The Last Class: The Story of a Little Alsatian
Alphonse Daudet (1840-1897) was a French writer. This story about the repercussions of war on culture takes place in Alsace after the Franco-Prussian war. In the tale, a young Alsatian boy is met with a surprising announcement when he arrives at his French class: French lessons have been forbidden, and only German may be taught in their region.
When and How to Pair: Introduce this text after students have read chapter 2, and followed Salva’s story as he rushes from school into the wilderness at the sound of gunfire. Pair A Long Walk to Water with “The Last Class: The Story of a Little Alsatian” and ask students to discuss how both Frantz and Salva are subjected to sudden change. How do both boys deal with change? What are the effects of war on everyday lives?