This week we began to read “The Giver”. This book is by Lois Lowry, and was written in 1993. “The Giver” is a great discussion book because it raises questions about society and government. Would you rather live in a peaceful world where your life is decided for you, or would you rather live in a world where chaos and pain exist in everyday life, but you have the freedom to make your own choice?
In the book, precision of words is very important. To say “starving” instead of “hungry” is an exaggeration that will not be tolerated. We played a game of “Password” where it is very important to say the correct word. One member of each of the two teams tries to get their teammates to guess a word given to them on a card. The catch? The team leaders only get one word to help their teammates. Especially difficult was the word “employed”.
Another important aspect of “The Giver”, is the moment where all 12 year old members of the community are given an assignment chosen for them by the Elders of the community. We staged our own mock “ceremony” where classmates decided the fate of an individual, and then compared this decision to what the individual foresaw for themselves. Some decisions aligned nicely, others were way off! (I’m supposed to be an acrobat?)
Below are several of the discussion questions we considered.
1) What do you think of the sharing of feelings around the table? Do you think it’s beneficial?
2) What are the benefits of a committee deciding your assignment?
3) What do you think about the family units?
4) Precision of speech: Is this good or is it overboard?
5) Does your family have any rituals or traditions associated with birthdays or turning a specific age?