Anne Frank remains one of literature and history’s most famous diarists and the Grade 8 students read through excerpts of her extraordinary journey: in hiding, in an attic during World War II. They learned about how the discrimination and murder of the Jews at this time made this the Frank family’s only course of action.
The class read a bit of Anne’s life before she went into hiding – she was a typical student with favorite subjects and fights with her mom. Then they learned about her life in the Secret Annexe: living in silence, sharing one toilet with two other families and interacting with characters she disliked. They also read about her opinions and her dreams.
To give the students an idea of how it is to write such a diary, they were given a similar scenario: they have to hide with two of their classmates, in a 21 square meter space, to hide from menacing agents of society.
The students were told that while provisions would be allotted every week, they were limited to four sets of clothes and to board games and books. Gadgets are banned as they are easily trackable.
The class threw themselves enthusiastically to the project, asking if they can pretend to not know each other at the outset, if they can pretend the delivery man of their weekly food drop is named Bob and so on. They wrote about learning how to prepare meals and how to cope with boredom.