Why did Anne Frank go into hiding? A series of Six Lessons

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Why did Anne Frank
go into Hiding?

A series of six lessons
written by Katy Staples and Sue Thompson for Bristol SACRE
Why did Anne Frank go into hiding?
A Series of Six Lessons
Outline of Lessons

Lesson 1
Why did Anne Frank go into hiding? What was happening around her at that time?


Learning to learn skill

(Opening Minds P3)

”I can sort, classify and sequence information”

Lesson 2
Why did Anne Frank go into hiding? Learning from a close examination of an extract of her diary.


Learning to learn skill

(Opening Minds L 1&3)

“I can listen actively”

“I can read for information: skim, scan and summarise”

Lesson 3
Why did Anne Frank go into hiding? Was it because of her religion or ethnic identity?


Learning to Learn skill

(Opening Minds P3 & T1)

“I can sort, classify and sequence information”

“I can use evidence to support my opinions”

Lesson 4
How did Anne and her family keep hope alive while they were in hiding?


Learning to Learn skills

(Opening minds T4 & R1&R4)

“I can ask the right questions”

“I can learn different roles when working in a team”

“I can show respect for myself and for others”

Lesson 5
Why did Miep Gies help Anne and her family when it may have risked her life?


Learning to Learn Skills

(Opening minds T1, T5 & P4)

“I can use evidence to support my opinions”

“I can hypothesise, predict outcomes and test conclusions”

“I can compare and contrast”

Lesson 6
How can we communicate the feelings of injustice and fear felt by Anne and her family?

(Art and Design)

Learning to Learn Skills

(Opening Minds L2 & T3)

“I can communicate for a particular audience and purpose.”

“I can be imaginative, creative and try new ways of learning.”

There are two packs of materials about Anne Frank available to borrow from the All Saints Centre; Tel 0117 906 0100. These include 4 books and 2 DVDs.

Why did Anne Frank go into hiding? – Desired Learning Outcomes






Art and Design

Chronological understanding

Pupils place events, people and changes within a chronological framework

Knowledge and understanding of events, people and changes in the past

Pupils describe some of the main events, people and changes studied and give some reasons for, and results of, the main events and changes.

Pupils will be able to place in order the main events that led Anne’s family to go in to hiding.
Pupils will be able to describe the main events that occurred in Nazi occupied Europe and will be able to give some reasons for them. They will also be able to describe the results of the actions of the Nazis on Anne Frank’s family

Understanding and interpreting texts

Use evidence from across a text to explain events or ideas

Infer writers' perspectives from what is written and from what is implied

Pupils will use evidence gained through reading an extract of Anne’s diary to answer questions and express ideas
Through the extract pupils will gain a sense of Anne’s perspective both from what is written and what is implied

Attainment target 1: Learning about religion

Practices and ways of life

Pupils describe and show understanding of…practices…They make links between them; describe the impact of religion on people’s lives.

Attainment target 2: Learning from religion

identity, diversity and belonging
Raise, and suggest answers to, questions of identity [and] belonging; describe what inspires and influences themselves and others
Pupils will be able to explain the impact of Anne’s faith on her life in a context of racial and religious persecution.
Pupils will reflect on what forms their identity in the light of Anne’s life and what gave her a sense of belonging and inspiration

SEAL New Beginnings
Managing my feelings

I have some strategies to cope with uncomfortable feelings and to calm myself when necessary

Understanding the feelings of others
I know how others may be feeling when they are in an unfamiliar situation and can help them to feel valued and welcome

Pupils can respond to, or challenge, negative behaviours such as stereotyping and aggression.
Pupils will explore how Anne and her family kept going through their terrible ordeal .
They will discuss which strategies for coping with difficult situations are useful to them.
They will begin to formulate their own responses to negative contexts.

Most pupils have knowledge and understanding about becoming informed citizens
show understanding of values, for example honesty, tolerance, respect and concern for others
Most pupils demonstrate skills of enquiry and communication
Express their opinions explaining their views ask and respond to questions and listen to the view of others
Most pupils demonstrate skills of participation and responsible action.
begin to recognize that their actions affect themselves and others around them
Pupils will explore the part that Miep Gies played in protecting Anne and her family. They will debate the possible reasons Miep may have had for her actions. They will evaluate what are good motivations and the impact of Miep’s actions. They will reflect on their own actions.

Exploring and developing ideas

Pupils select and record from experience and imagination, record first-hand observations and explore ideas for different purposes

Investigating and making art, craft and design

Pupils use a variety of methods and approaches to communicate observations, ideas and feelings and design and make images and artefacts.

Knowledge and understanding

Pupils explore the roles and purposes of artists, craftspeople and designers working in different times and cultures

Using their understanding of Anne’s experiences pupils will produce art that will express the pain and injustice of that time, so that viewers will want to make sure it does not occur again. They will create portraits in the style of the woodcuts of German Expressionism.

Lesson 1

Why did Anne Frank go into Hiding?

Was it because of the time and place she lived in: History?

LO: To know and understand the events that led to Anne Frank going into hiding (Y5/Y6)

Suggested resource:
This can be downloaded for free from Teachers TV

Or is available from the Anne Frank Trust UK - www.annefrank.org.uk, price £9.95, or to borrow from the All Saints Resource Centre, 1 All Saints Court, Bristol BS1 1JN Tel: 0117 906 0100.)
This is an excellent DVD, which tells the story of Anne Frank’s life through quotations from her diary, unique photographs, historical film extracts and the only film footage of Anne. It also tells the story of the 2nd World War and the persecution of the Jews. It is 28 minutes long.
The lesson outline is based on using the DVD but I have included some key facts, which could be used in the lesson without the DVD.
The website could be used to meet the learning objective as it covers the important events of the period and information about the diary, the Secret Annexe and the Frank family. Anne Frank by Susanna Davidson (Usborne) or Anne Frank by Josephine Poole and Angela Barrett (Red Fox) may be used as an alternative to the DVD.
Suggested lesson outline:

  • Watch the first part of the DVD up to the point when the Jews are made to wear a yellow star or go to www.annefrank.org activitieseducationAnne Frank guidedata or timeline

  • Discuss what has been learned about the events in Germany and The Netherlands between 1938 and 1942 (see Notes for Teachers)

  • Discuss what the children understand by the comment,

    ‘The Jews were “blamed for other people’s problems.”’

  • If appropriate, add extra information about “Kristallnacht – the night of broken glass”.

  • Ask the children to consider the bravery of the people who helped the Franks as they watch the next section of the DVD.

  • Pause DVD briefly to look at the 2 maps showing the eventual defeat of the German army.

  • Finish watching DVD and allow children to talk with a Talk Partner about any issues that interest or concern them.

(NB obviously the ending is very sad but it is sensitively handled.)

Suggested Activities:

  • Make a timeline of the events leading up to Anne going into hiding.

    (Higher Ability: Make own timeline & use website,

    Middle Ability: Sheet 1 (prepared timeline)
    Lower Ability: Sheet 2 (prepared timeline & dates to position)

  • Hot Seat Otto Frank asking him questions about his life leading up to the decision to go into hiding with his family. (Teacher in role as Otto.)

  • Visit www.annefrank.org activities educationAnne Frank guidedata or timeline for further information if this hasn’t been used already.

NOTES FOR TEACHERS - The duffer’s guide!
(Key words and concepts highlighted)
1928 Anne (Anna), born in Frankfurt, family – German Jews.
1930s Germany poor – Hitler wanted to restore to “former glory”, said Germany threatened by enemies, said Jews were greatest enemies.
Antisemitic political party, National Socialist party (Nazis).
Nazis came to power, took action, made anti-Jewish laws.
Jews, gypsies, homosexuals, disabled discriminated against.
1934 Franks moved to escape this  Netherlands (Amsterdam).
November 1938 Kristallnacht - night of broken glass,
many Jews left.
Nazis started building more weapons; Hitler wanted power over Europe.
1939 German army invaded Poland; England and France joined fight (allies of Poland).
2nd World War began.
May 1940 Germany invaded Netherlands, occupied country in 5 days.
Resisting at first, Dutch surrendered after bombing of Rotterdam; Nazis seized power.
German army invaded and conquered Belgium and France.
Anne and Margot  Jewish grammar school (segregation of Jews).
Further persecution against Jews (identification papers).

Juden Verboten” – Jews banned from many places.
Now Jews had to wear large yellow star.
(Next section on DVD about the Franks going into hiding, includes preparations, role of helpers including Miep, description of The Secret Annexe, Anne’s feelings when her friends are taken away, how the family were updated on news outside by their radio.)
“All Jews to be removed from Netherlands by 1943” edict from German police.
Nazis decided secretly to kill as many Jews as they could.
1943 July Allied armies defeated German army in North Africa.
British, Canadian and US troops in Sicily - Germany army surrendered.
Enemies - bombing raids over Germany; Anne heard these from Annexe; Amsterdam heavily bombed.
Anne distanced herself from Peter and started rewriting parts of her diary (hoped to publish).
1944 6th June Invasion of northern France in Normandy (known as ‘D-Day’).
(In DVD at this point Anne reflects on the foundations of her life)
August 4th 1944 someone telephoned police - Jews hiding in Annexe.
All in Annexe arrested.
Miep found diary and hid it.
Anne and MargotAuschwitz in Poland with their parents; then after 5 months  transferred Bergen Belsen in Germany.

March 1945 Anne died.

A few weeks later, British troops liberated Bergen Belsen.
All other family members and Annexe residents died, except Otto.
May 1945 Germany surrendered – Nazis defeated.
June 1945 Otto Frank Netherlands.
Miep gave him diary.
(NB: Miep Gies celebrated her 100th birthday in February. Google Miep Gies for further information on the part she has played in keeping Anne’s memory alive.)

Lesson 2
Why did Anne Frank go into hiding?

Her story from her diary

LO: To examine and respond to an extract from Anne Frank’s diary (Y5/6)

Suggested lesson outline:

  • Give children copies of the diary extracts 8th July 1942 and 11th July 1942.

  • Read text through with the children, stopping to explain vocabulary as appropriate.


  • Ask children to answer the comprehension questions either orally or in written form.

  • The extension questions require the children to think deeply to formulate an answer. They should be encouraged to use their knowledge of the diary and their own ideas to support their answers.

Use the children’s ideas to discuss reasons for and against Anne’s diary being published.

Suggested follow-up lesson
Go to www.annefrank.org/diarylessons
Open ‘To write or to suffocate’

There is information about the importance of Anne Frank’s diary to her, then questions and assignments

Q1 is comprehension
Q2 asks for comparison of a weblog with a diary
Q3 (recommended) asks children to say why Anne doubted her talent and to talk about their own talents
Q4 is about whether the diary should be published (already covered)
Q5 (recommended) asks children if they were keeping a diary what would they write about and deals with the importance of being able to express yourself.

Lesson 3

Why did Anne Frank go into hiding?

Was it because of Religion?

LO: To understand whether it was Anne’s Jewish religion that meant she had to go into hiding?

Background for Teachers:

The Nazis saw Jews as a specific and biologically inferior ‘race.’ Their theory of ‘race classification’ is unsound and has no scientific basis. Jews were also blamed for Germany’s economic problems. However, Jews then and now, and indeed any other groupings of people, are not a ‘race’ as there is only one race, the human race.

Hatred of Jews did not originate with the Nazis, but dates back to the Middle Ages when a series of myths and legends concerning Jews were responsible for large-scale persecution and expulsion of the Jews in many European countries.
Key Words:
Scapegoat – person/people bearing blame or punishment for the suffering of others, generally as a way of distracting attention from the real causes
Antisemitism – the hatred of, and racist attitudes against, Jews

Starter Activity – A look at identity

  • Give out the “Who do I think I am? Who do others think I am?” sheet.

  • Ask learners to quickly fill it in.

  • As a class, discuss the last three questions on the sheet:

  1. “What do you feel about how these people think of you?”

  2. “Is it always fair how others view us and treat us?”

  3. “How do these people make us feel about ourselves?”

(15 mins)
Main Activity

  • In groups of 3 or 4, use the main A3 sheet as the sorting sheet.

  • Pupils read the quotation cards from the pack and sort and place them:

    1. sort into 2 piles – Nazi propaganda and Anne’s diary extracts;

    2. place them on the large diagram where they think it is appropriate.

  • Then ask learners based on the evidence that they have read to answer these three questions – which are on the bottom of the large sheet:

    • What was Anne’s personal description of her Jewish origins and belief like?

    • What was the view of the Nazi Occupied Forces about Jews?

    • In your opinion was it because of her religion that Anne had to go in to hiding? Why do you think that?

      • Get 3 groups to feed back to the whole class what they thought.

      • Open it up for class discussion.

(30 mins)

(You could enliven this section by showing a few appropriate images on the IWB.)

When people show prejudice or discrimination to people today because of religious clothing or symbols (hijab, turban or crucifix), is it always to do with religion?

(Talking partners – then feeding back.)
(15 mins)

Possible extension activities

  • Go on to explore further the relationship between religion and identity – through modern examples of discrimination against religious clothing.

  • Explore further the contrast between the “inner life” of someone and how that life can be perceived by others through prejudice. Write poetry with alternate lines:

See poem sheet: Inside I feel/think/believe/practice …

Outside they see/think/believe/do …

Lesson 4

Why did Anne Frank go into hiding?

How did she keep hope alive while she was hiding?

LO: To understand how individuals have kept hope alive and kept going in the face of injustice

Starter Activity

  • In pairs, ask each other what you are most looking forward to in the next week.

  • Ask children to feed back to the whole class what their talk partner is most looking forward to in the next week.

  • What would you feel like if I said you cannot do or have any of those things you are most looking forward to?

  • How would you keep going if you were not allowed to go out or have luxuries?

(15 mins)

Main Activity

  • Give out the sheets entitled:

    “What gave Anne and her family hope

    when they were in hiding.”

  • In pairs or individually, get them to fill them in.

  • Feed back their answers to the whole class

(30 mins)

Ask learners to compose their own

(5-10 minimum – no maximum –

give them the challenge of who can get the most!)

(15 mins)

Possible extension activities

  • Research other contexts of extreme difficulty now – and how people keep hope alive

    Look at examples of recent world disasters

    Look at examples of celebrities/politicians/people in public life who have been through difficult times

  • What can others do to help people keep hope alive?

    Get children to write letters (using Amnesty International or another source) to communicate to people in desperate contexts that they are thinking of them and showing love – to say they are not alone.

Lesson 5

Why did Anne Frank have to go into hiding?

Why did Miep Gies help to hide Anne?

LO: To consider what motivates people to help others, even when their own life may be in danger. (Context: Miep Gies)

Starter Activity

  • Give out starter A5 sheets and ask children to discuss the two questions.

(10 mins)

Main Activity
Miep Gies’ Story to be read together
Miep Gies risked her life looking after the Franks but said, “I stand at the end of a long line of brave Dutch people who did much more than I did to save lives during the dark terrible years of the occupation of the Netherlands by the Germans. For them, the events of those terrible years remain alive like something that happened yesterday. For me, I think of what happened to the Franks every day.”
Miep Gies was born 15 February 1909 in Vienna. She had moved to Holland to live with a foster family as her family were too poor to feed her.
Miep worked with Anne Frank’s Father, Otto, as his office assistant. She had grown to know, respect and care for Otto and his family. Miep was not Jewish, she was a Christian.

Along with Victor Kugler, Johannes Kleiman and Bep Voskuijl, she decided to help Otto and his family hide in the Secret Annexe. They created the bookcase to hide the door. They took to the Annexe food everyday and brought books, magazines, a radio and news of their lives and the lives of others in the outside world. Miep’s particular role was to bring meat and vegetables. Miep’s actions were very unselfish; in order to feed the people in the Annexe she had less for herself. More than just unselfish, her actions were brave. The punishment for hiding Jews was to be sent to a concentration camp with the strong likelihood of dying.

Many Christian Dutch people in Amsterdam at this time were ignoring Jews at best or informing the Nazi soldiers where they were in order to claim the reward money.
Why did Miep choose to help to hide and look after Anne and her family at this time?

  • Read the story of Miep Gies (above).

  • Split pupils into groups of three or four.

  • Give out the “Possible reasons why Miep hid and helped Anne” cards.

  • Ask them to choose their top three reasons they think Miep helped Anne’s family. (You could alternatively use a diamond 9 or a ranking ladder for this task.)

  • Then get them to fill in together the “Top Three Reasons we Think Miep Helped” sheet.

  • Feed back and discuss their thinking.

    • Explain that we can’t really know why. Often it is many reasons.

    • Does the person helping always know why they help? Does that matter?

(40 mins)
“I wasn’t the bravest of our many heroes” Miep Gies on her 100th birthday on 15 February 2009.
Question: Was Miep Gies a hero/ine?

use pair talk – feed back

Question: Are there any opportunities we have today to behave and live like Miep?
(10 mins)

Possible extension activities

  • Using the Anne Frank Awards website www.annefrankawards.org.uk, ask pupils to pick one person who has won an award

    (Alexander Rose – see attached text - would be a good example?)

  • Ask them to compare and contract his actions with Miep’s. You could use a double bubble strategy.

Lesson 6

Why did Anne Frank go into hiding?

How can we communicate to others the pain and horror of Anne and her family’s experience?

LO: To communicate the feelings of injustice through a piece of art. (Context: German Expressionism)

Starter Activity

  • Looking at Post WWI German Expressionist Artist, Ernst Ludwig Kirchner either by laminating some of the woodcut images in this pack or “googling” and putting them on the IWB.

  • What is the artist trying to portray in this image?

  • What are the lines like on the face(s)? Why do you think they are like that?

  • What does it make you feel?

  • Why hasn’t the artist just made an accurate image of the person?

Explain a little about German Expressionism
Read These artists aimed to express the emotions and inner

feelings of the people they were drawing. They wanted to communicate the “hopes”, “demands” and “cries” of people. It was about creating mood through strokes and textures; they are trying to show the inner thinking or “soul” of the person.

Ernst Ludwig Kirchner (1880 – 1938)
Kirchner was invalided out of the army in 1915 (First World War). Only with a stick, could he stand and totter across a room.
In 1938 he took his own life when he heard that the Nazis were destroying his art.
Often, he was using his own pain to understand the pain of the other person, so when he made his portraits he was expressing his own feelings while also showing the emotions of the other person.
(15 mins)

Main Activity

  • Ask children to create their own portraits of Anne Frank(or others from the Secret Annexe) in the style of Ernst Ludwig Kirchner.

  • You could start by showing them the last scene from the 2009 BBC Anne Frank’s Diary; the scene when the Nazi soldiers storm the Annexe.

  • Have laminated cards of Anne’s portrait (just head and shoulders) or have it on the IWB (one single image).

  • Place next to this image one of the German Expressionist pictures.

  • Explain they are going to make a portrait of Anne in this style, but not this Anne – as she is on the screen but Anne’s face when the Nazi police came. Think what she must have felt. She was scared and lonely when she heard the soldiers breaking down the bookcase and coming into the Annexe to take everyone away. What emotions would have been on her face?

    • You might invite them to use mirrors to see what their own faces might look like.

  • They can make their portraits by using charcoal or just line pencil portraits in the style of German Expressionism. (They could then work them into line prints/polystyrene prints if time.)

(1-2 Lessons)

Possible extension activities

  • Self portraits in the German Expressionist style.

  • A stream of consciousness style poem – description of feelings from Anne’s perspective – written after the portrait is done. This may be written as the “Dear Kitty” entry that doesn’t exist – the one when the soldiers came.

  • Should you feel this is too “bleak” an ending to this work. Hope is needed?

    Using these extracts from the diary;

    “I want to go on living after I’m dead”.

    “A person who’s happy will make others happy;

    a person who has courage and faith will never
    die in misery.”

  • Create another portrait of Anne’s face in the Expressionist style that shows her really happy that she is going on living after she is dead. Use coloured pastels not charcoal or pencils. Think about what marks you will make.

  • Next to this piece, write a small card to explain your picture.

    “Anne Frank goes on living after she died because …………………. I can keep Anne’s memory alive by ………………………………”

Sue Thompson/Katy Staples/Bristol SACRE

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