The Giver By Lois Lowry The Giver Chapter 1 – 2 Study Guide


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The Giver

By Lois Lowry

The Giver

Chapter 1 – 2

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 1

  1. Who is the author of the book?

  2. Who is telling the story?

  3. How would you describe the society in which Jonas lives?

  4. How is different is Jonas’ family from your own?

  5. What do you know about “release” in this society?

  6. How are children cared for in Jonas’ society?

Chapter 2

  1. What is the private conversation Jonas has with his parents?

  2. What rules does Jonas’ father disobey?

  3. How do people receive their Assignment?

  4. Why do you think Jonas’ Assignment will be?

The Giver

Chapter 3 – 5

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 3

  1. How does the society react to eye color?

  2. What is a Birthmother?
  3. When Lily says she would like to be a Birthmother, why is Mother so upset?

  4. For taking an apple home wow was Jonas disciplined?

  5. Why had the apple interested Jonas?

Chapter 4

  1. What do you think is the purpose of the volunteer hours?

  2. Why does Jonas not seem to have a niche?

  3. What is the nakedness rule?

  4. What is the Releasing Room and the releasing ceremony?

Chapter 5

  1. What is the morning ritual?

  2. Why must Jonas start taking a pill every day?

The Giver

Chapter 6 – 8

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 6

  1. What values does Jonas’ society encourage?

  2. What is interdependence?

  3. What is the difference between loss and release in Jonas’ society?

  4. Who makes the important decisions in Jonas’ society?

Chapter 7

  1. How does the Ceremony of Twelve start?

  2. What do numbers mean for each person?

  3. Why is number nineteen skipped in the Assignments?

  4. What do you think Jonas’ assignment will be now?

Chapter 8

  1. Why do Jonas and the audience feel ill at ease?

  2. What is announced as Jonas’ Assignment?
  3. What qualities does the Chief Elder explain Jonas will need?

  4. As Jonas trains to be Receiver of Memory how will his life change?

The Giver

Chapter 9 – 11

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 9

  1. How does Jonas feel being different?

  2. What happened to the failed Receiver selection?

  3. What are Jonas’ instructions for his Receiver training?

  4. What is the puzzle about lying which Jonas thinks about?

Chapter 10

  1. What does Jonas notice about the Receiver of Memory’s dwelling?

  2. What will Jonas’ position as Receiver of Memory involve?

  3. Why is it important for Jonas’ society to save memories?

  4. Why does the Receiver have so many books? What three books do most other dwellings have?

  5. How will the old Receiver transmit the memory of snow to Jonas?

Chapter 11

  1. How does Jonas feel when he receives the memory of snow and sledding?

  2. How does the Receiver of Memories’ training proceed?

  3. How are The Giver’s burdens lessened in working with Jonas?

  4. On Jonas’ first day of training what other memories are transmitted?

  5. Why did Jonas’ society eliminate sunshine and hills?

The Giver

Chapter 12 – 13

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 12

  1. What is Jonas’ first lie?

  2. Why does Jonas not tell his friends about his training?

  3. What is Jonas seeing in Fiona’s hair, the apple, and the sled?

  4. Why do people in Jonas’ society not perceive colors?

  5. How does Jonas feel about giving up colors?

Chapter 13

  1. What new meaning do the words ordinary, color, and choice have for Jonas?

  2. How would the elders react to the same three words?

  3. What does safety mean to the Jonas’ society?

  4. What does The Giver share of his personal family life?

  5. How does Jonas’ society deal with adults with grown children?

The Giver

Chapter 14 – 16

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 14

  1. When The Giver gives Jonas the memory of breaking a leg in sledding how does he react?

  2. What wisdom does hunger provide?

  3. How does Jonas calm Gabriel?

  4. Why does Jonas decide not to confess giving away a memory?

  5. Why does Mother shake her head about the release of the twin and Father’s responsibility for it?

Chapter 15

  1. Why does The Giver say, “Forgive me”?

Chapter 16

  1. How does Jonas learn of love?

  2. Why are grandparents a new idea for Jonas?

  3. What does Jonas’ society lose without grandparents? What do they gain?

  4. What causes Jonas to tell his first lie to his parents?

The Giver

Chapter 17 – 19

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 17

  1. How is the day different?

  2. Why does Jonas stop taking his daily pill?

  3. How is Gabe proceeding?

Chapter 18

  1. What was the story of Rosemary?

  2. What happened to the memories transferred to Rosemary?

  3. How were the training rules changed as a result of what happened to Rosemary?

  4. Why does The Giver advise Jonas to stay away from the river?

Chapter 19

  1. What does Jonas learn about rule 3 from his training?

  2. How does The Giver feel about Rosemary’s release?

  3. How does Jonas’ feel?

The Giver

Chapter 20

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 20

  1. Why does Jonas refuse to go home?

  2. How does The Giver comfort Jonas?

  3. What is the plan Jonas and The Giver hatch?

  4. How did The Giver first experience seeing beyond?

  5. What are the specifics of the escape plan? Will Jonas succeed in his escape?

  6. What is the surprising revelation

The Giver

Chapter 21 – 23

Study Guide


Define each of the following words and use each in a sentence of your own:






Chapter 21

  1. What makes Jonas’ escape plan fall apart?

  2. How does the first part of the escape proceed?

  3. Is Jonas right to want to escape?

Chapter 22

  1. What new dangers does Jonas encounter?

  2. In what ways does Jonas think about starvation?

Chapter 23

  1. What weather conditions impede Jonas’ progress toward Elsewhere?

  2. How do Jonas and Gabe finally get to safety?

The Giver

All in the Head

The graphic below represents the mind of a main character. Choose a chapter and show how the main character viewed the events in this selection by a series of pictures, symbols, images, phrases, or words of what he/she is thinking and feeling. In the space provided below, explain your drawing.

The Giver

Book Cover

Design and color an alternative book cover for the novel.

The Giver

Character Sketch

Illustrate the main character based on information you have gathered from the book. Your illustration must be colorful, so you may use crayons, markers, or colored pencils. All drawings must be hand crafted by you. No pictures or clip art.

Now that you have illustrated your character, how would you describe his or her personality?






The Giver

Comic Book Page

Choose one chapter or section from the novel. Create a one page comic book that describes what happened. Use vivid colors and words or quotes from the book. Be prepared to share.

The Giver

Memorable Quote

Select one of your favorite quotes from the novel. On the frame below, neatly write the quote and then create a drawing, painting, collage, or other visual image to illustrate the quote. You may wish to hang your artwork in a place where you will be reminded of the quote and look for opportunities to apply the words to your own life.

The Giver


Your assignment is to design a poster advertise and promote the reading of the novel by your peers as well as others. It is also a means of sharing your reading experience so should include a brief review. You should try to show creativity, be original, and display understanding of the novel.

The Giver

Sketch to Stretch

Think about what you have read in the novel and draw a sketch of the meaning of the story – “what this story means to you.” Try not to draw an illustration of an event from the story but to think about the meaning of the story and find a way to visually sketch that meaning. When all the class sketches are complete, each person will show his or her sketch to the others in the class. The class will study the sketch and say what they think you were attempting to say. You as the artist will have the “last word,” to share your own intentions and thinking about the sketch.

The Giver

Interdisciplinary Connections

Science -- Scientific people tell us that we only use 10% of our brain capacities. What do this mean? Do some people use more than 10% and how? What are the other 90% capacities or our brain that we do not know about? Can we even conceive what it is? Have we, sometimes in the past, been able to use more than 10% (what about the extraordinary and unexplainable architectural theories of the Egyptians, for example)?

Psychology -- Jonas becomes the Receiver of Memory of his society. He represents, in a sense the “collective unconscious” of his society and receives the “archetype” that Carl Jung discusses in his psychological theories. Discuss Jung’s theories and the importance of these “archetypes” and “collective unconscious” as a memory of humanity. Have the students write one memory they have for each generation in their family, starting with themselves and going as far back in the past as possible. The memories can be experiences that they have lived with their families, or stories about their ancestors that have been told to them by family members and passed down from one generation to the other.

Oral History -- Jonas is given all the history of his people and generations before. After receiving these memories, he realizes that everyone should have such memories. In fact, Gabriel sleeps better after he received some memories from Jonas by mistake and The Giver says that memories need to be shared. What is the importance of memories? How do we keep track of them? How does the brain physically store our memories? What is “oral history” and what importance does it have in different cultures and societies? Have the students think of memories from the past that they have head about from their families and the importance or significance of such memories.

The Giver

A World of Dreams

The community required the morning ritual of dream-telling beginning with Threes. In one family session, both Lily and Jonas’s mother related the frightening dreams they had experienced the night before. Jonas’s father had had no dreams, but Jonas had dreamed vividly—a disturbing dream about Fiona that took place in the House of the Old. On a separate sheet of paper answer the following:

1. What is oneirology?

2. Do some research to find information about what happens during dreaming. Does sleeping always involve dreaming?

3. Are people the only beings that dream? Add details to your answer.
4. In the community’s carefully controlled environment, people still dreamed. Why do you think this was so?
5. Use the facts you have gathered about the community to form a theory as to why dreamtelling was a required ritual. How did this activity fit into the creation of “sameness”?
6. Explain the irony in the fact that Jonas could have been eliminated as the new Receiver if one Elder had had a dream of uncertainty. How was this rule ironic when viewed along side the committee’s meticulous, fact-driven control over the community?
7. What is the difference between a “waking” dream—daydream, desires, plans—and a

“sleeping” dream? Do you suppose the people of the community experienced both types? Support your answer with facts from the story.

The Giver

It Takes a Community

The author gives some insight into a child’s experience growing up within the community by mentioning ball games, races, riding bicycles, and building toy vehicles or bridges with construction sets. School attendance was mandatory. As Eights, children were required to begin their volunteer hours, which allowed them to explore their interests. Answer the following on a separate sheet of paper:

1. Think of your favorite games. Which ones would probably be allowed in the community? Which one would most likely be banned? Explain the rationale behind your choices.
2. Do you think requiring young people to work as volunteers, beginning at the age of eight, would be a good idea for us? Why or why not?
3. Many young people in our society work as volunteers by choice. Explain why our system is better than or inferior to that of the community.

4. A law requiring children to attend school was enacted in Massachusetts in 1647—long

before there was a United States. Today, each state sets individual age standards for

compulsory attendance, beginning at the ages of five to eight and continuing through the

ages of sixteen to eighteen.

(1) Explain how compulsory education is an important factor for a successful society.

(2) What are the consequences in those countries that do not require all their children, including girls, to be educated?

(3) Do you think all U.S. youngsters should be required to graduate from high school? Should college be free for those who wish to attend? Add details to your answers.

(4) Explain why the community’s system of combining education and profession at the age of twelve worked. Do you think this method would be successful for us? Add examples to explain your answer.

5. What important decisions do you and your family have to make that Jonas and his parents did not face? What advantages can you find for both systems? Which do you think creates a better foundation for a happy, productive life? Explain your position.

The Giver

Odds and Ends


1. Allusion - The name Jonas is a variation of the name Jonah. In the Bible, the prophet Jonah was commissioned by the Lord to proclaim judgment upon a sinful city. Why might Lois Lowry have chosen Jonas as the name of her main character? In the Bible the angel Gabriel is a divine messenger. What does the choice of this name for the newchild suggest about Gabe’s importance in the novel?

2. Science fiction novels are a form of fantasy in which the action takes place on another planet, in the future, or in another dimension. What is the setting for The Giver? Provide evidence from the novel to support your opinion.
3. A “Utopia” is a perfect world or society while a “Dystopia” is a world that is supposed to be perfect but turns horribly wrong. Describe or draw your perfect utopia. Describe or draw your most horrible dystopia.
4. Simile - Read the passage below and answer the questions about simile.

He fell with his leg twisted under him, and could hear the crack of bone.... It was as if a hatchet lay lodged in his leg, slicing through each nerve with a hot blade.

What two things are being compared? What is the effect of this comparison?
5. Dramatic Irony - Complete the following exercise on dramatic irony.

Jonas . . . had wondered what lay Elsewhere. Was there someone there, waiting, who would receive the tiny released twin? Would it grow up Elsewhere, not knowing, ever, that in this community lived a being who looked exactly the same? (don’t have to answer these)

For a moment he felt a tiny, fluttering hope that he knew was quite foolish. He hoped that it would be Larissa, waiting.... Fiona had told him recently that Larissa had been released at a wonderful ceremony.

What does the reader understand about this statement that Jonas does not? (answer this)

6. Answer the following questions based on the example of euphemism.

a) What was the euphemism for death in Jonas’s community?

b) Name two euphemisms for death in our society.
c) What are some euphemisms for ...BATHROOM...GARBAGE COLLECTOR

7. Paradox - Answer the following question based on the example of paradox.

The community did not want change, which is why they created the Receiver of Memory whose job it was to assure Sameness. Yet The Giver said:

My work will be finished when I have helped the community to change and become whole.”

Explain the paradox in the sentence above.
8. Etymologies - Speakers of English borrow words from other languages, so we have the largest vocabulary of any language in the world. The history of a word from its origin to its present use is called its etymology. The bold word in this paragraph from the novel has an interesting etymology:

He tried to use the flagging power of his memory to recreate meals, and managed brief, tantalizing fragments: banquets with huge roasted meats; birthday parties with thick-frosted cakes...

In Greek mythology Tantalus was a wicked king who, as punishment for his crimes, was forced to stand in deep water with grapes growing overhead. The water receded when he was thirsty, and the grapes receded when he was hungry.

a) Look up tantalize in a dictionary. Write its definition.

b) How does knowing the history of the word enrich the meaning of this paragraph?

9. Families -- In The Giver, each family has two parents, a son, and a daughter. The relationships are not biological, but are developed through observation and a careful handling of personality. In our own society, the make up of family is under discussion. How are families defined? Are families the foundations of a society, or are they continually open for new definitions?

10. Diversity -- The Giver pictures a community in which every person and his or her experience is precisely the same. The climate is controlled, and competition has been eliminated in favor of a community in which everyone works only for the common good. What advantages might "Sameness" yield for contemporary communities? In what ways do our differences make us distinctly human? Is the loss of diversity worthwhile?
11. Euthanasia -- Underneath the placid calm of Jonas' society lies a very orderly and inexorable system of euthanasia, practiced on the very young who do not conform, the elderly, and those whose errors threaten the stability of the community. What are the disadvantages and benefits to a community that accepts such a vision of euthanasia?
12. Feelings -- Jonas remarks that loving another person must have been a dangerous way to live. Describe the relationship between Jonas and his family, his friends Asher and Fiona, and the Giver. Are any of these relationships dangerous? Perhaps the most dangerous is that between Jonas and the Giver--the one relationship built on love. Why is that relationship dangerous and what does the danger suggest about the nature of love?

13. Create a diagram or chart showing your family tree going back to your great grandparents or further. You can design your own chart or use one provided by the teacher. Choose one of your relatives, and talk to your parents to find out this relative's date of birth and one or two interesting bits of information about this relative that you didn't know before. Write down this information on the back of your family tree.

14. Write your own ending for the novel. Include dialogue (the talking between characters) and description. Do you like your ending better or the book's original ending? Why?

15. Some people think The Giver is not suitable for young people to read because of some of the things the book deals with. What might make them feel this way? List at least three reasons why the book might be challenged, and then give at least three reasons why you think the book is good for students to read. Be specific and use examples from the book.
16. Jonas has changed a lot by the end of the book. How is he different from how he was at the beginning? How can you tell? What kind of person is he now? Is he someone you admire? Why? Write a 2 to 3 sentence answer for each question. Be specific and use examples from the book.


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