The Giver Teaching Ideas

The Giver Teaching ActivitiesEnjoy these five teaching ideas to use with your novel study of The Giver including a free downloadable activity and samples from The Giver Book Unit.  

Twelve-year-old Jonas lives in a futuristic world where prejudice, war, hunger, crime, as well as the freedom to select a spouse has been eliminated. Jonas is chosen by the Elders to receive memories from the past. These memories come from the time before free will was removed from society. Will Jonas be able to handle the memories of pain and war? Will these memories change Jonas? Read Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver to see how Jonas’s world is turned upside down by the past.

Teaching Ideas

Utopian Society

When reading The Giver for the first time, the Utopian community is a real shock for students. They often wonder if a society such as Jonas’s could really exist. Students buzz with many thought-provoking questions. Having students plan their own unique Utopian community is a natural result. Check out these links:

Build Your Own Utopia: ‘The Giver’ PBL Unit

Project Utopia: Based on Lois Lowry’s The Giver

Utopia Project- The Giver by Lois Lowry

 Audio Version

The Giver Read Aloud by Mr. Koch

Symbols Interactive Notebook Activity 

Free The Giver Activity on Book Symbols

Free The Giver Activity on Book Symbols

In this free download, you will receive card-like foldable organizers for students to write about the symbols. The download also contains a detailed answer key. In brief:

The Color Red – strong emotions such as danger and excitement

Gabriel – too young to understand the rigid rules of the community. His innocence is a symbol of hope. He stands for a brighter future, a way to change society.

The Sled – symbolizes both pleasure and pain. In the end, Jonas finds a real sled which he rides into his new life. This time the sled symbolizes freedom from the past and entry into a new world.

Light-Colored Eyes – people associate eyes as a way of seeing inside a person.

The River – symbolizes many things. It can be a border between the community and Elsewhere. It is a peaceful place to meditate. The river can also be dangerous and destructive. All-in-all the river is a boundary or a dividing line between society and freedom and life and death.

The Giver – symbolizes choice and freedom to the community by releasing memories to everyone.

Free Printables for The Giver SymbolsFree Samples from The Giver Book Unit

 The following download contains several samples from The Giver Book Unit. You will find the following:

  •  Lesson Plans at a Glance

  •  Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2

  •  Multiple Choice Comprehension Quiz for Chapters 1-2

  •  Constructed Response Question and Organizer for Chapters 1-2

  •  Skill Lesson 1 – Using Context Clues

The Giver Book Unit

The Giver Book Unit


The Giver Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.

Gay Miller

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