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The Wave Book Essay Questions

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THE WAVE by Todd STRASSER - The novel - The film - ESL Resources

  • Study guides :
    • MonkeyNotes Study Guideby Ray Mescallado
      "Note: this sample contains only excerpts and does not represent the full contents of the booknote."
      (For the complete study guide: but it is not free. )

      + ANSWER KEY


  • Worksheets :
    • Communications 11 The Wave - Unit 11 Worksheet
      "DIRECTIONS: Answer these questions on a separate sheet of paper as you read the novel.
      Each question should be numbered, written out in full and answered in complete sentences. "

      • Lesson Plans for the Wave by Todd Strasser(

    • The Wave by Todd Strasser
      "This is a cumulative quiz for after the reading of Todd Strasser's novel, The Wave.
      The quiz contains multiple choice questions, along with a few short answer questions."

    • Mrs. Hollen's Online Wave quiz
      "This is an online quiz to assess comprehension of Todd Strasser's novel: The Wave."

    Several countries will be showing Lesson Plan on TV (click to see networks)
    Mark Hancock Activities
    - "Mark Hancock is an original Third Wave student, the class historian, and Associate Producer of the film documentary "Lesson Plan "
    about the Third Wave class. He is also manager and webmaster of the primary Wave resource website "


    Message from Mark Hancock :
    "I am one of the students in the original Wave class in 1967, and we produced a documentary film about the class released in 2010 entitled "Lesson Plan"
    in which the original students and teacher re-tell the story of the experiment. Our movie is based here:

    (the DVD is not available yet, and we are working on an online streaming alternative for Europe).
    I also hope to visit Europe and show the film in schools (I spoke in Barcelona and Jerusalem in March, 2013),
    so if you know teachers that would be interested in a visit to their school, please pass along my information.
    My school and film festival visits so far are listed here:

    Also, I manage the official Wave FAQ website, which contains information and photos about the class experiment and our school:
    Also, original teacher Ron Jones' website is:

    Ron Jones Website
    "This website is about an author, Ron Jones and his video storytelling. He is internationally known for the Emmy and Peabody Award adaptation of his classroom experience called THE WAVE. His books The Acorn Peopl e and B-Ball have been made into TV dramas.
    Ron lives in San Francisco, California where he performs regularly as a storyteller.

    Other articles

    Wave- book review

    Wave- book review

    A BOOK REVIEW of The Wave
    by Morton Rhue

    This story, based on a true incident that occurred in a high school in California, demonstrates how easily a group can lose its freedom without even realising it.
    It all began when their history teacher, Mr. Ben Ross, let them watch a movie on how the Nazis in World War 2 tortured the people who opposed them. To give them a clearer picture, he decided to them in the situation itself.
    He then introduced an organisation, The Wave, and its motto, “Strength through discipline, Strength through community and strength through action.” A salute was also introduced to make them feel like a unit, where everyone would be equal. This was most rewarding to their class’ loser, Robert Billings, as the other students often picked on him. As many as two hundred pupils in the school became part of it after Mr. Ross had encouraged his students to recruit more members. The sudden change from a bunch of unruly students to disciplined ones was remarkable.
    However, a Jewish boy was beaten up in school but Wave members for refusing to participate in its activities. This was followed by a letter by a junior student complaining of threats by his seniors, who were Wave members. Matters became more serious when Robert offered to be Mr. Ross’ bodyguard, and the school football team had incorporated the Wave to improve their team spirit and attitude. Despite their hard work, they still lost 42 to 6. These were printed in the school paper, ‘the Grapevine’, condemning the Wave as a dangerous and mindless movement that suppressed freedom of speech and thought and ran against everything the country was founded on.
    Mr. Ross finally decided to end this, after incessant persuasion from his wife and two of his students, ‘the Grapevine’ Editor-in-chief Laurie Saunders and her boyfriend David, an ex Wave member.
    Mr. Ross invited all the Wave members to a rally and gave a speech, at the same time, showing them the same movie the seniors had watched on their first History lesson. He reproached them by saying that they had turned their superiority over non-Wave members. He highlighted that through this experiment they had discovered for themselves the answers to the question they had posed him then. He taught them that, to prevent such a disaster from happening again, they should all question what they do, rather than blindly follow a leader.
    However, not all were convinced at what he said, though they all knew that it was the end. Mr. Ross felt sorry for Robert, as he was the one who really lost as a result.

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    FREE the wave Essay

    Topics in this paper Popular Topics

    The wave is about a history teacher whose name is Ben Ross. His class was starting to study the time that Hitler began making all the Jewish people stay in camps. Ben Ross could not find a way to get his class interested into this time period, so he decided to try to make a group, He would play like a Hitler type scenario and his class would be the Jewish people. He would make this group open to the whole school.

    Ben Ross told his idea to his class. He announced the group, and he had a pretty good turnout. They called the group that wave and they made a handshake, and a symbol. Laurie a girl in Ben Ross's class joined the wave at first and was in it for a while, but she saw that it was becoming way too serious. She decided to drop out of the wave. The wave became so popular that almost all the school was in the group. Ben Ross started to dress in suits, instead of his usual jeans and a nice shirt. He started to dress like a dictator. Ben Ross had the kids in his group sit with very good posture, and if they wanted to talk they had to address him as sir and they Stood up and talked very crisp and clear. When they were through talking they had to sit back down the proper position.

    Ben Ross thought that his experiment was going really good. All the kids were really taking it serious and he was enjoying it too. Laurie who quit the group saw that everyone was in the wave and she was on the staff of the Gordon Grapevine the school newspaper she decide to write and article about how everyone was taking this wave thing way to serious. Her article in the paper was published and everyone saw what she wrote. This made all of the group members very upset, they started to threaten her, and make her feel left out because she had quit the wave.

    Laurie had a boyfriend David who was in the wave, kept telling her that she should join the wave again, he didn't realize that why she didn't want to be in the group. This was splitting them apart.

    Essays Related to the wave

    The Wave Essay Questions

    The Wave Essay Questions

    Discuss the role of organization in The Wave.

    David, Laurie, and Mr. Ross all lament the students' lack of organization at the beginning of the novel. Each of these characters has a goal--be it winning the football game, printing The Gordon Grapevine on time, or teaching twelfth-graders about history--that can only be achieved if all of the students work together in an organized and cooperative fashion. The Wave seems to offer a solution to this problem because of its emphasis on discipline and community.

    Why doesn’t Strasser specify what city or region The Wave occurs in?

    Strasser is very vague about The Wave 's setting. References to Wheaties cereal and The Night of the Living Dead suggest that the book is definitely set in the United States. However, there is little regional color and the place names––such as Clarkstown and Gordon High––are generically American, and offer no hints as to where the story is set. Strasser's decision not to specify the setting suggests the book's allegorical purpose. Readers are supposed to be able to relate it easily to their own lives. It also demonstrates Strasser's point that atrocities can happen anywhere, regardless of the place or time.

    Discuss the role of sports in the novel.

    Many of the characters in The Wave play sports. Besides the football team, which plays an important role in the plot, Christy Ross plays tennis and Mr. Saunders plays golf to relieve his stress from work. The characters' enthusiasm for athletics suggests that there are other ways that people can bring discipline and organization into their lives. According to Strasser, a healthy hobby like a sport or the school newspaper is a good alternative to movements like The Wave.

    How does Mr. Ross manipulate his students into accepting The Wave? Why are they so enthusiastic about it?

    Mr. Ross manipulates his students into embracing The Wave by emphasizing values that the students genuinely need help with––like organization and equality. The Wave appeals to students because it seems to offer a fast and easy way for them to solve problems in their personal lives and in the community. However, Mr. Ross also acknowledges that the movement is also successful because the students do not know they are participating in an experiment––something he admits is unethical to Principal Owens.

    Compare and contrast Laurie’s and David’s reactions to The Wave.

    Laurie and David are both enthusiastic about The Wave at first. In fact, they embrace it more than the other students; Laurie defends it to her mother and David introduces it to the football team even though Eric warns him that he might be laughed at. Laurie's appreciation of The Wave is altruistic––she likes that it makes life better for people like Robert, who used to be bullied and excluded. She is more suspicious of The Wave; she rejects it as soon as she sees evidence that it is not actually making life better for Gordon High's vulnerable students. David is more self-centered in his motivations; he believes The Wave will help the football team to win. He is also less willing to abandon The Wave when it gets out of hand, although he eventually comes to his senses when it leads him to hurt Laurie.

    What are the pros and cons of The Wave?

    Some of the positive elements of The Wave are its inclusivity and its emphasis on community. Students are kinder to Robert and more willing to have each other's backs––for example, Amy and David stand up to support George Snyder so he won't be embarrassed in class. The most important problem with The Wave is that it hurts the students' ability to think critically, something Mr. Ross notices in both their essays and their real-life behavior.

    How does The Wave change Mr. Ross’s personality? Does it make him a better teacher or a worse one?

    The Wave initially makes Mr. Ross a worse teacher and a worse husband. He becomes self-centered, focused only on the glory he will achieve when he sees how The Wave improves his students' academic performance. However, the experiment ultimately humbles him and leaves him with important insights about human psychology. After The Wave, he makes a stronger effort to help Robert Billings, and he recognizes how easily and uncritically students will accept a leader.

    What is the difference between adults and teenagers in the novel? Are teenagers more vulnerable to The Wave because they are young?

    Some psychologists have suggested that the real-life students who participated in The Wave were more vulnerable to its influence because they were young (Gibson). However, Strasser rejects this idea. He emphasizes that adults and teenagers deal with many of the same problems––Mr. Saunders's problems at work are similar to the ones Laurie faces managing her lazy staff at the school newspaper. And Mr. Ross learns as much about human psychology from The Wave as the students do––even he is unable to predict how far the experiment will go.

    Why is Laurie successful in standing up to The Wave?

    Strasser suggests that Laurie is able to stand up to The Wave because of her connection to the school newspaper and because of support from her friends. The school newspaper allows her to criticize The Wave with more authority than she would be able to otherwise; no one listens to her when she questions The Wave at the lunch table, but people take her seriously when her criticisms appear in print. She is also able to do this because she remains friends with Carl and Alex, who have always disliked The Wave.

    Was The Wave successful? If so, why doesn’t Mr. Ross want to repeat it next year?

    In terms of sheer emotional impact, The Wave is highly successful, and many of the students seem to have taken to heart the lesson about why people participate in fascism. However, Mr. Ross decides that this benefit is not worth the cost to students like Robert, whose feelings were hurt terribly when he was rejected after The Wave ended, and the sophomore who was attacked.

    How To Cite in MLA Format

    Lind, Abigail. Weinbloom, Elizabeth ed. "The Wave Essay Questions". GradeSaver, 31 July 2012 Web. Cite this page

    Kondratievs waves Essay by

    kondratievs waves

    Kansas City. America 's Inland Port

    Economics waves. as described by Kondratiev. are the rising and falling of growth and recession within capitalistic free trade practices Kansas City. in the new era of free trade and rapid commerce in America is wonderfully poised to act as a rising inland port for the transport of products. The coastal American ports are burgeoning. even in a recession. and Kansas City has both a prime locale between the already active and overcrowded Gulf. Atlantic. and Pacific ports as

    well as the creative and ethical economic and political systems necessary to cradle the transport of goods and services as they move across the nation through nations. and across continents

    By ensuring the construction of the NAFTA Railway ' by Kansas City Southern rail company 's purchase of a controlling interest in Transportaciun Ferroviaria Mexicana. the existence of a single 1 ,300 mile railroad system was brought into reality under common leadership connecting the Central US. Central Mexico. and Mexico 's Pacific seaports. In addition to this rail purchase and expansion. the prime positioning of Kansas City between California and the East Coast. Canada and Mexico. makes Kansas City the prime target for the new heartbeat of America. With free trade opening new pathways between countries. the spillover from older ports through Kansas City will surely happen especially during the rise of the next economic wave in the next several decades. and the infrastructure necessary to ensure the movement of products through.

    Not the Essay You're looking for? Get a custom essay ( only for $12.99 )

    The Wave Essay - Critical Essays

    The Wave Essay - Critical Essays

    Published in 1981, Todd Strasser's The Wave recounts a true incident that took place in a history class at a Palo Alto, California, high school in 1969. The teacher of the class, Ron Jones, who is fictionally renamed Ben Ross in the book, actually formulated the experiment described in the narrative in an effort to help his students understand how the Holocaust could have happened without the mass condemnation of the German people. What begins as a simple class project quickly takes on a life of its own however, as students conform mindlessly to the experimental system, and others are pressured ruthlessly to join in. Group dynamics and peer influence bordering on coercion create a sinister atmosphere of fear and mistrust, as The Wave spontaneously takes on the characteristics of a cult. The event disrupts an entire school and raises a plethora of dark questions concerning responsibility, freedom, and group dynamics. Ron Jones calls it "one of the most frightening events (he has) ever experienced in the classroom."

    As a novelization of a teleplay by Johnny Dawkins, based on a short story by Ron Jones, Strasser's book might not have attracted an abundance of criticism as a literary entity in itself, but The Wave clearly holds an important place in the canon of young adult literature. Its exploration of the insipid power of group dynamics and its potential, when used wrongly, to lead individuals to act almost unwittingly in total opposition to their professed standards of morality provides material strongly conducive to multilevel thinking and discussion. The subject matter can be used across the curriculum, and is especially pertinent in the areas of social studies, history, and literature. The Wave is valuable in that it examines a dystopian situation in a contemporary setting intimately familiar to student experience. The fast-moving narrative is written in a simple, straightforward style, making it accessible to students of a wide variety of interests and abilities.

    The Wave was made into an hour-long television presentation by TAT Communications Company in 1981.

    Start your free trial with eNotes to access more than 30,000 study guides. Get help with any book. The Wave Homework Help Questions One of the points of this story is the intended demonstration of the idea that we cannot learn from the past unless we remember and understand the past. Though we may believe that terrible.
  • In "The Wave" by Todd Strasser, a teacher, Mr. Ross comes up with an idea to help his students learn about the Holocaust. He creates a fictional group called the Wave where students are expected to.
  • There are actually several positive aspects of The Wave. First of all, students who are normally apathetic about school suddently become motivated and excited about Mr. Ross' class. As a part.
  • The story takes place at Gordon High School in 1969 and is a fictionalized account of what happened at a real high school in California. The book centers on history teacher Ben Ross and his.
  • Todd Strasser's novel, The Wave, addresses the dangers of facism and group 'mob' mentality. Ben Ross seeks to show his students how the German people accepted the Nazi regime during World War II;.

  • Related Topics

    The Wave: ESSAY TOPICS - BOOK REPORT IDEAS by Todd Strasser


    1.) Is there a clear middle ground in the novel between individualism and an authoritarian community such as The Wave? If so, what is it and how does it behave? If not, why is this not the case?

    2. ) Is the novel dated or a product of its era in any significant manner? Does the situation described in the novel have a believable chance of occurring in a modern American high school? Why or why not?

    3.) In what way does Ben Ross stand in conflict with the themes of the novel? That is, how does his role as a teacher and a self-proclaimed experimenter influence the way we understand power and the extent to which it can be used? How would the story be different if he wasn't able to exert so much power over his students at different points in the story.

    The complete study guide is currently available as a downloadable PDF. RTF. or MS Word DOC file from the PinkMonkey MonkeyNotes download store. The complete study guide contains summaries and notes for all of the chapters; detailed analysis of the themes, plot structure, and characters; important quotations and analysis; detailed analysis of symbolism, motifs, and imagery; a key facts summary; a multiple-choice quiz, and suggested book report ideas and essay topics.

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    Distribution without the written consent of is strictly prohibited.

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    The Waves Lesson Plans for Teachers

    The Waves Lesson Plans for Teachers Teaching The Waves

    The Waves lesson plan contains a variety of teaching materials that cater to all learning styles. Inside you'll find 30 Daily Lessons, 20 Fun Activities, 180 Multiple Choice Questions, 60 Short Essay Questions, 20 Essay Questions, Quizzes/Homework Assignments, Tests, and more. The lessons and activities will help students gain an intimate understanding of the text, while the tests and quizzes will help you evaluate how well the students have grasped the material. View a free sample

    Target Grade: 7th-12th (Middle School and High School)

    Length of Lesson Plan: Approximately 147 pages. Page count is estimated at 300 words per page. Length will vary depending on format viewed.

    Browse The Waves Lesson Plan:

    Full Lesson Plan Overview Completely Customizable!

    The Waves lesson plan is downloadable in PDF and Word. The Word file is viewable with any PC or Mac and can be further adjusted if you want to mix questions around and/or add your own headers for things like "Name," "Period," and "Date." The Word file offers unlimited customizing options so that you can teach in the most efficient manner possible. Once you download the file, it is yours to keep and print for your classroom. View a FREE sample

    Lesson Plan Calendars

    The Lesson Plan Calendars provide daily suggestions about what to teach. They include detailed descriptions of when to assign reading, homework, in-class work, fun activities, quizzes, tests and more. Use the entire The Waves calendar, or supplement it with your own curriculum ideas. Calendars cover one, two, four, and eight week units. Determine how long your The Waves unit will be, then use one of the calendars provided to plan out your entire lesson.

    Chapter Abstracts

    Chapter abstracts are short descriptions of events that occur in each chapter of The Waves. They highlight major plot events and detail the important relationships and characteristics of important characters. The Chapter Abstracts can be used to review what the students have read, or to prepare the students for what they will read. Hand the abstracts out in class as a study guide, or use them as a "key" for a class discussion. They are relatively brief, but can serve to be an excellent refresher of The Waves for either a student or teacher.

    Character and Object Descriptions

    Character and Object Descriptions provide descriptions of the significant characters as well as objects and places in The Waves. These can be printed out and used as an individual study guide for students, a "key" for leading a class discussion, a summary review prior to exams, or a refresher for an educator. The character and object descriptions are also used in some of the quizzes and tests in this lesson plan. The longest descriptions run about 200 words. They become shorter as the importance of the character or object declines.

    Daily Lessons

    This section of the lesson plan contains 30 Daily Lessons. Daily Lessons each have a specific objective and offer at least three (often more) ways to teach that objective. Lessons include classroom discussions, group and partner activities, in-class handouts, individual writing assignments, at least one homework assignment, class participation exercises and other ways to teach students about The Waves in a classroom setting. You can combine daily lessons or use the ideas within them to create your own unique curriculum. They vary greatly from day to day and offer an array of creative ideas that provide many options for an educator.

    Fun Classroom Activities

    Fun Classroom Activities differ from Daily Lessons because they make "fun" a priority. The 20 enjoyable, interactive classroom activities that are included will help students understand The Waves in fun and entertaining ways. Fun Classroom Activities include group projects, games, critical thinking activities, brainstorming sessions, writing poems, drawing or sketching, and countless other creative exercises. Many of the activities encourage students to interact with each other, be creative and think "outside of the box," and ultimately grasp key concepts from the text by "doing" rather than simply studying. Fun activities are a great way to keep students interested and engaged while still providing a deeper understanding of The Waves and its themes.

    Essay Questions/Writing Assignments

    These 20 Essay Questions/Writing Assignments can be used as essay questions on a test, or as stand-alone essay topics for a take-home or in-class writing assignment on The Waves. Students should have a full understanding of the unit material in order to answer these questions. They often include multiple parts of the work and ask for a thorough analysis of the overall text. They nearly always require a substantial response. Essay responses are typically expected to be one (or more) page(s) and consist of multiple paragraphs, although it is possible to write answers more briefly. These essays are designed to challenge a student's understanding of the broad points in a work, interactions among the characters, and main points and themes of the text. But, they also cover many of the other issues specific to the work and to the world today.

    Short Essay Questions

    The 60 Short Essay Questions listed in this section require a one to two sentence answer. They ask students to demonstrate a deeper understanding of The Waves by describing what they've read, rather than just recalling it. The short essay questions evaluate not only whether students have read the material, but also how well they understand and can apply it. They require more thought than multiple choice questions, but are shorter than the essay questions.

    Multiple Choice Questions

    The 180 Multiple Choice Questions in this lesson plan will test a student's recall and understanding of The Waves. Use these questions for quizzes, homework assignments or tests. The questions are broken out into sections, so they focus on specific chapters within The Waves. This allows you to test and review the book as you proceed through the unit. Typically, there are 5-15 questions per chapter, act or section.

    Evaluation Forms

    Use the Oral Reading Evaluation Form when students are reading aloud in class. Pass the forms out before you assign reading, so students will know what to expect. You can use the forms to provide general feedback on audibility, pronunciation, articulation, expression and rate of speech. You can use this form to grade students, or simply comment on their progress.

    Use the Writing Evaluation Form when you're grading student essays. This will help you establish uniform criteria for grading essays even though students may be writing about different aspects of the material. By following this form you will be able to evaluate the thesis, organization, supporting arguments, paragraph transitions, grammar, spelling, punctuation, etc. of each student's essay.

    Quizzes/Homework Assignments

    The Quizzes/Homework Assignments are worksheets that can be used in a variety of ways. They pull questions from the multiple choice and short essay sections, the character and object descriptions, and the chapter abstracts to create worksheets that can be used for pop quizzes, in-class assignments and homework. Periodic homework assignments and quizzes are a great way to encourage students to stay on top of their assigned reading. They can also help you determine which concepts and ideas your class grasps and which they need more guidance on. By pulling from the different sections of the lesson plan, quizzes and homework assignments offer a comprehensive review of The Waves in manageable increments that are less substantial than a full blown test.


    Use the Test Summary page to determine which pre-made test is most relevant to your students' learning styles. This lesson plan provides both full unit tests and mid-unit tests. You can choose from several tests that include differing combinations of multiple choice questions, short answer questions, short essay questions, full essay questions, character and object matching, etc. Some of the tests are designed to be more difficult than others. Some have essay questions, while others are limited to short-response questions, like multiple choice, matching and short answer questions. If you don't find the combination of questions that best suits your class, you can also create your own test on The Waves .

    Create Your Own Quiz or Test

    You have the option to Create Your Own Quiz or Test. If you want to integrate questions you've developed for your curriculum with the questions in this lesson plan, or you simply want to create a unique test or quiz from the questions this lesson plan offers, it's easy to do. Cut and paste the information from the Create Your Own Quiz or Test page into a Word document to get started. Scroll through the sections of the lesson plan that most interest you and cut and paste the exact questions you want to use into your new, personalized The Waves lesson plan.