In Among the Hidden, twelve year old Luke lives in a future dystonia society where the government has passed a law banning parents from having more than two children. The story opens with Luke, an illegal third child, enjoying his last minutes of freedom outdoors. The government has bought the woods behind Luke’s house to build a neighborhood of mansions. Without the woods as cover and with neighbors living so close, Luke must hide indoors.
Check out these five great writing prompts to use with Among the Hidden.
Writing Prompts for the Book
What is it like to be a shadow child?
Imagine you are a third child. What would your life be like? Would your family be more like Jen’s who don’t believe the government has the power to monitor citizen’s lives through the telephone, television, or computer? Does your home have technology? If so, what types? Would your family be more like Luke’s who completely believes the government has the power to practically read the minds of its citizens? Where would you spend your days? Would you hide in an attic room the way Luke does, or would you have the freedom to move around the house? How would you spend your time? Would you read quietly or play computer games?
What are the pros and cons of having a third child law?
Imagine your country is facing a major population explosion. People are starving. This could be because the food is not distributed correctly or simple not available. You are on a panel of government officials having to make some tough decisions about whether or not a third family law should go into effect. Make a T-chart and list the pros and cons of having a third child law. You may wish to read up on the laws that China created to get some background information for your T-chart. Here some good sites:
- See How the One-Child Policy Changed China from National Geographic
- 5 Things to Know about China’s 1-Child Policy from CBC News
What is the city like?
Haddix tells the reader that Among the Hidden is set in the future. When you read about Luke’s and Jen’s lives, no mention of any advanced technology is mentioned. Could their society be like The Hunger Games where advanced technology is owned by a few wealthy citizens living in the capitol city? Write a description of the advancements that the futuristic society has created.
What is a totalitarian government?
Luke lives under a totalitarian government. His parents worry about having enough money to pay the bills especially after the government tells his family they must sell their hogs. Jen says the government wants everyone to be vegetarians. Just how much control does a totalitarian government have? Can they dictate what people eat? Research what a totalitarian government can do and how they keep their citizens from disobeying the strict rules. You may wish to begin with Hitler’s Nazi Government.
What types of propaganda could the government use to keep its citizens under control?
A number of propaganda techniques can be uses to convince people to think a specific way:
- loaded terms
Research each of these types and decide which would be the most successful for a totalitarian government to use to control its citizens.
Create a one of the following:
BILLBOARD (picture and words) Billboards must be read by drivers as they are quickly driving down the highway. Your drawing must be large and simple. Your words must be quickly read.
MAGAZINE LAYOUT (picture and words) A magazine illustration uses details. Your writing may be a paragraph.
RADIO SPOT (words only) You will need to persuasive your listeners with vivid descriptions, slogans, or a creative story.
TELEVISION NEWSCAST (story map – series of at least 4 pictures with words for each) You will draw a series of pictures with words depicting what the actors will be saying under each drawing.
Get these writing prompts in a printable pdf.
Free Samples from Among the Hidden Book Unit
If you would like to try out the Among the Hidden Book Unit before you buy it, this download contains the following free samples:
- Vocabulary Practice for Chapters 1-2
- Comprehension Questions for Chapters 1-2
- Constructed Response Question – Course of Action
- Photos to Show What the Rest of the Unit Looks Like
Among the Hidden Book Unit
Among the Hidden Book Unit contains graphic organizers for an interactive notebook and game activities covering vocabulary, comprehension questions, constructed response writing, and skill practice.