Lesson: Dystopia

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Lesson Objective

SWBAT analyze the society that Jonas lives in (13 class, 14 HW) SWBAT select appropriate evidence that matches claim.

Lesson Plan


·                   SWBAT analyze the society that Jonas lives in (13 class, 14 HW)

·                   SWBAT select appropriate evidence that matches claim.





CEJ: is the world Jonas lives in a utopia or a dystopia?


Key Points:


·      Dystopia: an imperfect society, filled with misery, sickness, overcrowding

·      The society that Jonas lives in puts in many rules so that it can be perfect and make sure that people are content

·      People are imperfect however, and so societies are imperfect

·      This utopia takes away one of the greatest joys in life; love


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)



In groups of 4, students are asked to create a proposal for the perfect school.


Students are given 3 minutes to write a proposal of what a perfect school would be like.


As they present, students are planted to ask tough questions.  Ms. Bassi also pushes them.


Lead students to conclusion: there is no perfect school.


Why not?


Today, we are going to begin to think about and analyze Jonas’ society.  We know that they are a utopia…or at least trying to be.  I want you to look carefully at this society and decide whether you think it is actually perfect.


Do they get rid of sickness? Hunger?  Misery?  Are people truly happy? Would you want to live in this society?  We will tackle these difficult questions today.


Read objectives. is the world Jonas lives in a utopia or a dystopia?

As we read, I want us to look for evidence.

Mini-Lesson/Shared Reading/Discussion:


So the question of a utopia is on our brains today.


I’d like to teach you a new word, however: dystopia.  Dystopia is an imperfect world.  One with hunger and disease and misery.  Think pair share: do you know of societies that might be considered a dystopia?  Obvious conclusion: ours.


At the end of this period, you will craft a CEJ.


Going to think aloud as we write about selecting appropriate evidence.  Before we know what kind of evidence to find, we have to know our claim.  Because our evidence needs to match our opinions.


Students are given 1:30 to think of their claim that appropriately answers the questions.


Mine is here:  I think that Jonas’ community is a utopia because it is able to eliminate sickness and misery from their world.  (Note: you don’t have to agree with me.  I might not even agree with me.  I’m putting it up here for modeling.)


As I search, I’m going to look for evidence that their world is perfect and free from the bad things in life.  You will want to look for the evidence that matches yours.


Begin reading chapter 13. 

·      Stop on page 98 at the bottom.

·      I’m going to life a few lines that I think support my claim.  Jonas is asking why he can’t choose things?  If I think his society is a utopia, I’m looking for evidence that NOT choosing is the right thing and creates a perfect world.

·      98: “He might make wrong choices.”

·      “Definitely not safe,” Jonas said with certainty.  “what if they were allowed to choose their own mate?  What if they choose wrong.”

·      I think both pieces of evidence show that by not letting people choose wrong, it saves them pain and misery in making mistakes.  Sometimes people choose and choose badly.  They marry the wrong people who hurt them.  They pick the wrong job that makes them miserable.  They have a child they can’t take care of.  If no one can make a mistakes, it saves people the unhappiness that comes from the mistakes.  This is good evidence.


                          Continue reading to page 101.  Students are asked to collect a piece of evidence in these pages              that matches their claim. 


Partner share of claim and evidence.  Does it match?  Did you choose evidence that works?


Wanted to note that when some of you do CEJs, you make some silly mistakes we are going to fix right now.


1.      Not using quotes.  You must use quotes.  You have to use exact evidence from the text.

2.     Close up the quote.  As soon as you stop copying the words, you need an end quote.


If my claim is:


I think that Jonas’ community is a utopia because it is able to eliminate sickness and misery from their world.  This can be proven on page 68, when The Giver observes that if Gabriel could choose for himself, “he might choose wrong.”  The Giver is right; when people make choices, they often make mistakes.  If the world is going to be perfect, there cannot be such mistakes.



Independent Practice/Reflection:


Students finish reading chapter 13 on their own and lift one line.


Students craft CEJ. 




Close it out:


1.      Is a utopia, dystopia or something in between?  Share opinions.

2.     Eyeball your neighbors.  Did they use quotes? Did they close it out?

3.     Preview tomorrow: look at pain and what it does to the giver.



Smartboard docs.

Markers and paper.

Week 3 journals.

Student books.



Lesson Resources

10 CW Dystopia  
10 HW Dystopia diff  
10 HW Dystopia  
10 LP Dystopia  
10 Quiz Chapter 12  
10 SB Dystopia  
10 WU   


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