Date of lesson: March 10, 2003
Time frame of lesson: 15 minutes
7 students/13-14 years old/grade 8
This lesson will be an introduction activity into reading Lois Lowry’s novel The Giver. Students are familiar with the basic elements of a story. Students have worked collaboratively on a number of projects. I have also briefly introduced the idea of a utopian society. Reading level of the class ranges from low to high, with the largest number of students working at average or slightly above average levels.
At the end of this lesson, students will be able to:
- Discuss some of the problems facing society;
- Collaborate with groups to rank the problems, according to their opinions;
- Explain their results to classmates;
- Compare results between the groups.
- Two pads of sticky notes
- Two large sheets of posterboard
- A list of the problems the students will be ranking
Before beginning the activity, I will introduce the activity by reminding students of the conversation we had about utopian societies in our previous lesson. I will then remind them of the list we composed during our class discussion.
Finally, I will give them the instructions for their task.
A. Students will be divided into two groups.
B. Students will be given the following list of problems facing society, (generated during a class discussion):
C. Each group will be given a pad of sticky notes. They will be asked to write each item from the list on a separate sheet.
D. The students will then sort the sheets so that the biggest problem is on top, and the rest are ranked accordingly.
E. Using the posterboard, each group will create a billboard displaying their rankings.
F. As a class, we will compare the results between the two groups.
I will evaluate the students’ participation during class by walking around and listening to discussions within the two groups.
When we are about a third of the way through the novel, students will be given a quiz. One question on the quiz will ask students to write a short response to a question relating their reading to this activity.
Students will write a brief journal entry reflecting on the activity. We will begin reading the novel, making note of the ways in which Jonas’s community has appeared to solve societal problems.
*procedure adapted from a lesson in the fantastic resource Active Learning: 101 Strategies to Teach Any Subject