This activity is the highlight of the entire unit for students when I teach the novel The Giver by Lois Lowry! This activity includes the following:
- Pre-writing assignment
- Job graphic organizer, for students to record the various jobs as they read
- Ceremony of Twelve application
- Elders guidelines and rules
- Elders meeting agenda
- Elders job assignment graphic organizer
- Elders list of potential jobs
- Job assignment letter
- Uncertain assignment letter
- After ceremony writing assignment
First, all of my students complete the Ceremony of Twelve application. Next, I select the 4-5 oldest members of the class to become the "Elders". These students take 1-2 class periods to assign all students of the class a job. During this time, I have the rest of the class complete the ceremony of twelve writing activity. Elders may choose to select a Receiver, but remind the class this is not a position you can apply for. The oldest member of the class is given the title of "Chief Elder". I ask this student to prepare a 1-3 minute speech to start the Ceremony of Twelve.
Students who turn in an incomplete assignment, or do not turn in their homework/application on time will be able to participate in the reenactment. However, they will be labeled "Uncertain" and have a makeup assignment to complete during the remainder of the reenactment.
The reenactment takes 1 full class period. The general class is rearranged to look more like an auditorium, with a stage area where students will stand in front of everyone to accept their job assignment. I tell everyone to wear the same color shirt that day to build on the visual effect of sameness. The reenactment starts with the Chief Elder speech and is followed by the assignment of jobs. As each student is called up in front of everyone, the "Elders" hand them their letter and tell the class in 3-5 sentences why the student was assigned their job. If there is time left in class after the Ceremony ends, the class will complete the after writing activity.