This is a powerpoint presentation including text-dependent questions designed to guide 6th grade students through the study of the novel, Once, the genre of historical fiction, and the Holocaust. The majority of these questions are aligned to the 6th grade CCLS, although there are a few questions mixed in simply to ensure student understanding. This powerpoint fits into the larger 6th grade Holocaust Historical Fiction unit that is also available for sale.
While these questions could simply be used for student comprehension packets, I used them as in-class questions for written answers, or group discussions. At the beginning of class, I had students "set up their notebooks for Once." Students would divide their notebook page into four quadrants, waiting for the questions to come up as we listened to the audiobook (available at audible.com). Each question comes up individually through the powerpoint animation settings. My students, from the Washington Heights neighborhood of New York City, were not grade-level readers, but were definitely grade-level thinkers. This presentation format was a great way to ensure rigor, while scaffolding for my inner-city students' needs.
About Once: This was an excellent introduction to the facts and horror of the Holocaust for students with little to no prior knowledge. The main character is a young Jewish boy hidden away in a remote Catholic orphanage for the first few years of the Nazi occupation of Poland. The story is told from his perspective, as he gains knowledge of what is really happening, and made a great fit for students who were also uncovering their own understanding of these atrocities. It is also the first book in a series of four, and many of my students chose to continue on with the series.
Summary from amazon.com: " Felix, a Jewish boy in Poland in 1942, is hiding from the Nazis in a Catholic orphanage. The only problem is that he doesn't know anything about the war, and thinks he's only in the orphanage while his parents travel and try to salvage their bookselling business. And when he thinks his parents are in danger, Felix sets off to warn them--straight into the heart of Nazi-occupied Poland. To Felix, everything is a story: Why did he get a whole carrot in his soup? It must be sign that his parents are coming to get him. Why are the Nazis burning books? They must be foreign librarians sent to clean out the orphanage's outdated library. But as Felix's journey gets increasingly dangerous, he begins to see horrors that not even stories can explain. Despite his grim surroundings, Felix never loses hope. Morris Gleitzman takes a painful subject and expertly turns it into a story filled with love, friendship, and even humor."