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The Giver

Pre-Reading Activities:
  • Define "Utopia" and discuss vision of Utopian world.  How far would you go to maintain your Utopian world?
  • Read All Summer in a Day by Ray Bradbury and write a response to the story.
  • Another important idea in The Giver is that of choices.  For example, getting to decide what you want to do and when you want to do it, “freedom of speech” and “freedom of religion”. Click here to view our country's Bill of Rights and see the choices that we have.
    • Make a short list (four-five ideas) of what choices are important to you.
    • Write a paragraph describing how you would feel if these choices were taken away.
  • Make a list of at least ten memories you have of your life.

Themes:
Individual versus society
Freedom and choice
Feeling and emotion
Coming of age
Memory

Motifs:
Vision
Nakedness
Release


Writing Prompts for The Giver (adapted from Elizabeth Sky-McIlvain AND Gary D. Schmidt, Department of English, Calvin College):
  • Writing Prompt #1 (Chapter 1): Create a set of "standard apologies" for five student transgressions at Bridgton Academy. 
  • Writing Prompt #2: In The Giver, each family has two parents, a son, and a daughter.  The relationships are not biological but are developed through observation and a careful handling of personality.  In our own society, the makeup of family is under discussion.  How are families defined? Are families the foundations of a society, or are they continually open for new definitions?
  • Chapters 2-5:  Think about how, in your community culture, you differentiate between age groups. Select any four age groups and describe briefly how they are clearly "differentiated". 
  • Chapter 6--9: Write about your own future.  What plans/expectations do others have for you? What are your dreams? What plans do you have for yourself?  Be sure to add a concluding short paragraph.
  • Writing Prompt #3:   In Jonas's community, the leaders try to minimize characteristics that make people different: they place a high value on "sameness," in appearance and in thinking. In our world most people are pleased to be different in some way. Write a paragraph about a characteristic that you have, personal or physical, that makes you different.
  • Ending:  Research the names Jonas and Gabriel (both are biblical).  Write up your findings in two good paragraphs which relate the names to the characters in the novel. Be sure to cite which source you found the meanings of the names (give credit where credit is due).
  • Writing Prompt #4:   "The Giver" describes a community that many people would consider to be a utopia, or perfect place. Some readers would agree that "The Giver" does indeed represent utopia. Others would argue that it is both imperfect and frightening. Write a response to persuade the reader that the community in "The Giver" is IMPERFECT and FRIGHTENING.
  • Full novel (ongoing assignment): Gather a list of "separateness" or difference as it applies to Jonas and Gabriel.  Make sure your list is specific in reference to plot events or incidents, and that it is in chronological order.


Vocabulary:
jeerfretinfringe (on)
palpablechastisementprestige
anthemdroneretroactive
wheedleregulatedcrescendo
apprehensivegravitate (toward)meticulously
nurturersereneintegral
dispositionchortletentatively
transgressioncommotionobsolete
prior (to)hover (over)wryly
confideexuberanthueless


Sameness Activity:

    See attachment below for directions.

Post-Reading Activity:
  • Watch the movie Pleasantville
                1. Identify symbolic images.
                2. What is the first color do they see?  Why do you think this is chosen as the first color?
3. Compare to The Giver
  • 2112 by RUSH
1. Listen to song and review lyrics (attachment)
2. Complete grid (attachment)

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