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Task Cards: The Giver–Inference Skills Chapters 1-5
This set of 20 task cards for The Giver provide students with specific examples of how inferences are planted in stories and practice in spotting and interpreting them.
This file covers Chapters 1-5. Each one presents a story quote, story facts, or a combination of the two with inference clues that involve plot analysis or character development. The accompanying question is presented in multiple choice style with four possible answers.
The package includes answer keys, an answer sheet, a cover card that can double as a container label, and a student instruction card. Book page numbers for each question is included in the answer keys to give teachers the choice of using the cards as review warm ups or quizzes.
Additional Task Card Sets for chapters 6-10, Chapters 11-15, and 16-23 are available below.
View Sample Pages HERE
The Giver: Task Cards Inference Skills Chapters 11-15
This set of 24 cards for Lois Lowry’s 1994 Newbery Medal Winner provide students with specific examples of how inferences are planted in stories and practice in spotting and interpreting them. These Task Cards cover Chapters 11-15. Each one presents a story quote, story facts, or a combination of the two with inference clues that involve plot analysis or character development. The accompanying question is presented in multiple choice style with four possible answers. The package includes answer keys, an answer sheet, a cover card that can double as a container label, and a student instruction card. Book page numbers for each question is included in the answer keys to give teachers the choice of using the cards as review warm ups or quizzes.
Task Cards: The Giver Inference Skills Chapters 16-23
This set of 24 task cards for The Giver provide students with specific examples of how inferences are planted in stories and practice in spotting and interpreting them. These Task Cards cover Chapters 16-23. Each one presents a story quote, story facts, or a combination of the two with inference clues that involve plot analysis or character development. The accompanying question is presented in multiple choice style with four possible answers. The package includes answer keys, an answer sheet, a cover card that can double as a container label, and a student instruction card. Book page numbers for each question is included in the answer keys to give teachers the choice of using the cards as review warm ups or quizzes.
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I’m a curriculum writer, literacy educator, and all around book lover with a passion for helping English teachers engage their students with creative, high-quality resources. My mission? To make teaching English a whole lot easier for you, teacher friend!
The Giver: 8 Creative Class Activities
The Giver by Lois Lowry is a teacher’s dream novel. The complex dystopian plotline, dynamic characters, and thought-provoking themes provide so many opportunities for teachers to foster text-to-self and text-to-world connections. Critical thinking activities that allow students to empathize with the characters are a must-have in any novel unit. Below are 8 of my favorite activities for The Giver that do just that.
1. The Ceremony of 12 Simulation
This first activity is always a class favorite. It allows students to empathize with Jonas and his friends as they are assigned careers by the Chief Elder during the Ceremony of 12 .
How This Activity Works:
Welcome students to the classroom with a colorful poster for The Ceremony of Twelve. Once they are all settled, immediately transform into The Chief Elder. Address the class explaining that although they have spent the last 11 years learning to fit in and standardize their behavior, that this ceremony will celebrate their differences. Then, one-by-one present each student with their new job and a designated card that states all of the roles and responsibilities. After each student gets their assignment, have the rest of the class say in unison, “Thank you for your childhood.”
Give your students a choice of assignment. They can either fill out an application for a job switch or write a journal discussing their feelings on their new role in the community!
2. Seeing Beyond Activity
In The Giver , Jonas has the capacity to ‘see beyond.’ This means that Jonas, unlike the other members of the community, can use his senses from memory that allow him the ability to see color. This fun, seeing beyond class activity allows students to step into Jonas’ shoes to understand his ability to see beyond.
Students enter the classroom to a colorful poster welcoming them to Seeing Beyond. Ask them to circulate the room to different areas that have hidden image optical illusions. Some will be able to see the hidden pictures, while others will not.
After the activity, students work with partners to discuss how they felt when they were or were not able to see the hidden image. They will also discuss how it felt to successfully or unsuccessfully help someone else see the image and how this relates to the novel.
3. Memory Transmission Activity
Through his role as The Receiver, Jonas receives transmitted memories of the past from The Giver. This FREE memory transmission activity allows students to empathize with both Jonas and The Giver as they will both receive and transmit memories. This one has always been a real hit with my students!
Put a colorful poster on the door welcoming your class to The Giver’s Annex. Then, transform into The Giver and give each group of students descriptions of new memories that Jonas will receive.
Some of the memories involve painful memories, like homelessness, while others involve more positive memories like Neil Armstrong’s arrival on the moon! Students discuss prompting questions that will have them understand the value of keeping the world’s memories safe. After all the memories have been transmitted, they will shift into the role of The Giver. In this role, they will transmit one important historical memory to Jonas of their choosing.
4. The House of Old Activity
The elderly in The Giver are seemingly treated with the utmost respect and care in The House of Old , but the reader soon learns that things are not as positive as they appear. The elders of the community are killed (a.k.a released from society). This activity allows students to examine how the elderly are treated in different cultures/countries in the world and how this compares to how they are treated in Jonas’ community.
Students will enter the classroom to a colorful poster welcoming them to The House Of Old. They participate in small group discussions with information cards that provide details about how the elderly are treated in different cultures. When they are done, they fill in the blank card with how the elderly are treated in the novel and share with the rest of the class!
5. Dream Sharing Activity
In Jonas’ community, everyone must share any dreams they have with their family members. On the surface, dream sharing seems like a good way to keep open communication about inner feelings. In reality, however, it is another way that the government can keep control of the thoughts of their citizens and squash any independent thinking. This activity allows students to interpret their own dreams and consider what deeper meaning their dreams may have.
After reading chapter 6, a poster welcoming them to Dream Sharing greets students at the door. Break the class up into groups of 4 and tell each group to imagine they are family members. Each group receives dream prompt cards with common topics for dreams that have symbolic meanings. Each student shares a dream they remember which connects with one of the topics. If they can’t connect with any topic, they can share any dream they remember.
After everyone has shared their dreams, give each group the Dream Interpretation Cards that explain the symbolic significance of each dream topic. Students discuss and reflect on how it felt to reveal a dream and consider whether or not this would be a good practice in their everyday life.
6. A World Without Pain Activity
In Jonas’ community, members are sheltered from feeling any physical or emotional pain. While this theoretically seems like a peaceful way to live, Jonas soon learns that feeling no pain desensitizes people and doesn’t allow them to appreciate positive emotions. From pain, people are also able to learn from mistakes and avoid making those same mistakes again in the future. This activity brings this idea to the forefront by showing students a real-life example of someone who feels no pain.
Students work in groups to read information about people who feel no physical pain. You could have them research Gabby Gingras or Ashlyn Blocker, for example. As a group, students discuss whether or not they would like to live a life without physical pain and what challenges they might face if they chose yes. Then, they work with their group to brainstorm a list of advantages and disadvantages to living a life free of emotional pain.
7. The Telling of Feelings Activity
Jonas and his family participate in a nightly ritual called The Telling of Feelings where each person describes an emotion that they experienced during the day and discusses it with the others. Help students understand what this ritual would be like by forming classroom families and simulating the practice.
After reading chapter 2, put students into groups. It is preferable that groups consist of two boys and two girls, but it isn’t necessary. Tell them that the group is their new family and they are to assign roles (parents and siblings).
Each student gets a “Feelings Card” that they fill out in preparation for the ritual. Students must choose a precise word that describes a feeling they had that day. Each member of the group shares their feelings while the other members listen carefully.
After the ritual, have students discuss whether or not they could see themselves doing this with their family, if it would make a family closer, and why they think this is a required ritual in Jonas’ community.
8. Family Forming Activity
In The Giver , couples can only have 2 children as mandated by the government. While this may seem completely removed from the modern-day, this activity will teach students about China’s one-child policy and allow them to consider how it relates to the novel.
This activity works best with a bit of pre-reading discussion. Students discuss how they would react if the government limited the number of children they could have. Ask them if they think this could or would ever happen.
After some discussion, have them read an article or watch a video on China’s one-child policy. I have students record their thoughts as they read using a graphic organizer. The one I use has them consider their thoughts, what they learned, and something that surprised them. Ask students to make a connection between this policy and the events of the novel.
Grab a ready-to-use unit plan with over everything you need to teach T he Giver (340 pages/slides of eye-catching powerpoints, printable assignments, questions, vocabulary, and interactive class activities) by clicking here .
I hope you found this helpful! If you are interested in more tips and resources for developing students’ reading skills in ELA, click here.
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The Giver Inference Test, Making Inferences, The Giver Test, Assessment
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ABOUT THIS RESOURCE
★ Text – The Giver
★ Inference Multiple-Choice Assessment
★ Print and Digital (PDF and Google Slides)
★ Features 16 short passages
★ ANSWER KEYS included
This resource includes:
★ 16 Multiple-Choice Inference Task Cards
★ 16 Multiple-Choice ANSWER KEY Inference Task Cards
★ 1 Inference Test Format (same as passages in the Inference Task Cards)
★ 1 Inference Test Format ANSWER KEY
★ 1 Inference Graphic Organizer
★ 2 Inference Bookmarks
★ 1 Student Answer Sheet
★ Google Slide Link
This resource is also included in Google Slides! Text boxes have already been created to make it easier for you and your students! Each slide includes two instruction solution tabs for when students accidentally delete text boxes and when they want to zoom in (to enlarge worksheets). It’s super helpful for students who are not that familiar with how to use Google Slides or need the extra assistance.
Students always need additional support in mastering the skill of inferencing. You can use the The Giver Multiple-Choice Inference Task Cards to help students practice making inferences.
Included is a one-page Three-Column Graphic Organizer Chart that requires students to make evidence-based inferences. Students record the following information in the Inference Graphic Organizer: Information from the text, their own Prior/Background Knowledge, and Inferences. This is a great scaffolding tool for ELL and Special Ed students.
Suggestions on how you can use the Multiple-Choice Inference Task Cards:
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Your purchase includes one copy to be used in a single classroom. If you are looking for multiple copies, please be sure to purchase additional licenses.
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5 Engaging Activities to Teach The Giver
After jumping into the world of middle school ELA, I have to say that The Giver is my new Gatsby . In other words, it’s my new favorite whole-class novel. It’s even better than Gatsby (sorry, old sport), and it’s such a gem of a book that it just might keep me teaching middle school forever! The Giver is engaging, thought-provoking, and accessible! My favorite part of teaching it is watching how inquisitive, curious, and invested my students become as they read. The book definitely sparks a lot of curiosity on its own, but I deliberately teach this book to hook and engage students from the start! I love to play up the “mystery” of it all, encourage students to ask lots of questions, take note of all the interesting things they observe, and start guessing about what’s really going on in the community.
If you’re ready to similarly engage your students, then here are 5 of my favorite activities for teaching The Giver !
1. PRE-READING LEARNING STATIONS
Learning stations are my favorite strategy for hooking my students before reading. They’re so versatile, engaging, and effective that I use them at the beginning of almost every single unit/novel! A good set of pre-reading learning stations will preview essential background information AND spark students’ curiosity before they have a chance to turn to page 1.
For The Giver, here’s what that looks like:
- Students learn about the genre (dystopian/science-fiction).
- Students debate essential questions through an engaging anticipation guide.
- Students explore the differences between utopias and dystopias.
- Students preview and react to a few of the community’s strict rules.
- Students play a creative word challenge game designed to get them thinking about the power of language in the book!
As you can see, these activities hook and prepare students for further reading! These print/digital pre-reading learning stations are available separately HERE or bundled with other resources for The Giver HERE. For more information about creating your own learning stations, check out the following blog posts:
- 10 Reasons to Implement Learning Stations
- How to Create Engaging Learning Stations
- How to Facilitate Successful Learning Stations
- 10 Ideas for Virtual Learning Stations
2. MOCK CEREMONY OF 12
Chapter 8 of The Giver is practically begging to be acted out in front of an audience of middle schoolers, so take advantage of this and host your own mock Ceremony of 12. It’s a tiny bit of extra effort and work, but I promise you it’s worth the memorable experience. Not to mention, a mock ceremony is a great way to review the chapter, spark connections, and facilitate rich discussions! Here’s what I did to host our Ceremony of 12:
- I created Assignment cards for different jobs in the community. During the ceremony, I assigned these randomly!
- I wrote up a script so I didn’t have to totally wing it as the Chief Elder.
- I designed ceremony programs for my students, so they could follow along during the ceremony. These programs also prompted them to answer a few essential questions and reflect on the chapter/ceremony.
On the day of the ceremony, I donned a black gown (from my college graduation) and a wig (at my students’ request). I also sported a gavel just for fun, and of course, I acted as ridiculous as possible. The whole experience was so much fun for me and my students! 10/10, definitely recommend!
You can find all of these mock ceremony materials, as well as thorough teacher instructions, in this growing unit bundle for The Giver.
3. QUESTION TRAIL
A question trail is my go-to activity to mix things up and break the normal routines of any novel unit! If you’re unfamiliar with it, a question trail is a unique, kinesthetic activity that gets students up and moving on a “trail” of questions around the classroom.
This activity consists of different multiple choice “stations” or “spots” around the room. At each station, students answer a multiple-choice question. Each answer (a, b, c, or d) will send the students to a different station. If students answer each question correctly, they will travel to each station and complete a full circuit. If students answer a question incorrectly, they will eventually find themselves at a station they’ve already completed, which tells them that they need to backtrack. This gives you clear, immediate feedback so you can see who is getting it (“on the trail”) vs. who is not (“off the trail”).
This means a question trail is a great way to review a chapter with both comprehension and analysis questions. I like to do a question trail after Chapters 16-17 of The Giver, just to make sure students are understanding the book and the standards we are practicing before the climax in Chapter 19. Of course, you can create your own question trail for any chapter/s in the book. If you’re interested in my student-ready question trail for Chapters 16-17 of The Giver, you can check it out HERE. To learn more about how to create question trails, head to this blog post.
4. ACTING OUT CHAPTER 19
When you spend so much time cultivating students’ curiosity and playing up the mystery of “release,” it only makes sense to do this dramatic chapter justice! My students read most of the book for reading homework, but I purposefully do not assign Chapter 19 as reading homework! I selfishly want to witness their reactions to learning what “release” really means. To make the most of this scene, I like to transform the chapter into a script and have students act it out in front of the class.
Don’t feel pressured to buy props or get too fancy. In fact, using baby dolls as props might be taking it too far! Because it was 2021, my class ended up using two identical bottles of sanitizer spray for the newchildren twins. Yep, it got that weird, but it was hilarious. If your students are anything like mine, this will make for a memorable reading experience and give you a great chance to reflect, discuss, and process the chapter after the acting!
5. THE GIVER FILM ANALYSIS
I absolutely love facilitating film analysis during/after reading novels, and The Giver is no exception! Film analysis is an engaging, accessible way to scaffold the challenging skill of literary analysis. With the right structure, guidance, and questions, watching a movie can prompt critical thinking and spark rich discussions. I know many fellow ELA teachers don’t like the film adaptation of The Giver because it changes so much from the book, but I think it offers the perfect opportunity for discussion & analysis.
In addition to asking students to compare/contrast the text and the film, try asking them why they think the film directors made certain changes and how these changes affect the audience. These kinds of questions spark more thoughtful insight and engaging discussions. For print/digital worksheets with these types of questions, check out these The Giver Film Analysis resources. For more information on successfully facilitating film analysis for any novel, head to this blog post!
I hope these ideas help you jumpstart your unit planning for The Giver ! For more engaging activities and resources for teaching this book, check out this growing unit bundle full of learning stations, quickwrites, vocabulary resources, and more! If you have any questions about these activities or how I teach The Giver, leave them below and I’ll do my best to answer. 🙂
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