As we move into Common Core standards, one strand that is encouraged is to bring in real nonfiction articles to relate to fictional literature pieces.
One novel that lends itself perfectly to this is The Giver by Lois Lowry. This handout encourages students to look at real world examples of some of the restrictions placed on the citizens in the Giver community. Two specific areas students can look at are China's one child law and communism.
Often times when reading The Giver, students are appalled at the lack of freedom the citizens seem content with until they see the benefits of these laws in a flawed modern society. Encouraging students to see the benefits and drawbacks of such things like restricting how many children a family can have and job pay and selection, allows them argue better in their writing. Students must weigh both sides to see which side is better: sameness or freedom.
In this handout, students will evaluated an article that talks about the pros and cons of China's one child law and communist work ethic. They will then fill out a pro/con chart, and a whole class discussion should follow.
Students then will be asked to pick which side they think is better and write a response telling why. Is it better to give up the right to have as many children as you want in order to prevent hunger? Or is everyone entitled to this freedom?
These are big questions that students must analyze in order to write argumentatively.