“The Giver” is a very easy book to read. Many libraries/schools classify this book as “Middle School” subject material. However, I’ve found that “The Giver” is a very thought provoking book about social issues. Lois Lowry was inspired to write this book after she visited her father in a nursing home. He had Alzheimers, and had forgotten about her oldest sibling who had died young. Lowry was then forced to wonder: Was it a good thing that he had forgotten such a painful memory?
This week we discussed quite a few questions that the book raised. Consider the following questions:
1) What are the advantages to having rules? The disadvantages?
2) If you could lie, would you?
3) If you could ask anything and receive an honest answer, what would you ask?
4) What would a world without color be like? (Consider black and white movies).
5) On page 98, Jonas and the Giver discuss what would happen if people had choices, and they said that people would choose wrong. What do you think of that? Is it safer to have someone else chose your job (or spouse)?
6) Do you believe painful memories bring wisdom?
7) Memories are easier borne when shared. If you could take someone else’s pain, would you? Do you want everyone to feel pain?
Our creative writing activity this week was to describe color (or a color) to someone who did not know what it was. The responses were really great, and students chose many different ways to discuss color!
We also played a game called “Telephone Pictionary”. This game begins with a simple phrase or description, but as it is passed among students they must alternatively describe and draw the phrase. In the end, “A man playing basketball” easily turned into “A Penguin and elves”. It was a hilarious game to play! This game had a slight tie-in to “The Giver”. It made us wonder if memories can truly be shared equally, and also made us wonder how memories can be skewed over time.
We had a great Week 7! In fact, I think most of the students have already finished the book!