The Wave

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The Wave is based on a true incident that occured in a high school history class in Palo Alto, California, in 1969. The powerful forces of group pressure that pervaded many historic movements such as Nazism are recreated in the classroom when history teacher Burt Ross introduces a "new" system to his students. And before long "The Wave," with its rules of "strength through discipline, community, and action, " sweeps from the classroom through the entire school. And as most of the students join the movement, Laurie Saunders and David Collins recognize the frightening momentum of "The Wave" and realize they must stop it before it's too late.
Curriculet Details
28 Questions
31 Annotations
3 Quizzes

This free digital curriculum for middle school students contains interactive videos exploring historical context and themes, as well as annotations describing point of view, conflict, and mood. Students will explore the themes of Loyalty and Individuality. The Common Core aligned questions, answers and quizzes in this free online unit will increase student engagement in the book while supporting reading comprehension.

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Chapter 1

Did you know that you can look up any word in the text of the book or the text of the questions and answers? Just click (or press on mobile devices) the word you want to define and hold until the blue text selector pops up. When you release, a define option will appear. Since it's so easy to look up words, make sure you use this feature frequently... Is there a word on this page you need to look up? 
Notice how we first started with Laurie Saunders and now we have moved on to Ben Ross. This is known as third-person omniscient point of view. This type of point of view allows the reader to see different perspectives of characters, being able to understand that character's thoughts and feelings. At times it can be just two characters, while other times it can be multiple characters. Pay close attention to see how many different characters we follow.  
In this paragraph, Ben Ross's problem with current students is their  

Chapter 2

Below is a short video of some footage at a Nazi concentration camp.  (This annotation contains a video)
At this point the students are trying to understand 

Chapter 3

Watch the video below about themes emerging. Pay close attention to the treatment of Robert and consider how it relates to chapter 2 in regards to Ben Ross's class.  (This annotation contains a video)
Based off of what has happened so far in the story, what do you see as a potential theme? Think of the film they watched in class and the conversation taking place between David and Laurie. Provide textual evidence to support your answer.  
When an author brings up an issue more than once, s/he wants to reader to pay attention to it. The issue between Laurie and David has been brought up a few times now, so keep this in consideration as you continue to read.  
Laurie sees Amy as  

Chapter 4

Below is an example of deerskin moccasins.  (This annotation contains an image)
Christy is commenting on her husband's __________ behavior 

Chapter 5

Pay attention to details such as the highlighted one. It gives a clue, or foreshadows, what Ben has in mind.  
In this paragraph Ben is most surprised by  
Below is a clip from the film version of The Wave, which shows Ben Ross training his class. You may stop after the 3:00 mark of the video.  (This annotation contains a video)
This highlighted paragraph shows how effective third-person omniscient point of view can be. We are now reading David's internal thoughts.  
Why do you believe Robert is still practicing the move? Provide textual evidence to support your answer.  

Chapter 6

The fact that Robert's shirt is "tucked in and his hair [is] combed" shows 
Often a dictatorship will come up with slogans that are easy to remember. This is part of brainwashing. Below is a sign that hangs above Auschwitz, one of the largest concentration camps. It translates to "Work Makes You Free."  (This annotation contains an image)
The situation between Brian and Deutsch is an example of 
Notice that David is repeating the words that Ben taught in class. This is how a message begins spreading. 
Quiz #1 

Chapter 7

In this paragraph, Mrs. Saunders addresses another theme of the book, which is identity. Pay attention to how the students lose their own identity as they become more involved with The Wave.  
Mrs. Saunders is worried about Laurie's 
This is an example of an allusion. An allusion is when another work is referenced to add meaning. Consider what Christy means by calling Ben Dr. Frankenstein.  

Chapter 8

The opening paragraph of this chapter helps develop the characters of Laurie and David more. Giving back story helps us understand the characters better. Watch the video below about character development.  (This annotation contains a video)
What do you know more about David in this conversation with Laurie? Provide textual evidence to support your answer.  
Look at the image below of the Nazis standing together in unison. Consider what Ben's intention is with his lesson in regards to the Nazis.  (This annotation contains an image)
The most important element occurring in this scene is  
Below is an example of what a Nazi membership card looks like.  (This annotation contains an image)
In the conversation during lunch, the theme of loyalty is apparent by 

Chapter 9

Keep in mind that this book was published in 1981. The Sony radio is an indication of the time period. Below is a picture of what the radio may have looked like.  (This annotation contains an image)
The author includes this scene to  
To do something wryly means to do it in a witty or clever manner. Below is an example of a wry smile.  (This annotation contains an image)
Which sentence best reflects Mrs. Saunders's attitude? 

Chapter 10

Below is a video of the original Nazi salute to help you understand what Ben is intending with The Wave.  (This annotation contains a video)
The physical description of Principal Owens is to make him appear 
Consider why the author includes this conversation. This could be possible foreshadowing of what will happen with The Wave. Below is a video that explains foreshadowing.  (This annotation contains a video)

Chapter 11

Why is Laurie scowling? 
One theme in the book is the idea of power and how power corrupts. Consider how Ben is feeling about the idea of power becoming corrupt?  
How is the theme of power relevant in chapter 11? Provide textual evidence to support your answer.  

Chapter 12

Notice that Laurie is repeating much of what her mom said near the beginning of the book. They represent the small minority who will question the majority. Below is a video of the some people who resisted the Nazis.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which sentence best hints at the climax of the book? 
Below is a video of Anne Frank's attic, where she and her family-along with four other people- hid during part of the World War II. They were eventually arrested and sent off to different concentration camps. All of them, with the exception of Anne's father Otto, died at one of the camps.  (This annotation contains a video)
What theme is present in what Mr. Saunders is saying? 
Quiz #2 

Chapter 13

Watch the video below about tension, which is occurring in this scene between Brad and Laurie.  (This annotation contains a video)
In this moment, Alex's tone is  

Chapter 14

This is in reference to the original zombie movie from 1966. Below is a trailer for the film.  (This annotation contains a video)
Which theme is present in Laurie and Amy's conversation? 

Chapter 15

Below is a clip from The Wave with Christy talking to Ben. The video goes into the beginning of chapter 16 as well.  (This annotation contains a video)
How is Christy's conversation with Ben similar to Laurie's conversation with her parents?  
This moment is the height of conflict between Amy and David. His willingness to grab her to defend The Wave shows how far it has all gone.  
The highlighted sentence is an example of  
The phrase "too much of a success" refers to  
Here you see Ben's internal conflict about The Wave. He has been struggling with it throughout the past few chapters. Part of him is glad it has worked so that the students can learn, but he fears what will happen if it continues or fails.  

Chapter 16

This sentence is a clue that the mood of the text has become tense. Watch the video below about tone and mood to review these concepts.  (This annotation contains a video)
The mood in the classroom versus the mood in the hall is  

Chapter 17

Notice how Ben still enjoys parts of The Wave because he feels it has given students discipline. He considers what is more important for a person, discipline or freedom.  
The author mentions that Robert is "wearing a jacket and tie" to show 
Below is a video about The Hitler Youth.  (This annotation contains a video)
Ben's tone at this moment is  
Quiz #3