Lesson: Utopia

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT define utopia and describe what a utopia is (chapter 2) SWBAT describe ways in which Jonas’ society is a utopia

Lesson Plan


·                   SWBAT define utopia and describe what a utopia is (chapter 2)

·                   SWBAT describe ways in which Jonas’ society is a utopia



·      Giver journal: is the society Jonas lives in a Utopia?

·      Do you believe there is such a think as utopia?

Key Points:

·      A utopia can be defined as a perfect society, where everyone is happy and lives peacefully as a community

·      The community that Jonas lives in attempts to be a utopia because they want everyone to be happy and not have to deal with sickness, hunger, misery etc

·      Utopia’s cannot really exist because people always have with them emotions, problems or the desire for something more than they have

Warm-up/Investment/Independent Reading:


Ø  Check for silence, backpacks, pens.

Ø  Monitor students copying HW into agenda from Calendar

Ø  HW taken out

Ø  Begin Daily Quiz


·      Show top-scorers from yesterday’s classwork on SmartBoard


·      Positive recognition for top scorers.  These students are clearly putting great effort into their work and thinking deeply about the concepts we have learned in class. During independent reading, these students can go to lounge on the couch.


·      Trade and grade warm-up.


·      15 minutes independent reading (teacher conferences throughout)





Turn to a neighbor and discuss.  Room is divided into four sections.

·      What is the definition of the word utopia?

·      Why would people want to live in a utopia?

·      According to the video, why is it difficult to achieve a utopia?

·      Would you leave Newark and move to a utopia if you could?


Mini-Lesson/Shared Reading/Discussion:


Read objectives for the day.


Teacher explains as students take notes.


Definition of utopia: utopia is a perfect society, free from everything bad in life like hunger, sickness, sadness, etc.

One of the things we’ve noticed about the setting of the book is that this community is unusual.  It is unusual because this community is trying to be a utopia.


In graphic organizer with partners, students gather evidence:

·      In what ways does the community try to be a utopia?  Take notes from previous chapter as they gather.


                  Share out of answers.  Make sure included are…

·      Sharing of feelings

·      Apologies and thank-yous


                  As we read, we are looking to gather evidence that Jonas’ community is (or at least is trying to be) a              utopia.  Going to lift those lines in your graphic organizer and use it when you journal later.


Begin reading chapter two.

·      Student run summary of chapter 1 (students have 2 minutes to add summary to their summary section)

·      Check for books and make deductions


Page 11: “He remembered when his family had received Lily…”

Going to note a couple of things.  Notice that the mother didn’t give birth to Lily.  They receive her “the day that she became a one.”  Or it seems like they receive her the day that she turns one.  This society is trying to be a utopia because they take away giving birth from all women, because it is supposed to be very painful.  They don’t have parents take care of kids when they are little babies, because they are so loud and noisy and make people grumpy and unhappy.  I can see that this society is trying to make most people’s lives better by making sure that they don’t have to deal with the first year of a babies life.” Says further down that the Nurtures cared for them, so not everyone has to.


Page 12: “We knew, of course, that we’d receive our female because we’d made our application and it had been approved.”  I can also see that this is evidence in some ways of a utopian society.  You have to apply and get approved to have a child.  This stops a lot of misery because only people that would be good parents are approved.  This stops a kid from having the misery of a bad parent who maybe doesn’t want them.


Going to continue reading.  I want you to look for evidence that this is (or is trying to be) a utopian society.


·      Not lying

·      Naming ceremony

·      Bicycle rules

·      Rules: so many and hard to change

·      Bottom of page 15: assigned jobs


Students lift one more line about utopia independently after share.


Stop at bottom of 15.



Independent Practice/Reflection:


Students finish chapter independently.


Answer journal questions:

·      Is the society Jonas lives in a Utopia?

·      Do you believe there is such a think as utopia?




Students share out answers for numbers one.


2 minute debate on question two.


Ask random student for definition of utopia.


Preview tomorrow: analyzing the setting more deeply to try and understand this society




Giver journals

Giver texts




Lesson Resources

05 DQ utopia discussion qs  
05 HW utopia vocab list   
05 CW utopia  
05 WU utopia  


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