an exposition of the world that she experienced. Her world was only one of the millions and millions of worlds wantonly destroyed in the Holocaust and in all holocausts.

8.  Were 6,000,000 Jews the only people killed in the Holocaust? Suggested Response: The Nazi extermination machine killed another 6,000,000 Russian prisoners of war, Poles, political opponents of the Nazi regime, Gypsies, and the disabled. The term "the Holocaust" is most often used to mean the murder of the Jews because they were the largest single group killed and they were singled out because of their religion and ethnic origin.

9.  In the diary entry for June 20, 1942, first entry for the day, Anne referred to the diary as a fictional friend named Kitty. Why did she do this? Suggested Response: This is a literary device intended to make her diary more interesting and entertaining. Anne was practicing to be a writer.

10.  In her diary entry for December 24, 1943, Anne describes things that she misses like the smell of wind on the clothes of people who come in from the outside, breathing fresh air, riding a bike, dancing, whistling, and looking at the world. Can you think of some other things that you would miss if you were confined to a few rooms for 25 months? Suggested Response: There is no one response but good answers should combine imagination with insight as to what would be important.

11.  In the diary entry for January 12, 1944, Anne talks about having a "craze" for dancing. What, as exemplified by this passage, must one do when confined in a few rooms for months on end? Suggested Response: Take care of yourself physically as well as mentally. This is no different than life outside the Secret Annex, but living confined and in hiding focuses one on the needs of body and mind.

12.  In her diary entry for March 7, 1944, Anne talks about happiness and courage. What is Anne doing in this passage? Do you agree with her? Suggested Response: Anne is trying to keep up her spirits. There is no suggested answer to the second part of this question.

13.  In the diary entry for March 7, 1944, Anne thinks about how completely different her life was in 1942 before she and her family took up residence in the Secret Annex. Read what she says and describe whether you have ever had a similar feeling about a period in your life. Suggested Response: No suggested answer.

14.  In her diary entry for March 16, 1944, Anne complains about having to share her room. She says that only in the attic, and with her diary, can she be herself. "...for a while just a little while." Why is a place where a person can relax and just be themselves important? Do you have a place like this? If you do, describe how that place makes you feel. Suggested Response: There is no one right answer to this question.

15.  In the diary entry for April 4, 1944: "I want to go on living after my death!" Will the memory of Anne fade as time goes on? What factors will keep it alive and what will tend to make it fade away? Suggested Response: It will stay alive as long as her experience speaks to people and has relevance to their lives. After its relevance lessens, it will fade away.

16.  In the diary entry for May 3, 1944 (pp. 200-202) Anne states that, "There's in people simply an urge to destroy..." Do you agree or disagree. Justify your answer and tell us where this urge comes from and how it can be restrained or replaced with a desire to nurture. Suggested Response: There is no one right answer to this question.

17.  Play for the class the song "The Universal Soldier" performed by Donovan, Buffy St. Marie, and others or read it to them as a poem. Then read them Anne's diary entry for May 3, 1944: "I don't believe the war is simply the work of politicians and capitalists. Oh no, the common man is every bit as guilty; otherwise, people and nations would have rebelled long ago!" What do you think about these sentiments? Do you agree or disagree? Is it an impossible dream for the common soldiers to stand up as one man, on both sides of the political or national divides, and say "Never again. We won't fight"? Suggested Response: There is no one right answer, however, we tend to be pessimistic about this happening in the near future.

18.  In the diary entry for July 15, 1944, Anne talks about the world becoming a wilderness and feeling the suffering of millions. Do you agree that the world is becoming worse off or is it actually getting better? Suggested Response: There is no one right response but a good response should refer to the holocausts that have occurred since WWII (Cambodia, Bosnia-Herzegovina/Kosovo, and Rwanda) and also to the international tribunals that have been established, the overthrow of Milosovich in Serbia and the international efforts to stop genocides.

19.  In the diary entry for July 15, 1944 Anne says that she still believes that people are good. Is Anne being inconsistent in her beliefs about the inherent goodness of people? See entry for May 3, 1944. Suggested Response: People change their opinions over time. Also they are not particularly consistent in their beliefs. The belief in the inherent goodness of mankind and in mankind's evil are both basic notions in Western Civilization. In addition, believing that the human race is inherently evil is very destructive for the personality of anyone. How could Anne go on, day after day, if she had lost her faith in the inherent goodness of mankind?

20.  What were some of the problems that the inhabitants of the "secret annex" faced during their time in hiding? Suggested Response: They are innumerable. They include: getting along together in cramped quarters, having to see the same people day after day; restricted diets; inability to go outside; constant fear of discovery; and the need to be silent during the day.

21.  At Bergen-Belsen, Anne's mother and her sister Margot were offered the opportunity to go to a labor camp where their chances of survival would have been much better. (In fact, almost all of the people who went to that labor camp survived.) Anne could not go because she was suffering from scabies. Edith Frank and Margot refused to leave Anne. As a result all of them died. Did they do the right thing? Suggested Response: There is no one correct answer to this question. It is typical of the terrible moral choices that the Holocaust forced on people. See, for example, Sophie's Choice by William Styron. One could argue that they should not both have gone to the labor camp, but that Mrs. Frank should have insisted that Margot go. This way, at least Margot would have survived. The problem with this argument is that the Frank's derived their strength from staying together as a family. Margot may have been so distraught at leaving Anne and her mother that she would have died in the labor camp. What a terrible choice!

22.  The Holocaust was the worst episode of prejudice against Jews. But Jews had been subjected to scapegoating, pogroms (riots by their neighbors in which Jews were killed and their property destroyed) and hatred in parts of Europe for centuries. What is the reason for the long history of anti-Semitism in Europe? Suggested Response: First, the anti-Semitism of the Holocaust should be put in perspective. There were many people in occupied Europe, although not in countries such as Germany, Poland and Lithuania, who risked their lives to help Jews. See the Helpful Background section of this Guide for a description of the substantial efforts to protect Jews made by 20,000 Dutch people who hid Jews during the war, and others, such as the Danes who protected virtually their entire Jewish population. See also Learning Guide to Schindler's List.

In short, many people in Europe in the 1930s and 1940s were anti-Semitic, but many were not. It should also be noted that anti-Semitism has not evaporated. The recent pronouncements by the Prime Minister of Malaysia and the continued problem of hate crimes still perpetrated against Jews in Europe tell us that anti-Semitism is still a serious problem. — But to get to the question of the source of this disease in Europe. There are hundreds, if not thousands, of books and articles devoted to the study of this subject.

We don't pretend to have a full or final answer. What follows is a rubric which will allow students to begin to conceptualize this troubling phenomenon. There are four basic reasons for anti-Semitism that we have identified. The first is the tendency of people to feel uncomfortable with any group or culture that is different from their own. Communities of Jews had existed in Europe for more than 1500 years, but the Jewish communities had kept apart, maintaining their own religion, rituals and observances that were clearly different than the predominantly Christian communities in which they lived.

A second reason is the psychological need for people, in times of distress or economic decline, to have a scapegoat on which to blame their troubles. A group which does not accept the norms of the culture is a convenient scapegoat. In the history of Europe, particularly in Eastern Europe and Germany, this need was fed by autocratic rulers who would blame Jews for the problems of their countries and periodically sponsored repressions or pogroms. This diverted the attention of the people from the real problems of the country, for example incompetent autocratic rulers.

A third reason, historical to Europe, was that rulers would at times rely upon the Jews for services that they could not or did not want to obtain from others. For example, in some areas of Europe the aristocrats used Jewish agents as rent collectors. This allowed them the benefits of the rents but they could blame the rent collectors for any abuses. In other circumstances, because Jewish merchants and bankers were governed by a body of commercial law which applied across national borders, they could raise funds in amounts needed by nations to wage war. Christian bankers were restricted to local sources of funds because there was no body of law that extended beyond the local level.

Certainly, some actions taken by some Jews at some times were unpopular and no group is without individuals who act wrongfully. But there is no evidence that these were any worse or any more frequent than bad actions taken by individuals in other groups. Any wrongful action by a person who happened to be Jewish was simply blown out of proportion. A fourth reason for anti-Semitism is the gross failure of leadership among the secular and religious leaders of Europe for centuries before the Second World War. Any prejudice denies the humanity of individuals and is basically a moral failing of the person who holds the prejudice. It is the responsibility of the leaders of communities, both secular and spiritual, to bring the full force of the positive principles in their religion or ideology to bear against the forces of prejudice.

We have seen the President of the United States, George Bush, perform this function on behalf of Muslim and Arab Americans (actually on behalf of all Americans) after the September 11, 2001 attacks on the U.S. Had the leaders of Europe in the 18th, 19th and 20th centuries performed similarly, the Holocaust would not have happened.

23.  The diary of Anne Frank has been translated into dozens of different languages. It is read throughout the world. How can you account for this? Suggested Response: It's appeal is universal and relates to all mankind. See response to Discussion Question 4.

24.  What do you think it would have been like to live cooped up for more than a year in a small attic with seven other people and one cat? Suggested Response: There is no one right response. The focus should be on (1) all the parts of life that Anne Frank lost by being confined to the Secret Annex and (2) the psychological effects of this loss. A good answer would include, for example, the inability to be out in the fresh air, to view nature, to go to school, to be with friends, to go to concerts; to go to art museums; to go out to eat at a restaurant, etc.


25.  How much does Anne Frank have in common with today's youth in America? Suggested Response: A lot. The same desire to be outside, to have a boyfriend, problems separating from parents, love of movie stars, desire to succeed in life. These are all recurrent themes in the Diary. They are thoroughly modern. Anne Frank has much to say to the youth of today. See also Learning Guide to Anne B. Real

26.  How did Anne grow and change over the year and a half she was in the Secret Annex? Suggested Response: She changed from a little girl to an adolescent.

27.  Why did Otto Frank relocate his family from Germany to Holland? What would have happened had he relocated his family a hundred miles further to the west, in England? Suggested Response: He realized that the Nazis would continue to persecute the Jews. If he had gone just a little further, to England, they would have been safe. This is not to say that Mr. Frank is in some way to blame for the death of his family. The Nazis were the killers.

28.  Discuss how Otto Frank quietly prepared for the worst and made arrangements to ensure the safety of his family. Suggested Response: He slowly took furniture to the "Secret Annex" and prepared it to be a residence. He made arrangements with his Dutch employees and business associates to serve as their protectors. All of this was done in advance.

29.  What incident finally prompted the Franks to go into hiding? Suggested Response: Anne's sister Margot received an order to go to a labor camp in the East.

30.  Describe three problems that the occupants of the Secret Annex had in living together in cramped quarters for more than two years. Suggested Response: The list that follows describes only a few: getting enough food, keeping busy, getting along in close quarters, keeping silent; making sure no one noticed them.

31.  Anne Frank revised her diary. What was the reason she did this? Suggested Response: Because she wanted it to be good enough for others to read.

32.  Why did Miep Gies save Anne's diary? Suggested Response: She wanted to give it to Anne when the war was over.

33.  The Franks had moved to Holland to get away from the Nazis. Why did they do this? Suggested Response: The Franks thought that Holland would be safe. Holland had been neutral in the First World War. Hitler assured the Dutch that he would respect their neutrality. When the Franks realized that the family could be at risk in Holland, Margot and Anne had become accustomed to life in Holland and the Franks were not sure that they would adjust well if moved again. In addition, Mr. Frank was 50 years old at the time and the prospect of starting again was daunting. He felt tired.

34.  Why are the Dutch protectors of the Franks heroic figures? Suggested Response: The Dutch protectors, without any obligation whatsoever, put their lives at risk to help others. While an estimated 20,000 people in Holland hid Jews, and there was a general strike and some protests in support of Jews at the beginning of the German occupation, there were millions of people in Holland and all over occupied Europe who, out of fear or indifference, did nothing to protect the victims of the Nazis. Victor Kugler, Johannes Klieman, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl heroically tried to save the Franks.

Social-Emotional Learning Discussion Questions


1.  How did the Frank family deal with the crisis of the Holocaust? Suggested Response: They pulled together, but they had their problems and their difficulties along the way. These, such as Anne's feelings of estrangement from her mother, would have come out even if they had not been confined.


2.  Why are the Dutch protectors of the Franks heroic figures? Suggested Response: The Dutch protectors, without any obligation whatsoever, put their lives at risk to help others. While an estimated 20,000 people in Holland hid Jews, and there was a general strike and some protests in support of Jews at the beginning of the German occupation, there were millions of people in Holland and all over occupied Europe who, out of fear or indifference, did nothing to protect the victims of the Nazis. Victor Kugler, Johannes Klieman, Miep Gies and Bep Voskuijl heroically tried to save the Franks.

3.  If the Frank's Dutch protectors had not risked their lives to help their friends hide from the Nazis, would you have criticized them for not doing enough? Suggested Response: Most people believe that the only way to stop a holocaust such as befell the Jews in Germany and occupied Europe, is to resist and protest at an early stage. Silence and inaction are not adequate responses the face of injustice. So the answer, with the benefit of hindsight, is "Yes."
Miep Gies and Otto Frank

Moral-Ethical Emphasis Discussion Questions (Character Counts)
(TeachWithMovies.com is a Character Counts "Six Pillars Partner"
and  uses The Six Pillars of Character to organize ethical principles.)

Discussion Questions Relating to Ethical Issues will facilitate the use of this film to teach ethical principles and critical viewing. Additional questions are set out below.

The "Pillars of Character" stressed in these films are:


(Treat others with respect; follow the Golden Rule; Be tolerant of differences; Use good manners, not bad language; Be considerate of the feelings of others; Don't threaten, hit or hurt anyone; Deal peacefully with anger, insults and disagreements)


(Do what you are supposed to do; Persevere: keep on trying!; Always do your best; Use self-control; Be self-disciplined; Think before you act -- consider the consequences; Be accountable for your choices)


(Do your share to make your school and community better; Cooperate; Stay informed; vote; Be a good neighbor; Obey laws and rules; Respect authority; Protect the environment)

Suggested additional questions are:

1.  Why did the Dutch protectors risk their lives to try to help the Franks and the others hidden in the attic? What would you have done in that situation? Suggested Response: See Helpful Background Section for Miep Gies' answer to this question.

2.  During World War II, what were the different reactions of citizens of various countries to the Nazi persecution of the Jews? Suggested Response: See Helpful Background Section.

3.  What does this poem mean?
In Germany they first they came for the communists
and I did not speak up because I was not a communist

Then they came for the Jews
and I did not speak up because I was not a Jew

Then they came for the trade unionists
and I did not speak up because I was not a trade unionist

Then they came for the Catholics
and I did not speak up because I was a Protestant

Then they came for me --
and by that time there was no one left to speak up.

-- Pastor Niemoeller (victim of the Nazis)
Suggested Response: We must look out for the liberties of each other or when our own liberties are challenged, no one will be around to help us.

Additional Assignments

Continued from the Learning Guide...

  • Write a paper answering any one or a group of the Discussion Questions set out above;
  • Give a class presentation, singly or in groups, responding to any of the Discussion Questions set out above;
  • The class or a group of students can perform the play And Then They Came for Me: Remembering the World of Anne Frank by James Still;
  • Search the Internet for articles on Anne Frank and select the three that are the most informative; print them out and bring them to class;
  • What would you have done if you had to live in hiding, and could not make a sound until 6:00 p.m. six days a week, and had no computer, video games, television, or way of playing music. Make up a daily schedule from one of your days showing what you would have done during each hour. [Compare Anne's diary entries for August 4, 1943 through Monday, 9 August, 1943 in which she described a typical day while in hiding. Ask students to tell you how they would feel if they had to live on a schedule like that.]
  • Create your own diary and record the daily events of your life.
  • Read Anne Frank's diary and keep a journal discussing how Anne matures during her stay in the "Secret Annex."

See additional Assignments for use with any Film that is a Work of Fiction.

Bridges to Reading:

Many educators believe that at one time or another all children should read Anne Frank: The Diary of A Young Girl. See Suggestions for Further Reading.

Many books have been written about Anne Frank and her diary. Those recommended for middle school and junior high readers include: Anne Frank: Beyond the Diary: A Photographic Remembrance by Ruud van der Rol and Rian Verhoeven; Anne Frank in the World compiled by the Anne Frank House contains numerous pictures; The Importance of Anne Frank by John F. Wukovits; The Upstairs Room by Johanna Reiss; Anne Frank: A Hidden Life by Mirjam Pressler; Anne Frank: Young Voice of the Holocaust by Magdelena Alagna and A Portrait in Courage by Ernest Schnavel. One of the Franks' Dutch protectors wrote a memoir of the events, Anne Frank Remembered: The Story of Miep Gies, by Miep Gies with Allison Leslie-Gold. One of Anne's friends wrote a remembrance called Memories of Anne Frank, Reflections of a Childhood Friend by Allison Leslie-Gold. See also We Are Witnesses: Five Diaries of Teenagers Who Died in the Holocaust by Jacob Boas 1995 and an accompanying lesson plan. The Yellow Star, The Legend of King Christian X of Denmark written by Carmen Agra Deedy and illustrated by Henri Sørensen.

See lesson plan based on this book. Dear Anne Frank is a book of poems in Spanish and English by Marjorie Agosín.

Another account of great heroism in defying the Nazis is found in Lest Innocent Blood Be Shed, by Phillip Hallie, the story of Le Chambon and its Huguenot minister, Andre Trocme, who provided a safe haven for Jews and others fleeing from the Nazis.

Books about Anne Frank suitable for elementary school children include: Anne Frank: A Voice of Hope by Kristen Woronoff; Anne Frank by Rachel Epstein and Anne Frank's Story: Her Life Retold for Children by Carol Ann Lee.

Links to the Internet:

Common Core State Standards that can be Served by this Learning Guide
(Anchor Standards only)

Multimedia: Anchor Standard #7 for Reading (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). (The three Anchor Standards read: "Integrate and evaluate content presented in diverse media, including visually and quantitatively as well as in words.") CCSS pp. 35 & 60. See also Anchor Standard # 2 for ELA Speaking and Listening, CCSS pg. 48.

Reading: Anchor Standards #s 1, 2, 7 and 8 for Reading and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 35 & 60.

Writing: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 5 and 7- 10 for Writing and related standards (for both ELA classes and for History/Social Studies, Science, and Technical Classes). CCSS pp. 41 & 63.

Speaking and Listening: Anchor Standards #s 1 - 3 (for ELA classes). CCSS pg. 48.

Not all assignments reach all Anchor Standards. Teachers are encouraged to review the specific standards to make sure that over the term all standards are met.

Selected Awards, Cast and Director:


    Selected Awards: 1959 Academy Awards: Best Art Direction/Set Direction (B&W), Best Black & White Cinematography, Best Supporting Actress (Winters); 1960 Golden Globe Awards: Best Film Promoting International Understanding; 1959 Academy Award Nominations: Best Costume Design (B&W), Best Director (Stephens), Best Picture, Best Supporting Actor (Wynn), Best Original Score.

    Featured Actors: Millie Perkins, Joseph Schildkraut, Shelly Winters, Richard Beymer, Gusti Huber.

    Director: George Stephens.


    Selected Awards: 2001 Emmy Awards: Outstanding Miniseries, Outstanding Art Direction/Set Direction; 2002 Golden Globe Awards: Best Miniseries, Best Performance by an actor (Kingsly), Best Performance by an actress (Gordon); 2001 Emmy Awards Nominations: Outstanding Casting, Cinematography, Direction, Lead Actor (Kingsly), Lead Actress (Gordon), Supporting Actress (Blethyn); Sound Editing, Writing,

    Featured Actors: Ben Kingsley as Otto Frank, Hannah Taylor Gordon as Anne Frank, Tatjana Blacher as Edith Frank, Brenda Blethyn as Auguste van Pels, Joachim Król as Hermann van Pels, Jessica Manley as Margot Frank, Nick Audsley as Peter van Pels, Jan Niklas as Fritz Pfeffer, Lili Taylor as Miep Gies, and Peter Bolhuis as Victor Kugler.

    Director: Robert Dornhelm.


    Selected Awards: 1996 Academy Awards: Best Documentary.

    Featured Actors: Kenneth Branagh, Narration (voice); Glenn Close, Diary Readings (voice); Anne Frank in archival footage; Otto Frank, interviewed; and Miep Gies, interviewed.

    Director: Jon Blair.


    Selected Awards: None.

    Featured Actors: Jack Smith, Narrator, Nathalie Paulding read the diary portions.

    Producer: Brooke Runette.


In addition to websites which may be linked in the Guide and selected film reviews listed on the Movie Review Query Engine, the following resources were consulted in the preparation of this Learning Guide:

  • Anne Frank: the Diary of a Young Girl;
  • Anne Frank, the Biography by Melissa Müler, 1998;
  • Anne Frank Remembered by Miep Gies, with Alison Leslie-Gold, 1987.

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