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The Giver

Last updated Friday, December 14, 2012

Author: Lois Lowry
Date of Publication: 1994
ISBN: 0547424779
Grade Level: 5th    (GLCs: Click here for grade level guidelines.)
Date(s) Used: Dec. 2012

Synopsis: The story centers on twelve-year-old Jonas, who lives in a seemingly ideal world. Not until he is given his life assignment as the Receiver does he begin to understand the dark secrets behind this fragile community.

Discussion topics for before reading:
•  What do you think this book is about, judging by the cover?
•  As you hear the story, consider how the community described in the book is similar to or different from our own.
•  When/where do you think this story takes place?

•  Apprehensive- uneasy or fearful.
•  Wheedle- to try to influence a person by flattering or beguiling words.
•  Sift- to examine closely.
•  Awed- filled with admiration.
•  Hoard- to accumulate food, money, etc. in a hidden or guarded place.
•  Remorse- deep and painful regret for wrongdoing.
•  Bewildered- completely puzzled or confused.
•  Chortle- to chuckle gleefully.

Discussion topics for during/after reading:
•  Jonas remembers a frightening moment when a plane flies over the community. Why is this moment so frightening for Jonas and the other community members?
•  What do you think the voice on the speaker means when he/she says the pilot will "be released."
•  How does Jonas's community seem different from our world?
•  Why is it a disgrace to be released?
•  Why does a committee name the children in the community? How do you feel about this? Is it a good thing or a bad thing?
•  What is odd about Lily's comfort object?
•  What kinds of changes will occur after the ceremony, according to Jonas's father?
•  Why is The Ceremony of Twelve so important?
•  What rule does the father break? What do you think the consequences will be?
•  On page 29 Jonas experiences something funny when throwing an apple. What do you think has happened?
•  Do you think the people in the community have freedom? Why or why not?

Craft ideas:
•  The community described in the book is very different from our own. Draw what you imagine the community to look like. How is it different from our world?
•  Imagine that you have been given an "assignment." What would it be? Draw yourself working at your new job.

*Note: These craft ideas are just suggestions. You can use them, but you don’t have to use them. You can expand upon them, or add your own twist. Remember, though, that the focus of your time should not be on the development and execution of a craft; the focus should be on the read-aloud and the enjoyment of the book!