The Giver: A Middle School Book Club Unit

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Set Up

Literature Selection (Newberry winner, great controversial issue, imaginative, sci fi?)

Invitation into theme: Journal & discuss the perfect world & conformity/individuality (examples, non-examples, pros, cons)

Access: Provided book on tape at listening center, each student has own text, contact itinerant staff. parents notified of reading schedule

Tools & Modeling

Practice Book Club: Do shared reading of childrens book, Chrysanthemum, or read aloud of Freak the Mighty, & do practice tripod (plot, personal, & authors craft) as response & fishbowl Book Club

Grouping (table of 4, mixed gender & ability & behavior)

Curricular Connections

Process Writing: Poetry Writing Tools

Word Study: denotation, connotation, precise language use

Oral Language: debate

Angles of Literary Response

Beginning Stages - Tripod


plot line

literary elements and devices (detecting)

vocabulary (defining/denotation)



Authors Craft

vocabulary (critique, word choice, connotation)


literary devices (critique)

Personal Response

How does the story, character(s), or theme(s) relate to your own life?

What does this story remind you of?

What is your opinion of the story, character(s), or theme(s)?

Book Club

Group Checklist

Connection to Current Community Shares

Angles to approach a book (personal connection, authors technique, & plot)


Definition of Conformity

Basic Group Cooperation



Polite discussion manners

Depth of Discussion

Beyond the words in journal

Amount of response to each other

Literary terminology

Quoted material from the book


Ongoing Assessment

anecdotal records

student reading logs

tapes of discussions

self assessment

Summative Assessment

Discussion record, recording, & self assessment

Complete reading log

Poem on conformity

Test: Conformity issue in fresh text (i.e. The Sneetches)

Debate: Conformity related issue (i.e. school uniforms, cults, military, Bill of Rights)

Expository Essay: Whats your point?

Hands On Project(s) (Dream House, Individuality Shield, T-Shirt with conformity/individuality slogan)

Conformity Unit - Related Readings


The Giver (L. Lowry)
The Chocolate War (R. Cormier)
Lord of the Flies (W. Golding)
1984 (G. Orwell)
Farenheit 451 (R. Bradbury
Last Safe Place on Earth
A Place Called Ugly (Avi)
Back to the Woods (Krakow)

Childrens Books

The Big Orange Splot
Chrysanthemum (K. Henkes)
Chesters Way (K. Henkes)
My Many Colored Days (Dr. Seuss)
The Araboolies of Liberty Street
The Sneetches (Dr. Seuss)
Elmer Willie Was Different
The Island of the Skag

Short Stories

The New Kid (M. Heyert)
The Metaphor
The Lottery (S. Jackson)


Thunder on Sycamore Street (R. Rose)


When I am an Old Woman
Hens Eggs (Anonymous)
Life (N. Reed)
Myself (E. Guest)
The Unknown Citizen (W. H. Auden)
The Cold Within (Anonymous)
Taught Me Purple (E.T. Hunt)
The Road Not Taken (R. Frost)
If I Were in Charge of the World (J. Viorst)
Echoes for the Eye: Poems to Celebrate Patterns in Nature
Poem Crazy


Looking Back (L. Lowry)
1995 Newberry Acceptance Speech (L. Lowry)
Memorandum for the Secretary of Education, Subject: Manual on School Uniforms (W.J. Clinton)


The Wave (movie)
Color Profiles (

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