Grade: Middle
Subject: Literature

#2071. Create Your Own COMMUNITY

Literature, level: Middle
Posted Wed Dec 6 15:51:27 PST 2000 by Carrie Bushman (
Indiana Univ. of PA, Indiana, PA USA
Materials Required: "The Giver" by Lowis Lowry; Internet Access; Research Materials; Posterboard, markers
Activity Time: 4 class periods
Concepts Taught: Putting personal experience into reading

Lesson Plan for 7th or 8th grade Language Arts/Literature Class

Language Arts - Reading
7th/8th Grade
Instruction Time - Four 45 minute class periods.


The Purpose of this lesson is to introduce students to the idea that they can relate to books. In this particular lesson, students will create their own community, based on their reading of Lowis Lowry's The Giver and other research. This lesson meets standards 1, 2, 3, 7, 8, 9 and 11 of The National Council of Teachers of English and Language Arts Standards for the English Language Arts. (


Upon completion of this assignment, students will be able to discuss "their community" and the elements they have chosen to include in their ideal community by presenting to the class a collage of ideas incorporating the ideas presented by the lesson rubric and by completing and including 100 % those requirements.

IV. Materials

- Lowry, Lois. The Giver.
- The Internet - students must have access to research tools available on the inernet.
- Other Research tools, such as access to the library.
- Magazines, newspapers - students must be able to cut from these.
- Glue
- Posterboard
- Markers, Colored Pencils, etc.
- Scissors

1. Students use research to learn about themselves and other cultures.
2. Students apply personal experience to reading.
3. Students possess and internal cultural awareness.


A. Introduction and Motivation

Now that we've read about Jonas' perfect world, You will have the chance to create your own "ideal community." You use what you know about Jonas' community, your own community and research that you will do on communities of the world to define one way of life best suited for you!

B. Lesson Body

This is a post reading activity - the reading of The Giver should already be complete.

The teacher will introduce the grading rubric to students. This will serve as a basis for research.

Students will be given 2 class periods to use any resources available - the internet, library, etc to gather information needed for the collage they will make. See rubric for specific guidelines of what students should research.

The students will have completed by the third class a poster collage including all elements from the rubric.

Students will present their collage and discuss the discussion questions from the rubric. Every student will present.

C. Closure

The teacher will briefly discuss concepts of cultural identity, and use specific examples from student work to show how the students already each posses their own cultural identity without being aware of it!


You will be required to research THREE TOPICS from as many cultures as possible. The three topics are:
Government and Laws

Some cultures you may want to look up: Native American tribes, Asian, Middle Eastern, Jewish, Urban, Chicano, and any other cultures you can identify and find.

Combined with what you've learned from Jonas' world and those that you've researched - make an ideal world! You'll create a collage - you will have written elements as well as pictures clipped from magazines or old photographs. The more variety, the better!

On your collage, you must include the following -
1) What system of Government does your community have? Is it democratic? Are there elections? If not, how are officials appointed? What sort of officials are there - kings, queens?
2) 3 Specific Laws - You must give us 3 unusual laws that your community has - for example, do not include "You will go to jail for murder" but instead include "We will tar and feather you for chewing gum in school." Each law must included the type of punishement that occurs if one breaks the law.
3) 3 Specific Jobs - You must include the 3 most important jobs from your community, including the one that you yourself will have. For example, will you have a Receiver of Memories? A Medicine Man?
4) You must include a family portrait - how many people live in one home? Is there a limit on the number of children each family can have? Are there grandparents, etc.

You do NOT have to include things specifically from the book or the research, but during your presentation, you must be able to answer the following questions pertaining to every requirement:
Where did this idea come from? Why is this ideal for you? Why did you decide against certain elements that you found in your research - what made them unappealing?

You will be graded as follows:
System of Government - 10 pts
3 Specific Laws & punishments - 5 pts each (15 total)
3 Specific Jobs - 5 pts each (15 total)
Family portrait - 10 pts.
Presentation (Are you able to answer the 3 discussion questions for each element?) - 25 pts.

Total: 75 Points.