100 pages 3 hours read

All the Light We Cannot See

Fiction | Novel | Adult | Published in 2014

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Use these activities to engage all types of learners, while requiring that they refer to and incorporate details from the text over the course of the activity. 

ACTIVITY: “Live on the Radio”

Some of podcasts include interviews called “oral histories,” in which the interviewer sits back and records their subject’s story. The National WWII Museum in New Orleans has collected oral histories from World War II veterans and others involved with the conflict.

Part A

Explore the National WWII Museum’s digital collection of artifacts and oral histories for the first part of class. Choose one oral history to present to the rest of the class. Think about these questions as you make your decision:

  • Who is the subject of this oral history?
  • What do they tell us about the war?
  • How does this echo the themes in All the Light We Cannot See?

Part B

Think about the list of sample questions the National WWII Museum includes as part of their oral history resources. What questions would you want to ask someone? What questions might you want to ask Marie-Laure, Etienne, or Jutta?

Then, get into groups and discuss these questions. Together, write a mock response from one character based on the questions you wish to ask and Parts 11-13 of All the Light We Cannot See.

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By Anthony Doerr