5 Things to Teach with I Am David by Anne Holm

I Am David by Anne Holm is my favorite novel. This poignant story has sparked my interest in history. That love of history helped me launch this blog and my business. Here are five things to teach with this great story.

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I Am David tells the story of 12 year-old David. He has grown up in a Communist prison camp his entire life and knows nothing of the outside world. But, when he is given the opportunity to escape, he seizes it and heads on a mysterious journey to Denmark.

Along the way, he meets a variety of people. Some help him, some hinder his progress.

During his journey, David begins to learn more about himself, the beauties of the world, and the power of hope.

Here are five things you can teach with the book or movie I Am David.

5 Ways to Teach with I Am David by Anne Holm

1. Communism
The story is set in 1950s and begins at a labor camp, presumably in Bulgaria. Communism began to grow in Eastern Europe after WWII. Explore how Communism began, what Communism is, and how it affects the people who live under it.

2. Denmark and European geography
Trace David’s journey on a world map. (You can find a map of Europe in the 1950s here)
Looking at a map of Europe in the 1950s. Examine what countries were under Communist rule and which ones were not.

3. Character growth and development
David is our story’s hero from the beginning until the end. He’s a great example of the power of the human spirit and the will to survive. Still, he grows and changes quite a bit as a character. What are the ways David grows throughout the story?

4. Injustices in our world today
Although it can seem like a story that happened a long time ago, there are many injustices around the world today. A few of the topics you can talk about are:

  • Refugees today
  • North Korea (especially the similarities with Stalin’s rule and Hitler’s rule)
  • Genocides in Rwanda and Cambodia (see: Hotel Rwanda)
  • War today and how it affects people

5. Helping others
David was helped by many people on his journey including Johannes, Sophie, and even The Man. How can you help others? How have others help you? Why is helping others important?

Movie Study

I’m so excited to share this I Am David book study. You can grab it at my store or on Teachers Pay Teachers. This study includes 11 pages of activities and an answer key.

  • Discussion Questions
  • The Land of Denmark
  • David’s Journey (with map of Europe)
  • Vocabulary (4 pages)
  • Book and Movie Comparison
  • Traits of David
  • The Characters
  • Notable Quotes
  • Answer Key

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