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Lesson Plan by Lauren Martin M.Ed.

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Pixton Lesson Plan on The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Make nonfiction essays come to life with comics!

Including these awesome activities:
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Featured Layouts

When students complete the activities in this lesson plan, they will use the following comic layout types.

  • Character Map
  • Storyboard
  • Timeline
  • Mind Map
  • Poster

Your students will create amazing images like these in no time!

This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings nonfiction essays to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings nonfiction essays to life with comics and storyboards.
This free, printable Pixton lesson plan brings nonfiction essays to life with comics and storyboards.

Main Characters

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

When you import any of the activities below, you can choose to share these ready-made characters with your students.

  • Simon Wiesenthal from The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal
    Simon Wiesenthal

    First-person narrator and concentration camp prisoner

  • Karl from The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal
    Karl

    Young mortally wounded SS soldier who confesses his crimes against the Jews to Simon and asks for forgiveness

Featured Props

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Student creations come alive with these themed objects – in addition to our library of over 3,000 props!

  • Bandage
    Bandage
  • Bed
    Bed
  • Butterfly
    Butterfly
  • Equipment
    Equipment
  • Fence
    Fence
  • Fire
    Fire
  • Flower
    Flower
  • Gravestone
    Gravestone
  • House
    House
  • Tracks
    Tracks
Print this Teacher Guide

Teacher Guide

The Sunflower by Simon Wiesenthal

Step 1Class discussion with students

Getting Started

Have students review the front and back cover of the book, examine the cover images, read the book jacket summary, discuss the significance of the title, and make a prediction about the content and significance of the book.

Opening Discussion

Discuss student's prior knowledge and beliefs about the following concepts:

  • Holocaust
  • Concentration Camps
  • SS soldiers
  • Hitler Youth
  • Mein Kempf
  • Repentance (Teshuvah)
  • Reconciliation
  • Forgiveness
  • Justice
  • Accountability
  • Sunflowers (characteristics)
Step 2Pixton comic-making activities
  • Make a Character Map
    Character Map

    Begin at the start of the text, and make additions throughout the reading.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard
    Symbolism & Motif

    Track throughout the text and complete after reading.

    View Activity
  • Make a Storyboard
    Major Themes

    Complete after class reading and discussion.

    View Activity
  • Extension / Modification
    Storyboard (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Storyboard to illustrate ten or more of the main responses to Simon's text.

  • Extension / Modification
    Timeline (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Timeline to illustrate Simon's experiences.

  • Extension / Modification
    Mind Map (Extension / Modification)

    Create a Mind Map to illustrate the setting, imagery and/or figurative language in the text.

  • Extension / Modification
    Poster (Extension / Modification)

    Research the history of the holocaust and concentration camps and display your findings on a Poster.

Step 3Concluding discussion with students

Discuss the following:

  • What were the main themes of the story?
  • What were the major symbols and motifs? What made them important?
  • What do you think the climax of the story was?
  • What was the author's purpose in writing this story?
  • What was the text's overall tone (author's attitude) and mood (reader's reaction)?
  • How might the context of when this text was written influence the conflicts and themes?
  • What was interesting and significant about Simon Wiesenthal's question?
  • What was interesting and significant about the responses?
  • What makes this book unique?
  • Compare and contrast the respondents to Simon's question.
  • Were you surprised by any of the respondent's motives, reasoning or answers? Why or why not?
  • How would you answer the question?
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Sunflower 1 Character Map

Featured Layouts

  • Character Map

Intro

Determining character traits is an important skill necessary to understanding the conflicts and themes of the plot. The characteristics that make up the main character and supporting characters help shape the outcome of the narrative.

Instructions

Choose three of your favorite characters from the text and create a Character Map for each one.

  • It's important to add as many details as you can to all the parts of the map.
  • Include an appropriate illustration based on the character traits outlined in the novel.

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

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Pixton Activity: The Sunflower 2 Symbolism & Motif

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard

Intro

A symbol is an object that represents a deeper meaning than what is on the surface. The use of symbolic images by an author is usually used to help develop the characters and theme. A motif is a recurring idea or literary device that enhances the theme.

Instructions

In a Storyboard, illustrate at least three of the major symbols and/or motifs:

  • Identify the symbol/motif in the panel title
  • Write an explanation as to why the symbol/motif is important
  • Include an appropriate illustration

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Symbolism & Motif

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The symbolism is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and engage the reader. The symbolism is well developed; examples are specific and provide sufficient support. The symbolism is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The symbolism is briefly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The symbolism is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence (supporting examples identified) • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total
Print this Activity

Pixton Activity: The Sunflower 3 Major Themes

Featured Layouts

  • Storyboard

Intro

Discuss the themes in the text. Ask students to identify what truths about life or people they understood better after reading this text.

Instructions

In a Storyboard, illustrate at least three examples of the major themes:

  • Write the theme in the panel title
  • Include an appropriate image
  • Include dialogue or a description that fits the theme

See the rubric for grading guidelines.

Rubric: Major Themes

Use this interactive rubric for easy, thorough assessment. It can even be used by students for self-assessment!

5 4 3 2 1
Overview The theme is highly developed; examples have significant purpose and are highly detailed. The theme is well developed; examples are specific and provide ample support. The theme is briefly discussed; examples are accurate but not fully explained. The theme is poorly discussed; vague or irrelevant examples. The theme is not identified; lacks any supporting examples.
Meaning Ideas, information and use of detail • strong point of view
• develops ideas clearly and logically with details, examples, and descriptions
• relevant ideas with consistent analysis
• logical descriptions or examples clarify and develop the ideas
• relevant ideas with some analysis
• examples or descriptions are simple and consistent
• few relevant ideas
• examples or descriptions may be poorly developed or illogical
• ideas are not developed
• few details or descriptions
Style Clarity, variety, impact of visuals and language • language is clear, varied
• flows smoothly; variety in sentences
• images and characters are fully developed; high attention to detail
• language is clear with some variety
• includes a variety of sentence lengths and patterns
• images and characters have purpose and significance
• language is clear with little variety
• basic sentence structures with a few variations
• images and characters are basic, but have purpose
• basic language; vague at times
• repeats a few basic sentence structures
• images and characters have minimal development
• vague, incorrect and repetitive language
• poorly constructed sentences; little variety
• images and characters are poorly developed
Form Organization and sequence • proper organization
• examples are properly referenced
• panels are thoughtful and detailed
• all panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• most panels are organized or logical
• examples are properly referenced
• all panels are present
• some panels are organized or logical
• examples are not/improperly referenced
• some panels may be missing
• panels are not organized or logical
• examples are not referenced
• panels are missing
Conventions The text demonstrates standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses eloquent words, rich sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates precise English conventions
• uses precise words, controlled sensory language and mood to convey a realistic picture
• demonstrates standard English conventions
• uses words and phrases, telling details and sensory language to convey a vivid picture
• demonstrates some accuracy in standard English conventions of usage and mechanics • contains multiple inaccuracies in Standard English conventions of usage and mechanics
Total

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