As an English teacher I have taught the novel “Night” by Elie Wiesel many times. Through repeated reading with many student groups, I’ve identified essential vocabulary words from each chapter for students to learn and understand. This vocabulary word list has been formed through extensive testing, listening to students read aloud, student questions, and discussion. Create your own highly effective vocabulary lessons from this list, which will maximize students’ reading comprehension while studying the novel. The vocabulary is listed in the order it appears in the text. Each vocabulary lesson should be taught before the reading of the corresponding chapter, especially if students will be reading independently, where they cannot ask the teacher for help with comprehension.
Night Chapter 1 Vocabulary
Hasidic, synagogue, encumbered, insignificant, waif, timid, cabbala, profound, venture, mysticism, esteem Zohar, divine, essence, conviction, deportee, lorrie, Gestapo, bombardment, Talmud, rabbi, betrothal, Zionism, Palestine, Facist, optimism, anguish, emblem, death’s head, billeted, verdict, Passover, bustled, bade, decree, ghetto, laden, Pentecost, swarming, anecdotes, expounding, firmament, premonition, avid, haggard, dregs, edict, revoked, candelabra, phylacteries, truncheons, indiscriminately, condemned, procession, Babylon, Spanish Inquisition. Gaped, minutely, hysteria, infernal, messiah, compatriots, morale, Boche, melancholy, guerillas, distinction
Night Chapter 2 Vocabulary
Constraint, copulate, provisions, hermetically, pious, withered, abyss, anguish, churning, monotonous, scouring, pestilential, invalids, barometer, gnawed, indifferent, abominable, Birkenau, Auschwitz
Night Chapter 3 Vocabulary
Tommy gun, noncommissioned, indifferently, oaths, petrified, incite, notorious, devoid, unremittingly, paternal, convulsively, Kaddish, nocturnal, condemned, bestial, acquaintances, lucidity, redemption, oblivion, barracks, Kapo, petrol, disinfection, reckoning, improvised, oppressive, harangue, inscribed, leprous, engrave, convalescent, mingling, colic, clout, remorse, reverie, placard, comradeship, bespectacled, wizened, disperse, radiant, deliverance, Job (of the bible), blandishments
Night Chapter 4 Vocabulary
Epidemic, convoy, veteran, assassin, disinterested, quarantine, hooligan, consideration, contrary, conscientious, decayed, cynical, unawares, innumerable, majestic, sanctity, emigrate, cauldron, queue, extraction, accord, reprieve, alleged, seized, mournful, reminiscing, alas, lavatory, imperceptibility, writhed, interlude, Lagerkapo, cleft, lolling, Oberkapo, pipel, loathed, livid, corpse
Night Chapter 5 Vocabulary
Rosh Hashannah, stricken, conquer, afflicted, revolt, solemn officiant, benediction, prostrated, tempest, implored, lamentation, congregation, Kaddish, mirage, countenance, atonement, stature, merciless, Achtung, emaciated, scarcely, crucible, decisive, derision, dysentery, balm, annihilate, infirmary, liberators, summarily, masquerade, mountebanks, monochrome, knell, relentless
Night Chapter 6 Vocabulary
Faltering, automatons,, entities, fascinate, parched, famished, fatigue, indeterminate, stupefied, bereaved, provoked, encumbrance, semblance, conscientiously, vigilance, appeasing, spectacle, scouring, embarkation, convoy
Night Chapter 7 Vocabulary
Apathy, inert, resumed, deprived, aristocratic, deriving, vitality, disengage, relatively, robust, tether, contagion
Night Chapter 8 Vocabulary
Tiers, plaintive, beseeching, veiled, visionary, riveted, spasmodically, recesses
Night Chapter 9 Vocabulary
Idleness, liquidated, upheaval
I recommend breaking up the larger vocabulary groups into more than one lesson. Words can be used in groups of three or five as a warm up exercise. I suggest no more than ten words grouped in a single lesson, as any more than that will reduce students’ ability to internalize new words and reduce the effectiveness of vocabulary study.
Cut and paste these vocabulary words into a variety of lesson materials including; overhead transparencies, power points, printed worksheets, games, learning stations, warm ups, homework assignments, and quizzes. I’ve had great success teaching this vocabulary to students, increasing their understanding and enjoyment of the novel.