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The Giver, by Lois Lowry Essay

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“The Giver” a novel by Lois Lowry (1993), is an, engaging science fiction tale that provides the reader with examples of thought provoking ethical and moral quandaries. It is a novel geared to the young teenage reader but also kept me riveted. Assigning this novel as a class assignment would provide many opportunities for teachers and students to discuss values and morals.
The Plot
The main protagonist is a young boy named Jonas, living in a utopian community, which, at first glance, seems like an ideal place to live. In this society each birthday celebration has its own distinct rights of passage and privileges. Each age group has distinct expectations of behavior and responsibilities to the community. Infractions of expectations carry extreme shame and might even lead to being “released to elsewhere” from the community. Jonas is a well-behaved young boy who follows the guidelines without thinking about them. We first meet Jonas when he is eleven and apprehensive about his upcoming 12th birthday. This birthday will determine what his life’s work will be within the community. The community is lead by a group of elders and it is the elders who determine what jobs each 12 year old will have. The children have no word or input into their jobs, they must accept whatever is decided for them. In his ceremony of twelve, Jonas is surprised to learn that he has been picked to be Receiver of Memories in training, a unique and prestigious position.
The community he belongs to is a community where everything is based on sameness and avoiding painful situations. This avoidance comes at the cost of freedom, individual differences and extreme environmental controls. There is no color, no weather changes and no hills in this world. To pr...


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...roup project where they create a society and choose what values they think are important for this society. They could present their project in various formats: PowerPoint, video, written story or a poster either way they need to justify the values they chose.
“Once a teacher has identified an opening in the curriculum for exploring a moral value, the next step is to plan an effective lesson or unit around that value. That means selecting good materials (Lickona, 1991, p. 170)”. I feel this book is exactly that, a riveting story that can expose students to great moral values.



Works Cited

Lowry, L. (1993). The giver. New York, NY: Bantam Doubleday Dell Books for Young Readers a division of Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing Groups, Inc.
Lickona, T. (1991). Educating for character: How our schools can teach respect and responsibility. New York, NY: Bantam Books.



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