As we continue to read both The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen and



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As we continue to read both The Devil’s Arithmetic by Jane Yolen and Flares of Memory edited by Anita Brostoff, you will be asked to respond to each text in different ways. You will typically read a section from Flares of Memory that will give you a real life perspective of the time that is coming up in the novel. As you have probably noticed by now, there are authors whose stories are continued throughout the entire collection as the events move through time. You must choose to follow one or two particular authors to give more depth to your understanding of their experiences. The Study Guide questions for The Devil’s Arithmetic are designed to help you delve deeper into the author’s intent and to give you a greater understanding of the story as a whole as well as the techniques used by the author.
Flares of Memory: 01.07.15

Read the “Forward” on pg. xiii and the “Introduction” on pgs. xxxiii-xxxix. What information did you gain from these sections that you believe will have meaning for you as you read selected stories?

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Flares of Memory: 01.09.15

Section I is titled “Snapshots: Jewish Life before the Holocaust.” Read the poem “Snapshots” on pg. 2 and then “War Arrives in Lithuania” on pg. 3. After reading, write a short summary detailing the Who, What, When, Where, Why and How (5 Ws + H) of the story on the lines below:

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Questions for Chapter 5- 7 in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.09.15

Choose three of the questions below to write a short response. Be sure to include proof from the text. For the other question, write a paragraph response. Again, be sure to include proof from the text.

1. How does Shmuel respond to Hannah’s denial that she is Chaya?

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2. Why does the author, Yolan, include so much information about Hannah’s reactions to clothing, appearance, and her setting?

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3.Make a prediction about why Yolan includes such detail about the meeting between Hannah and her new friends. ________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

4. The author could have chosen any stories for Hannah to tell her friends. Why do you think Yolan chose for Hannah to retell the stories that she did to her new friends? (Hansel and Gretel, Star Wars, etc.)

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Flares of Memory: 01.13.15

In Section II, the overall theme is “The Destruction of a Society.” Find the story by your author to read and write a short 5Ws + H. Be prepared to share out in class. ______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

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Questions for Chapters 8-11 in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.13.15

Directions: Write short responses to all of the questions except for the last two. Numbers 8 and 9 will need to be paragraph responses. Remember to include proof from the text that supports your answers.


1. Find a simile that is used and explain.

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2. Why do you think the author includes the description of how the dead bodies are

treated by the Nazis? Explain.

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3. How does Rabbi Boruch respond to what is written on the sign above the gate at the

barracks? How do you think the villagers felt about his response?

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4. Hannah is panicked when the prisoners are told to undress and shower because of her

foreknowledge. How does Hannah come to terms with her information?

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5. What can readers infer about Rachel from Esther and Hannah’s conversation?

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6. Why does Hannah panic when the barber shaves her head? What is symbolic about

this scene?

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7. Circumstances are horrible right now, and Hannah is only 12 years old. What is Gitl’s

motive in telling Hannah to never cry again?

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8. Beginning in Chapter 8, we have witnessed a slow and steady decline of the

treatment of villagers. What impact does Yolen hope to create for the reader?

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9. There is evidence of irony through the discussions on the train. Support this idea with

evidence.

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Propaganda 01.15.15

Watch two commercials over the next two evenings. Summarize each commercial in a short paragraph. Analyze the commercial for propaganda techniques. First, explain who the target audience is and why you think this is the target audience. Then, list the propaganda techniques that the advertiser uses with support from the commercial. Finally, include a sentence indicating whether you think the commercial is effective and why or why not?

_____ Summary of commercial # 1 (10 points)

_____ Target audience is explained (5 points)

_____ Analysis of propaganda techniques with support (25 points)

_____ Is the commercial effective? Why or why not? (10 point)

_____ Summary of commercial #2 (10 points)

_____ Target audience is explained (5 points)

_____ Analysis of propaganda techniques with support (25 points)

_____ Is the commercial effective? Why or why not? (10 point)


Commercial #1:

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Commercial #2:

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Chapter 12 Question in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.15.15

1. What is the role of the badchan?  Think about him in the story and then think of him as a choice

character that Yolen creates.  In a paragraph, use specific examples from the story. 

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Flares of Memory: 01.15.15

In Section III, the overall theme is “Ruthlessness as a System.” Find the story by your author to read and write a short 5Ws + H. Be prepared to share out in class.

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Chapters 12-15 Questions in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.20.15

1. Explain the significance of the process all of the prisoners go through as they come into the camp. What was the purpose of this process?

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2. Why did Hannah feel both guilty and relieved after she was almost slapped by the three-fingered woman? How would you have felt if it had been you and your best friend?

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3. Explain Rivka’s number. Why is it so important to know her number as well as their own?

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4. What does “organize” mean? Why is this term used instead of one more obvious?

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5. What does it mean to be “chosen”? Why is this term used instead of one more obvious?

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6. What does “processing” mean? Why is this term used instead of one more obvious?

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Flares of Memory: 01.20.15

In Section IV, the overall theme is “The Lottery of Death and Life.” Find the story by your author to read and write a short 5Ws + H. Be prepared to share out in class.

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Chapter 16-17 Questions in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.22.15

1. Rivka says, “We are all heroes here.” Are they? Explain

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2. What does Gitl tell Hannah regarding Yitzchak and Shmuel?

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3. Why does Fayge not go along with the plan?

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4. What did Hannah leave outside? Why is this important?

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Flares of Memory: 01.2215

In Section VIII, the overall theme is “Desperate Heroism.” Find the story by your author to read and write a short 5Ws + H. Be prepared to share out in class.

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Chapter 18-Epilogue Questions in Devil’s Arithmetic: 01.27.15

1. Who carries the bodies away? Why might this be important to know?

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2. Who takes Rivka’s place? Why?

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3. What number does Aunt Eva have on her arm? Whose number is this and who is Aunt Eva?

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4. Who is Grandpa Will? Explain why he behaves the way he does in the beginning of the novel with this new

knowledge.

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5. Why do you think it is so easy for Eva to believe Hannah’s story?

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6. What did Gitl organize in Israel? What did she name it? What is the significance of that?

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Flares of Memory: 01.27.15

In Section X, the overall theme is “The Aftermath: Remembering.” Find the story by your author to read and write a short 5Ws + H. Be prepared to share out in class.



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