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The Complete Maus. Art Spiegelman. Goals Overview. To read nonfiction (literary nonfiction) To read a graphic “novel” (literary nonfiction) – view key scenes in multiple formats To recognize role of historical context in literature (point of view, source material)

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the complete maus

The Complete Maus

Art Spiegelman E.E. Davis

goals overview
Goals Overview
  • To read nonfiction (literary nonfiction)
  • To read a graphic “novel” (literary nonfiction) – view key scenes in multiple formats
  • To recognize role of historical context in literature (point of view, source material)
  • To use MLA format in a research-based assignment
  • To research from multiple, reliable sources E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus

Key Ideas and Details

  • 10.RL.1 Cite strong and thorough textual evidence to support analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.
  • 10.RL.2 Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze in detail its development over the course of the text, including how it emerges and is shaped and refined by specific details; provide an objective summary of the text.
  • 10.RL.3 Analyze how complex characters (e.g., those with multiple or conflicting motivations) develop over the course of a text, interact with other characters, and advance the plot or develop the theme. E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus1
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus

Craft and Structure

  • 10.RL.4 Determine the meaning of words and phrases as they are used in the text, including figurative and connotative meanings; analyze the cumulative impact of specific word choices on meaning and tone (e.g., how the language evokes a sense of time and place; how it sets a formal or informal tone).
  • 10.RL.5 Analyze how an author’s choices concerning how to structure a text, order events within it (e.g., parallel plots), and manipulate time (e.g., pacing, flashbacks) create such effects as mystery, tension, or surprise.
  • 10.RL.6 Analyze a particular point of view or cultural experience reflected in a work of literature from outside the United States, drawing on a wide reading of world literature. E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus2
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus

Integration of Knowledge and Ideas

  • 10.RL.7 Analyze the representation of a subject or a key scene in two different artistic mediums, including what is emphasized or absent in each treatment
  • 10.RL.9 Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work.

Range of Reading and Level of Text Complexity

  • 10.RL.10 By the end of grade 10, read and comprehend literature, including stories, dramas, and poems, at the high end of the grades 9–10 text complexity band independently and proficiently [without scaffolding]. E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus3
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus
  • 10.W.3 Write narratives to develop real or imagined experiences or events using effective technique, well-chosen details, and well-structured event sequences.

b. Use narrative techniques, such as dialogue, pacing, description, reflection, and multiple plot lines, to develop experiences, events, and/or characters.

c. Use a variety of techniques to sequence events so that they build on one another to create a coherent whole.

d. Use precise words and phrases, telling details, and sensory language to convey a vivid picture of the experiences, events, setting, and/or characters.

  • 10.W.9 Draw evidence from literary or informational texts to support analysis, reflection, and research.
    • Apply grades 9–10 Reading standards to literature (e.g., “Analyze how an author draws on and transforms source material in a specific work [e.g., how Shakespeare treats a theme or topic from Ovid or the Bible or how a later author draws on a play by Shakespeare]”).
  • 10.W.10 To write routinely over extended time periods and for shorter time frames for a range of tasks, purposes, and audiences. E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus4
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus
  • 10. SL.1 Initiate and participate effectively in a range of collaborative discussions (one-on-one, in groups, and teacher-led) with diverse partners on grades 9–10 topics, texts, and issues, building on others’ ideas and expressing their own clearly and persuasively.

a. Come to discussions prepared, having read and researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence from texts and other research on the topic or issue to stimulate a thoughtful, well-reasoned exchange of ideas.

b. Work with peers to set rules for collegial discussions and decision-making (e.g., informal consensus, taking votes on key issues, presentation of alternate views), clear goals and deadlines, and individual roles as needed.

c. Propel conversations by posing and responding to questions that relate the current discussion to broader themes or larger ideas; actively incorporate others into the discussion; and clarify, verify, or challenge ideas and conclusions.

d. Respond thoughtfully to diverse perspectives, summarize points of agreement and disagreement, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views and understanding and make new connections in light of the evidence and reasoning presented. E.E. Davis

common core state standards in art spiegelman s maus5
Common Core State Standards in Art Spiegelman’sMaus
  • 10.L.1 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English grammar and usage when writing or speaking.
  • 10.L.2 Demonstrate command of the conventions of standard English capitalization, punctuation, and spelling when writing.
  • 10.L.4 Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and multiple-meaning words and phrases based on grades 9–10 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies. (Using context, language strategies, or available print or online resources.)
  • 10.L.5 Demonstrate understanding of figurative language, word relationships, and nuances in word meanings.

a. Interpret figures of speech (e.g., euphemism, oxymoron) in context and analyze their role in the text.

b. Analyze nuances in the meaning of words with similar denotations. E.E. Davis

pre reading activities
Pre-Reading Activities
  • View The Political Dr. Seuss, a documentary by Ron Lamothe. (84 min.)
  • View The Sneetches, a cartoon based on Dr. Seuss’s book. (12 min. on Green Eggs and Ham and Other Favorites DVD)
  • Discussion of authors using source material and representing text in multiple formats E.E. Davis

imagery character
Imagery & Character
  • Sneetches (The Political Dr. Seuss) (~ 13 min.)

“Now we know who is who without a doubt.”

  • 10.RL.9 Analyze how an author transforms source material in a specific work.
  • 10.SL.3 Evaluate a speaker’s point of view, reasoning, and use of evidence and rhetoric, identifying any fallacious reasoning or exaggerated or distorted evidence. E.E. Davis

  • Imagery is _________________ (+1)
  • Imagery in a graphic novel (biography) helps tell the story as much as imagery in a short story or poem does.
  • Maus = _________ = ___________
  • Predict what cats will represent
  • Survey the book and consider what other animals may represent E.E. Davis

art spiegelman author
Art Spiegelman - Author
  • Art Spiegelman – the author and artist of this graphic biography. To tell more would ruin the story. (+1)

Other characters (a.k.a. real people) in order of appearance:

  • VladekSpiegelman (+1)
  • Mala Spiegelman (+1) E.E. Davis

cat questions in maus
CAT Questions in Maus?!
  • You will write three CAT questions (and answers) for each chapter of Maus. The best advice is to write them during class because you cannot lend the books overnight.
    • This is exactly like your monthly Independent Reading Projects (IRPs).
  • Your questions must be as individual as snowflakes and your answers must be equally unique. Even if you “work together,” your questions and answers cannot look or sound alike.
  • Your questions and answers assess that you read the entire chapter, so make sure they cover the whole chapter. (Do not ask yourself three questions about one small scene.) E.E. Davis

comprehension cats
Comprehension CATs
  • Theme (an overall message communicated through the details)
  • Summary (summaries need an overarching topic sentence followed by details from the beginning, middle, and end of the scene you summarize)
  • Inference (an educated guess – usually about characterization)
  • Prediction (an educated guess about the future)
  • Vocabulary (vocabulary is a comprehension skill; a vocabulary short answer question would explain why the author uses a specific word, defines the word, and includes two details from the text as contextual support for the definition) E.E. Davis

analysis cats
Analysis CATs
  • Text features/literary elements (text features are headings and other formatting in a book; in this book they are often the drawings but also include photographs and famous quotations) + (literary elements are any literary terms that can be used to analyze the text such as irony)
  • Compare and/or contrast (analyze substantial similarities or differences between certain elements in the text)
  • Cause and effect (analyze the relationship between cause and effect by thinking about a cause or effects; focus on one cause-effect relationship and support it thoroughly) E.E. Davis

thinking critically cats judgment questions
Thinking Critically CATs(Judgment Questions)
  • Author’s purpose (infer why the author included certain details; keep in mind that this is nonfiction, so he didn’t “make things happen” the way fiction authors do)
  • Evaluate character’s reasoning (judge any words or actions of a character)
  • Draw conclusion/extend beyond text to compare/generalize for overall importance (drawing conclusions is “bigger thinking” than making simple inferences; extending beyond text means comparing to other books, movies, etc. while still including sufficient details from this text; generalizing is making a general statement based on details in the text) E.E. Davis

holocaust literary review
Holocaust Literary Review
  • What stories, plays, and/or books that are set during the Holocaust have you read?
    • What made those characters memorable?
  • What information about this time period do you remember from history class?
  • This background information will be useful as we start reading Maus. E.E. Davis

research based maus projects
Research-Based Maus Projects

Common Core Standards for Writing & Research:

  • 10.W.7 Conduct short as well as more sustained research projects to answer a question (including a self-generated question) or solve a problem; narrow or broaden the inquiry when appropriate; synthesize multiple sources on the subject, demonstrating understanding of the subject under investigation.
  • 10.W.8 Gather relevant information from multiple authoritative print and digital sources, using advanced searches effectively; assess the usefulness of each source in answering the research question; integrate information into the text selectively to maintain the flow of ideas, avoiding plagiarism and following a standard format for citation. [Modern Language Association (MLA) format] E.E. Davis

research based maus projects1
Research-Based Maus Projects

Common Core Standards for Speaking & Listening:

  • 10.SL.2 Integrate multiple sources of information presented in diverse media or formats (e.g., visually, quantitatively, orally) evaluating the credibility and accuracy of each source.
  • 10.SL.4 Present information, findings, and supporting evidence clearly, concisely, and logically such that listeners can follow the line of reasoning and the organization, development, substance, and style are appropriate to purpose, audience, and task.
  • 10.SL.5 Make strategic use of digital media (e.g., textual, graphical, audio, visual, and interactive elements) in presentations to enhance understanding of findings, reasoning, and evidence and to add interest.
  • 10.SL.6 Adapt speech to a variety of contexts and tasks, demonstrating command of formal English when indicated or appropriate. E.E. Davis

research options due dates due dates will be announced add them to your assignment calendars
Research Options & Due DatesDue dates will be announced; add them to your assignment calendars.
  • Historical Context 1930 – 1945 (political & military dates/events)
  • Popular culture context of 1930-1945 (music, movies, celebrities, inventions, fashions, dance moves)
  • Jewish foods (traditions; connection to religious holidays; holiday background if needed)
  • Life in Czestochowa, Poland 1930-1945
  • Nazis, S.S., Hitler Youth, symbols, uniforms, definitions, etc.
  • Nazi propaganda (definition/purpose; methods; examples; Leni Riefenstahl; Olympics)
  • Nazification; rise of Nazi party (and violence used during rise); Kristallnacht
  • Ghettos (with pictures)
  • Death Camps – especially Auschwitz & Birkenau
  • Resistance to Nazis
  • Rescue and Liberation (of camps)
  • Aftermath of WWII (war crimes trials, personal recovery)
  • Jewish immigration/emigration/refugees/displacement post World War II
  • United States Holocaust Museum in Washington, D.C.
  • Map Guru – running map of the journeys and photos of locations in text (Europe and U.S.) E.E. Davis

mla format in research
MLA Format in Research
  • 10.W.8 requires that students in tenth grade demonstrate thoughtful, accurate research. This means you will:
    • Gather information from digital and print resources.
      • Assess that the resources are useful and reliable.
    • Avoid plagiarism (copying ideas and/or words).
    • Cite your sources (quoted and paraphrased) using MLA parenthetical citations and works cited pages.
    • Refer to the faux research document as a quick guide. E.E. Davis

  • > Maus
  • Webquest links for top five search results on Art Spiegelman
    • Evaluate each site
    • Practice paraphrasing
    • Practice quoting
    • Practice parenthetical and works cited citations for several sources E.E. Davis

databases at lhs sno isle library
Databases at LHS & Sno-Isle Library
  • Gather information from digital and print resources.
    • Assess that the resources are useful and reliable.
    • Visit ProQuest and the Sno-Isle databases.
  • Reliable resources tend to come from published journals, magazines, and books.
  • Reliable websites tend to be online publications of journals, magazines, and books.
    • They are not blogs, student projects, and wikipedia. Evaluate the resources you use! E.E. Davis

dvd of maus metamaus
DVD of Maus: MetaMaus

The DVD of Maus allows us to read the text even more interactively:

  • Audio
  • Screen sized page view
  • Author’s sketches
  • Author’s notes on drafting E.E. Davis

prologue the sheik ch i 1
Prologue & “The Sheik” ch I.1
  • Content Goal- to learn about Vladek’s life before the war and to write CATs (+1)
  • Language Goal- to learn modes of reading comic books (top to bottom, left to right within strip) and to discuss euphemism (+1) E.E. Davis

pronunciation word wall
Pronunciation “Word Wall”
  • Sosnowiec – Saws-no-vee-etz
  • Czestochowa- Chest-o-kova
  • Anja – pronounce the “j” like a “y” = on-ya
  • Richieu – pronounce like “re-shoe” E.E. Davis

prologue the sheik ch i 11
Prologue & “The Sheik” ch I.1
  • New characters:
    • Vladek
    • Mala
    • Artie (Art)
    • Françoise (France-wahz) = Art’s wife
    • Lucia Greenberg
    • Anja (Anna) Zylberberg
    • Mr. & Mrs. Zylberberg E.E. Davis

prologue the sheik ch i 12
Prologue & “The Sheik” ch I.1
  • Warm-up elaboration journal

What would it be like to be locked-up together, without food, for a week? Would you remain friends afterward? Elaborate on this topic in ten or more sentences. (+10)

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • euphemism –
    • holocaust- mass murder and/or destruction- which is why “The Holocaust” was named
    • dowry- a gift from father-in-law to son-in-law meant to keep his daughter in a certain standard of living
    • hosiery- socks and stockings
  • Chapter One - MetaMaus
    • Page 14 & 15 audio clips E.E. Davis

cats generally you will need to write at least three sentences four sentences for a summary
CATsGenerally you will need to write at least three sentences (four sentences for a summary).


  • Theme
  • Summary
  • Inference
  • Prediction
  • Vocabulary


  • Text features/literary elements
  • Compare and/or contrast
  • Cause and effect


  • Author’s purpose
  • Evaluate character’s reasoning
  • Extend beyond text to: draw conclusion, make thoughtful generalization, or compare to other text/situations

Restate the question in the answer and include two text-based details per answer. One should be a quote and both should be cited with page numbers. E.E. Davis

the honeymoon ch i 2
“The Honeymoon” ch I.2
  • Content Goal- to focus on family and imagery
  • Language Goal- to develop CAT questions that show deep understanding of the text


(fyi: 3 kilos = 6.6 lbs. and 39 kilos = 86 lbs.) E.E. Davis

the honeymoon ch i 21
“The Honeymoon” ch I.2
  • Warm-up elaboration journal

There are many types of prejudice including racism. What are your experiences with prejudice? (+10)

  • Vocabulary (+5)
    • pogrom = riot and destruction targeted at a specific group (racial, ethnic, etc.)
    • anti-Semitic = anti-Jewish
    • hemorrhaging = uncontrolled bleeding
    • sanitarium = mental hospital
    • seamstress = a woman who sews women’s clothing
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Two – MetaMaus
    • Vladek’s audio clips E.E. Davis

prisoner of war ch i 3
“Prisoner of War” ch I.3
  • Content Goal- to empathize with Vladek’s feelings as a prisoner of war and write CATs.
  • Language Goal- to read for understanding and think critically to analyze the text

(+2) E.E. Davis

prisoner of war ch i 31
“Prisoner of War” ch I.3
  • Warm-up elaboration journal options (+10):

Write a journal pretending you are writing it from a jail cell. What are your feelings and worries?


How far would you go to avoid being drafted? Or would you willingly be drafted? Either way, explain your feelings.

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • torah = first five books of the Hebrew scripture (old Testament)
    • Reich = the German state from 1933-1945
    • Gestapo = Nazi party’s secret police
    • erverblutete – (air vair blue tehteh) German phrase meaning “he bled to death”
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Three - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

the noose tightens ch i 4
“The Noose Tightens” ch I.4
  • Content Goal- to comprehend and analyze the conflict in the book in relation to what we know happened in “this story’s future”
  • Language Goal- to analyze conflict and think critically while reading a book with text features

(+2) E.E. Davis

the noose tightens ch i 41
“The Noose Tightens” ch I.4
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)
    • They say money can’t buy you happiness, but what can it get you?
  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • convalescent = a person recovering from illness
    • Aryan = an authentic, original Indo-European descendant (non-Jewish, non-African, non-Asian)
    • S.S. = armed division of the Nazi party (Nazi police)
    • schlep = carry a cumbersome load/distance
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Four - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

mouse holes ch i 5
“Mouse Holes” ch I.5
  • Content Goal- to understand the conflict between Vladek and Artie based on more background information.
  • Language Goal- to analyze the visuals in Artie’s old comic and understand his emotional position in this book

(+2) E.E. Davis

mouse holes ch i 51
“Mouse Holes” ch I.5
  • Warm-up elaboration journal

This chapter includes foul language. Why might Art Spiegelman use swear words in this book? What is his purpose? (+10)

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • neurotic = anxious and/or obsessive thoughts
    • liquidate = to sell off stock for money or space for new
    • condolences = expressions of sympathy
    • illustrious = renowned and famous
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Five - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

mouse trap ch i 6
“Mouse Trap” ch I.6

Mala said, “It’s an important book. People who don’t usually read such stories will be interested” (135).

group __ presentation – Monday (any old overdue presentations too)

  • Content Goal- to recognize visual and conflict ironies in the chapter and to discuss the context that creates certain stereotypes
  • Language Goal- to analyze while reading the text (+2)


  • Motonowa
  • Kawka
  • Szopienice E.E. Davis

mouse trap ch i 61
“Mouse Trap” ch I.6
  • Warm-up elaboration journal

How long do you think you could sneak around the area before you were caught? Where could you hide? Where could you get food and other necessities? (+10)

  • Vocabulary (+3)
    • pragmatic = practical (not idealistic)
    • senile = loss of mental capacity due to age
    • governess = a live-in teacher/nanny for the children
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Six - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

mauschwitz ch ii 1
“Mauschwitz” ch II.1
  • Content Goal- To examine main themes in the chapter, to analyze and think critically about literary structure of the text.
  • Language Goal- To analyze the text features while actively reading the chapter (+2)
    • Group __ presentations E.E. Davis

mauschwitz ch ii 11
“Mauschwitz” ch II.1
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)

Take a look at the text features at the start of Maus II (p. 164-167). Each feature is very important, but why? What do you imagine is Art’s purpose of including any of the text features at the start of Maus II?

  • Vocabulary (+3)
    • bungalow = a one story cottage
    • reproach = to blame or discredit
    • distorted = twisted or misshapen
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter One - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

auschwitz time flies ch ii 2
“Auschwitz (time flies)” ch II.2
  • Content Goal- To consider the content of chapter two and draw conclusions about why Artie would have writer’s block
  • Language Goal- To read carefully and make connections with the characters’ emotions and decision-making (+2)
  • Group __ presentations E.E. Davis

auschwitz time flies ch ii 21
“Auschwitz (time flies)” ch II.2
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)

How would you feel being required (not just asked and allowed to elaborate with fiction) to share your deepest, darkest feelings on paper?

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • cathartic = when emotions are purified/resolved
    • exploited = to have been unfairly used
    • munitions = ammunition
    • quarantine = a separate facility for sick/ill people
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Two - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

and here my troubles began ch ii 3
“…and here my troubles began” ch II.3
  • Content Goal- To draw conclusions about why Vladek is so “lucky” in the camp and about his racism
  • Language Goal- To read the text and visuals to draw conclusions about Vladek’s character

(+2) E.E. Davis

and here my troubles began ch ii 31
“…and here my troubles began” ch II.3
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)

Describe a time you recognized someone was being hypocritical.

  • Vocabulary (+2)
    • typhus = a severe disease transferred by body lice
    • civilian = citizens who are not in the military
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Three - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

saved ch ii 4
“Saved” ch II.4
  • Content Goal- To analyze the choices of dogs, cats, mice, and pigs as the main animals in this biography
  • Language Goal- to read patiently considering the agony it must have been for Vladek to be rescued

(+2) E.E. Davis

saved ch ii 41
“Saved” ch II.4
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)

Describe what you have been determined to earn, achieve, or accomplish.

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • Wehrmacht = “Defend-Power” Nazi military forces
    • liberation = being freed/liberated
    • valise = suitcase
    • cache = hiding place
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Four - MetaMaus E.E. Davis

the second honeymoon ch ii 5
“The Second Honeymoon” ch II.5
  • Content Goal- to compare the resolutions of the two stories
  • Language Goal- To notice the additional animals depicted and consider what they represent E.E. Davis

the second honeymoon ch ii 51
“The Second Honeymoon” ch II.5
  • Warm-up elaboration journal (+10)

How can sad endings also be happy?

  • Vocabulary (+4)
    • listless = melancholy (lacking spirit)
    • relapse = recurrence of symptoms; back-sliding
    • gentile = non-Jewish
    • displaced = expelled from/forced to flee homeland
    • cats = feline creatures
  • CAT questions (+9)
  • Chapter Five - MetaMaus E.E. Davis