With my 8th grade class this year, we’re studying The Giver, a Newberry Award winning book by Lois Lowry. Don’t get me started on how hard it is for my students, or how ridiculous it is that my high beginning students are expected to do grade level curriculum. You try taking 8th grade Language Arts in Japanese and see if you can pass. Anyway, I’m doing my best to make it accessible for them.
We’ve only read about 5 chapters in the book so far and this past week we wrote a compare/contrast essay comparing how the society in The Giver handles the making of family compared to our society. The kids had to chose three different points from The Giver and compare them to the corresponding point in our society. In The Giver, the family can only consist of 2 parents, one boy, and one girl and the parents have to apply for and are given the children.
Here is part of a paragraph from one girl’s essay:
“On the other hand, in our own society, a man can have as much as many wifes as long as he is going to take care of them.”
Really? Maybe it works that way in B’s society! I’d be willing to bet that the mainstream American classes don’t get compare/contrast essays like this!
P.S. I highly recommend The Giver. It’s a great, deeply thought-provoking book. I got to see Lois Lowry speak yesterday at the Baltimore Book Festival. She was great and I highly recommend her books (particularly if you speak English fluently).