Anne Frank
Learning About the Holocaust

English and Literacy in Key Stages 2 and 3


On this page you will find resources for teaching English and literacy in Key Stages 2 and 3 of the UK National Curriculum.

In Key Stages 2 and 3, these resources are suitable for teacher-assessed work, and can be part of wider cross-curricular activities or projects.

English is a compulsory (core) subject of study within Key Stages 2 and 3 of the National Curriculum.

Literacy is (like numeracy and ICT) not a discrete subject so much as a method or approach to study.

In Key Stage 2, schools in England and Wales spend an hour a day on focused literacy work.

In Key Stage 3 schools have more discretion in deciding how to promote literacy through curriculum subjects - the current strategy is meant to support appropriate communication through reading and writing in all subjects, not just English.

Visitors who work in education systems outside England and Wales (or no system at all) can use these activities or adapt them, for use in your own schemes of work.

If you are not a native or first-language user of English, then you may combine study of Anne Frank with learning to use English.

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Word and Sentence Level Work

The diary provides many possibilities for the use of extracts to study words, phrases, clauses and sentences.

Because of the subject matter, there will also be opportunities to study meanings of words and phrases in context, and language change - are there words in the diary (translated some time after Anne wrote the original) which seem old-fashioned?

There are several English translations available in print, so children could compare an older one (such as B.M. Mooyart's from 1952) with a modern one (such as Mirjam Pressler's 1995 version).

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Text Level Work

Pupils may explore many of the text level objectives, particularly those relating to non-fiction texts, using extracts from the diary.

The table of extracts on this page may be useful for choosing appropriate sections.

Possible activities relating back to objectives for years 5 and 6 of the National Literacy Strategy are noted.

There are so many possibilities that the list only provides a small sample.

The UK National Literacy Strategy refers frequently to the study of recount and diary entries - Anne Frank's diary and texts derived from it are well suited to such investigation.

A videotape copy of the film may be useful for comparison between the diary in print form and the feature film adaptation.

Those who do not have time to study the whole diary in detail can use the Macdonalds Historical Storybook: Anne Frank: The Last Days of Freedom by Roy Apps (Paperback - 46 pages, Hodder Wayland, 1998; ISBN: 075002111X).

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Comparing Texts

A more ambitious task would be to compare an extract from the original diary (in English translation) with the adapted version in Roy Apps book, considering how the differences reflect such things as:

  • each writer's sense of the reader or audience - age, education, culture
  • the date when the text was written - Roy Apps writes to support teaching history; how far does Anne Frank write for contemporary readers or posterity (those who come later)?
  • viewpoint - does the text use first or third person views?
  • grammar - for example, choices of verb tenses
  • lexicon - Anne Frank did not write in English: how far do the translator of the diary and Roy Apps use the same or different lexis (vocabulary, word choices) to refer to the same events?
  • structure - how are the texts organized chronologically (in terms of time) and how far does Roy Apps tell things which Anne cannot, which happened after the last diary entry?
  • context - how much does each writer explain to the reader, and how much does each take for granted?
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Extracts to Study

You may like to use the table below to find literacy tasks appropriate to particular episodes in the diary.

The numbers in parenthesis (brackets) refer to targets in the National Literacy Strategy for England and Wales.

Date of diary entry Theme or subject Suggested literacy activities
12 June 1942,
14th June 1942
Anne receives the diary recount
20th June 1942 About writing a diary and the creation of Kitty letter writing (5.3)
21st June 1942 Anne at school recount or play-script (5.1) or writing in a text/voice style (6.1)
9th July 1943 Description of the “Secret Annexe” description
20th October 1942 Almost discovered composition, summary (idea of suspense)(6.1)
17th November 1942 Rules and Regulations list or instructional text (5.1)
19th November 1942 Life outside in persecution description or recount
13th December 1942 Life outside note taking, description or recount
18th May 1943 Air Raid note taking, recount, retelling in letter form (5.3) newspaper report (5.2) or summary (6.1)
4th August 1943 A night time routine recount
16th September 1943 Fear and relationships commentary on an issue (5.3)
8th November 1943 Moods description
11th November 1943 A special thing is lost recount, description or summary (6.1)
8th February 1944 Getting on each other's nerves description or play-script (5.1)
7th March 1944 Looking back description or recount
6th April 1944 Hobbies description
11th April 1944 Burglars! long extract, note taking, recount, retelling in letter form (5.3) composition or police report (idea of suspense)
22nd May 1944 Anti-Semitism comment on an emotive issue (5.3), report on a controversial issue (6.2) or persuasive text (5.3)

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