Teacher Guide

The Wave Lesson Plan

Introduction to The Wave

Published in 1981, Todd Strasser's The Wave is the novelization of the made-for-TV movie of the same name, reimagined as a young adult novel. The Wave is a fictionalized account of educator Ron Jones's "Third Wave" experiment in 1969. Jones's analog in the novel is Ben Ross, a high school history teacher who launches the exercise in an attempt to show his students what life in Third Reich Germany might have been like. He indoctrinates his students into an organization that he calls The Wave, complete with slogans, salutes, and a logo. Throughout the course of about five days, Ross's experiment takes on a life of its own, and proves to be far more successful than he'd initially planned.


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