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The Giver Thematic Unit

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Jessica Nolfi

on 16 February 2016

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Transcript of The Giver Thematic Unit

Unit Theme
Sameness vs. Diversity
Unit Overview
Learning Menu
Lesson #1: Utopia
EQ: There are flaws within all societies, what type of society would you consider to be your own utopia, or your own ideal society?
The Giver
Thematic Unit

Lesson #2:
EQ: How would you like it if everyone in your society looked the same, dressed the same, and behaved in the same manner?
Lesson #3:
EQ: How would you like it if your occupation was chosen for you?
Lesson #4: Socratic Seminar
EQ: Everyone is entitled to their own opinion in our society, unlike Jonas’s where everyone is forced to believing the same idea, are differing opinions harmful or beneficial to society?
Lesson #5:
EQ: If you had the power to create your own society, what would it entail? Explain.
Determine or clarify the meaning of unknown and
multiple-meaning words or phrases based on grade 8 reading and content, choosing flexibly from a range of strategies.

Use context (e.g., the overall meaning of a sentence or paragraph; a word's position or function in a sentence) as a clue to the meaning of a word or phrase.

Produce clear and coherent writing in which the development, organization, and style are appropriate to task, purpose, and audience.

1. SWBAT define the word “utopia” based on context clues, use it in a sentence, and discuss the meaning and how it relates to society.

2. SWBAT produce a writing response in a clear and coherent manner regarding what their idea of a utopia is. .

Utopia in Context
My utopia is called Awesomeville. It is very awesome here! It is everything you would ever want. There are big buildings everywhere and everyone has a big, comfortable home! Everyone's awesome house has five bedrooms, four bathrooms, awesome comfy couches, and an awesome game room. Everyone is always awesome and happy. Everyone has a job so everyone has money. The only rules are to have fun at all times, treat everyone awesomely, and don't be a danger to anyone.
Snapshot of Worksheet
Students will check off what makes a
utopia in their opinion:
everyone has a job
everyone is equal
no bad memories
lots of rules
no fighting
no good memories
everyone has enough food
no war
Open-Ended Questions:
1. Describe what your perfect society, or utopia would be. Include some of the ideas you checked off. Why did you not check off certain qualities?
2. Do you believe our society that we live in today is a utopia? Why or why not?
Conformity within society
Societal Rules
What is a utopian/dystopian society?
Is this type of society a solution to the problems in the world?
Cite the textual evidence that most strongly supports an analysis of what the text says explicitly as well as inferences drawn from the text.

Come to discussions prepared, having read or researched material under study; explicitly draw on that preparation by referring to evidence on the topic, text, or issue to probe and reflect on ideas under discussion.

Pose questions that connect the ideas of several speakers and respond to others' questions and comments with relevant evidence, observations, and ideas.

Acknowledge new information expressed by others, and, when warranted, qualify or justify their own views in light of the evidence presented.

SWBAT to discuss the text in a formal manner using textual evidence that will strongly defend their opinions.

SWBAT evaluate the information posed by other speakers and either argue or justify their own views in light of the evidence provided.

SWBAT assess the information gained during the discussion and write a self-reflection on whether or not their views were changed through it. .

Socratic Seminar
"The Socratic seminar is a formal discussion, based on a text, in which the leader asks open-ended questions. Within the context of the discussion, students listen closely to the comments of others, thinking critically for themselves, and articulate their own thoughts and their responses to the thoughts of others. They learn to work cooperatively and to question intelligently and civilly" (Elfie Israel)

Key Discussion Questions
Which is more important: personal freedom or the good of society?
How much individual loss should a person go through to better the collective good?
Should people's emotions ever be controlled?
Should people ever break the rules in order to achieve a higher purpose?
When does one become an adult? What does it mean to be an adult?
Should people have unlimited freedom or should government make choices to prevent disorder?
Are there any advantages in the way Jonas' society is governed that would improve our society today?

Include as many open-ended questions as possible, aiming for questions whose value lies in their exploration, not their answer. Create questions that will apply to the students' lives to generate more engaging responses.
Have students write a self-reflection
on why they did/did not find this to be helpful
Were they well-prepared and able to participate fully? Did any of their opinions change? How might they improve in the next seminar?
Engaging the Students
Assessing the Success
Chapter 1
• What do you imagine it means when someone is “released”?

• What rules and punishments are enforced in Jonas’s community? How does Jonas feel about them?

• Describe what Jonas and his family do every evening? How you feel about doing this?

• What are some clues that Jonas’s community is different from the one in which you live?

Chapter 2
• How would you feel not to have your own individual birthday?

• What is so important about the Ceremony of Twelve?

• Describe how the assignments are given in the community. How would you feel about this process if you were living in this community?

• If you were attending the Ceremony of Twelve with Jonas, what Assignment do you think the Elders would select for you? Explain your reasoning.

• Why is it so difficult to change the rules? Use an example from the text to support your answer.

Chapter 3
• What is the first thing that Jonas notices about the newchild? Explain what is so different about the two of them.

• Why does Jonas think Lily should be chastised? What does this say about the community?

• How would you feel to be watched all the time, the way Jonas is?

• What do you think changed about the apple? Do you think it says something about Jonas that he sees the apple change?

Chapter 4
• Jonas’s community has a lot of rules. Do you think that’s a good thing or a bad thing? Why?

• Explain the advantages and disadvantages that Jonas sees in the way he spends his volunteer hours.

• How are new children and the old similar?

• Describe the Ceremony of Release. What do you think “release” is?

Chapter 5
• Why was Jonas embarrassed about telling his dream? Would you want to share all of your dreams every morning with your family?

• What are stirrings?

• How are stirrings treated? Explain why the community would “treat” them?

• How important is sameness in Jonas’s community? How important is it in your community?

Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story
or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or
provoke a decision.

S.W.B.A.T. Identify specific details from the chapters that illustrate the themes of “sameness.”

S.W.B.A.T. Explain how particular lines of dialogue create additional meaning in the story.

Guided Practice
Helps teach oral reading. When I have students read a passage, they only read as much as they can handle, and then say 'popcorn' and the name of another student, who reads next
Introduction into Learning Menu
This is a unit on The Giver by Lois Lowry. It is planned for 5 days in an 8th grade class. It will consist of daily lessons and activities that correspond with each given lesson. The themes of this unit are “sameness vs. diversity,” and “societal rules.”

The Giver was written in 1993 by Lois Lowry, a children’s literature writer known for writing about difficult subject matters for children. As a child, Lowry moved a lot because her father was in the army. She lived in different states and a few different countries. Her experiences living in many different cultures gave her an understanding of how societies are formed and how they function. The Giver is a dystopian novel and it touches on some of the same themes found in other classic dystopian novels like 1984 by George Orwell. These themes being totalitarianism, sexual repression, and sameness. In 1993, there were many debates on political correctness. People argued whether or not America should encourage the celebration of cultural differences among its diverse citizens, or if it should ignore those differences in an attempt to make everyone feel equally accepted. Lois Lowry seems to be poking at these arguments in this novel by showing the downsides to everyone looking and behaving in the same way. As popular as The Giver is, it has been widely scrutinized by parents and libraries for its depictions of sexuality and violence, being that its target audience is middle and high school students. Despite the criticism, it remains one of the most popular children’s novels among students.
Popcorn Reading
Determine a theme or central idea of a text and analyze its development over the course of the text, including its relationship to the characters, setting, and plot; provide an objective summary of the text.

Analyze how particular lines of dialogue or incidents in a story
or drama propel the action, reveal aspects of a character, or
provoke a decision.

SWBAT Identify specific details from the chapters that illustrate the thems of "societal rules"
SWBAT explain how particular lines of dialogue create additional meaning in the story.

Short Response Questions
1. If some older people in your community were to observe you, what job do you think they would give you and why?

2. Do you think the rule against bragging is a good one? Why or why not?


Write narratives to develop real

or imagined experiences or

events using effective technique,

relevant descriptive details, and

well-structured event sequences.
SWBAT construct their own utopian society that will take into account the shortcomings of other societies.
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