For year's now, we've used this 178-page/slide teaching unit on THE GIVER by Lois Lowry to get students involved in the ideas and learn a lot about literature and themselves.
23-slide PowerPoint that introduces students to the concept of utopias and dystopias, providing examples from real life, novels, and film.
Then students use this knowledge to work in groups to create their own utopian village/town/city. They have to design a travel brochure and deliver a sales pitch to the class.
This starts unpacking the world of The Giver and its utopian and dystopian attributes. They start seeing how difficult it is to have a perfect society, that in order to make things "perfect," people have to give up choices and freedoms.
A vocabulary quiz tests their knowledge of 60 new words in the novel (see above image).
Students will study the plot of the novel using this cool plot chart organizer (see above image).
They will analyze the various types of conflict that happen in the story -- vs. man, nature, himself, technology, society, and supernatural.
They will learn about a variety of different real-world jobs and will participate in their very own Ceremony of Twelve activity where they will be assigned jobs and learn about the real-world salaries and value of that job. This always teaches them a lot and really draws them into Jonas's world as he is given a job along with all of his peers.
The tool that really takes the students deeper into the meanings and concepts in the story is the Quickwrite. 17 writing prompts are included to challenge the students thinking and ideas. Quality, meaningful discussion always happens when we write these short paragraph responses and talk about hem.
The Pop Quizzes bundle is useful to test students reading comprehension or as a quick exit ticket. The questions are designed so that any student who recently read the chapters will ace the quizzes, but those who haven't read recently will be called out for not doing so.
Then as you finish reading the novel, there are a number of final activities to held drive home the overall theme of the story.
Students will read Lois Lowry's Newbery Acceptance Speech and study the connections she draws to the novel.
They will choose from 3 persuasive essay prompts to write about the big meaning of the story and be graded with a clear rubric.
Our final discussion is about Pain in Jonas's world and in our real world. Students will draw anonymous pictures of a big pain in their life, and the teacher will shuffle them all together, then display them on the board. Students sort our pains into various larger Pain categories, then discuss what it would take in our real world for us to get rid of this real pain. They soon realize that they don't want to take away these pains because of the freedoms they've have to forfeit. It's a really deep and meaningful activity and discussion.
5 Final project ideas are also provided as an alternative or addition to the essay.
And for fun, who doesn't love a rip-roaring game of Jeopardy Trivia!!!
We're convinced that you will absolutely LOVE this teaching unit on THE GIVER by Lois Lowry. Get it today and start using it with your students in your classroom!