Monday, May 30, 2016

Week 37: Symbolism in "The Giver" (week of 5/27/16)

We're at the point in the year where time is absolutely flying! We have eight school days left and a lot to cover. These next eight days will be going at lightening speed.

Next week, we'll be presenting our interviews that we've been working on all quarter. Students are going to be getting up in front of the class and "interviewing" for a job in the Community that "The Giver" is set in, only they'll be interviewing as the person whose biography they read. This presentation is our quickest; student realistically shouldn't be in front for the class for more than four or five minutes. It's one of the most challenging presentations because students have to synthesize their real-life person and the jobs in "The Giver" to find the best fit and, hopefully, land the job. Some students noted that none of the jobs I gave them fit their person. In those cases, I asked students to think a little deeper and choose the best fit. This project wasn't heavy on the writing; students only needed to complete their biography prep sheet (provided before Spring Break), job interview prep sheet (the actual questions they'll be answering), and a works cited/bibliography page. I removed the resume portion of the project, as we're short on time.

In addition to the job interviews, we're flying through "The Giver" and our character/symbolism study. This past week we took a look a Jonas' ability to see color (a gift no one else in the community has) and the eating of the Forbidden Fruit in the Garden of Eden from the Book of Genesis in the Bible. Every year, this is a powerful lesson as we compare Adam and Eve's gaining of knowledge by eating the fruit to what Jonas is going through as he approaches the Ceremony of 12 and his job. Please rest assured that I am merely teaching the symbolism between the two stories and am focussing on them from a literary standpoint. The religion, god, and/or theology aren't being taught at all; the stories are simply a springboard for making inferences.

Finally, my goal is to watch the movie version of "The Giver" Tuesday and Wednesday of the last week of the year. I'll be sending a permission slip home for the movie, as it's rated PG-13. You can visit for a full synopsis and parent guide. Any student who does not turn in a permission slip for any reason will be completing an alternate activity in an alternate location.


We're working hard in AVID to get our websites done. Click the picture above to be taken to our page. The pages that are currently published will open when clicked on; those who aren't done yet won't open. We're aiming to have all sites online by Friday.

Questions for the drive home and dinner table:
-Practice the job interview process with your son/daughter. Ask the questions and critique their answers, please.
-Is there anything that makes Jonas the typical protagonist in a dystopian novel? Why does this make him typical?
-What are you looking forward to this summer?

Warmest wishes,

Kevin Laffin

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