The Giver, By Lois Lowry: Is it worth reading?

Is the Giver by Lois Lowry a Good Book

You might be asking yourself the question: Is Lois Lowry book, The Giver a good book? That’s a great question. I suppose it all comes down to preferences.

If you like dystonian novels with young central characters and an intriguing plot, the answer is … Yes, this is a darn good novel.

It was a Newbery Medal winner in 1994 and sold over 10 million copies (1) Its popularity in one testament to the answer.

You can learn more about utopian and dystopian novels here.

The Giver: Does this summary sound good?

At first, the reader sees the society as utopian. All appears well in the scientifically controlled environment. Jonas, the twelve  year old, central character, live a life where pain and disappointment is neutralized.

Emotions have been eradicated. In a society where life roles are assigned at the age of 12, Jonas learns he has been selected to inherit the important role of the Receiver of Memories.

Jonas must be the keeper of all memories before ‘sameness’ when people made independent decisions about pleasure and pain, and good and evil. He even sees color for the first time.

It will be his job to offer counsel to the community with all the wisdom he will acquire.

Jonas Faces an Internal Struggle

But, there’s a problem. Jonas is challenged by the new emotions imparted on him and struggles between the concepts of good and evil. After all, how can there be one without the other?

His little sister, a young naive character, offers the reader insight as to how their society operates. She asks questions and shares observation. Jonas’ parents give her answers reminding her about the way things are and what’s expected with a “just because it’s the way it is” sort of approach.

Jonas has difficulty accepting the constraints of this community: colorless, emotionless, and compliant.

The Giver, by Lois Lowry, takes you on Jonas’ introspective journey as he battles the morality of the seemingly utopian society. It leads him to question: Does the means justify the end? Along the way, it’s revealed the society is not a utopia, but rather a dystopia.

Listen to Chapter 1 of Lois Lowry’s: The Giver and you can decide if The Giver is a book you think is good enough to put on your reading list!

The Giver, Chapter 1, By Lois Lowry

Is The Giver, by Lois Lowry Worth a Read?

The book won a few awards:


I suppose you have to dive in a see what you think about the writer’s craft before you can make a judgement against it, but according to its history and how it was received by young adults, it look like this one is a winner!

If you already read The Giver, by Lois Lowry, and you liked it, it may want to consider three other novels:

Together, with The Giver, these four books make up The Giver Quartet. Are you brave enough to tackle four novels?

Argumentative Writing: General Structure Guide – Download It Here

Today we further discussed the essay we will be writing next week. For a week you have been collecting information and exposing your brain to a variety of information about leadership.

Download Today’s Handout HERE

Specifically, your attention has been on leadership for young people.

On Monday you will receive an outline/graphic organizer to help you structure your specific thoughts based on the question that will be driving your paper.


Argumentative Question for Monday’s Essay

Should leadership instruction be a formal part of education before students graduate from high school?


Here is the downloadable version of today’s general structure of argumentative essays we reviewed and discussed in class.

Download Today’s Handout HERE

Have glorious weekend!

Funnel It: The Writing Strategy that Teaches You How to Write an Introduction

Funnel It!

Learn how to write an introduction with ease.

The Funnel It strategy will reveal how to structure a focused introduction.

Apply this method to your writing and you will gain control over the focus of your essay writing.

After you watch the video, write a couple of introductions on your own to practice.

Watch this video… and Funnel It!!!

Argument Writing Prompt: Dressing for Success – Intro

Argumentative Writing

Dress for Success

Today you are going to complete 5 steps, as listed below.


  • Stay focused
  • Use time effectively
  • Get it done


Background Information on the Topic

In the 21st century classroom, student are expected to do more than learn facts. They need to develop communication skills and success skills. The world is changing and young people are expected to use their personal resources to create success in their lives through continual growth and achievement. They must learn how to be self-sufficient, productive, and resourceful.

Research reveals first impressions have a significant impact on how we judge others. Research also reveals that self-expression is important to helping others character in alignment with their true self. With this information in mind, some believe the way we dress ultimately impacts our success.

Keep this information in mind while you complete the task list below…


Today you are going to do the following:


    1. Read the prompt – CLICK HERE


    1. Go to informational resources – CLICK HERE


    1. Consider your position on the topic presented in the prompt – CLICK HERE


    1. Print-up an outline to help you – CLICK HERE


  1. Create an idea flow/graphic organizer to outline your essay. This is due tomorrow.

Repetition in Literature: 3 Important Rhetorical Devices


These three important rhetorical devices help deepen the annotation process. All three presented are forms of repetition. When you annotate you want to build a relationship with the text and read for understanding, to make connections, and to reveal independent thinking and communicate your observations about text.

A question I often get from students is,

“How do I know what to annotate in a passage?”

This is a great questions.

The answer goes back to your knowledge of literary devices.  The quality of your annotations for the sake of literary analysis is only as strong as your understanding of literary devices and rhetorical devices before you read.

This post is meant to strengthen you annotations skills by equipping you with three more rhetorical devices you will look for in future texts.  The best way to develop the skill of annotation and ultimately literary analysis is practice.

Annotate every piece of text you can!

3 Rhetorical Devices for Identifying Repetition.

  • Anaphota
  • Epistrophe
  • Tricolon

While the first two, anaphora and epistrophe address the repetition of words or phrases, tricolon presents a repetition of structure.

Investigate each of theses repetitive patterns below.


Anaphora is the repetition of a word or phrase at the beginning of the sentence.


  • Every day, every night, in every way, I am getting better and better.”
  • My life is my purpose. My life is my goal. My life is my inspiration.”
  • “Buying diapers for the baby, feeding the baby, playing with the baby: This is what your life is when you have a baby.”
  • “I want my money right now, right here, all right?”
  • “The wrong person was selected for the wrong job, at the wrong time, for the wrong purpose.”
  • “Their property was sold, their homestead was sold, and their everything was sold for want.”
  • Who is to blame, who is to look to, who is to turn to, in a tough situation like this.”
  • “In adversity, his close friends left him, his close colleagues left him, and his best close relatives left him.”
  • Everything looked dark and bleak, everything looked gloomy, and everything was under a blanket of mist.”
  • All the people were moving in the same direction; all the people were thinking about the same thing; and all the people were discussing the same topic.”
  • “After a long term of studies, the students wanted to go home, they wanted to play, and they wanted to meet their parents and friends.”
  • The players were much exited for the tour; the players wished to do a lot of shopping; the players planned to go sightseeing.”
  • The young writer was given the award for his best seller. The young writer was exited to get the reward, and he decided to celebrate the occasion in a fitting manner.”






Enhanced Annotation with the Aristotelian Triangle

Ethos pathos Logos


The Rhetorical Transaction :

According to Aristotle, the rhetorical transaction consists of three basic components:

Ethos (Author/Point of View)

representing the author’s ability to reveal his or her credibility in the text, demonstrates ethics

  • Note how the author establishes a persona
  • Note how the author establishes credibility

· Note any revelation of the author’s credentials or personal history

Pathos (Intended Audience)

representing the author’s ability to appeal to the audience through the text through the use of emotions and other methods

  • Note the primary audience for the text
  • Note the emotional appeals the author makes
  • Note the author’s expectations of the audience


Logos (Text/Language)

representing the author’s ability to reveal logic and reason in the text;

  • Note the claims the author makes, the exigency.

· Note the data the author provides in support of the claims.

  • Note the conclusions the author draws.

When reading nonfiction, note the language the author uses to establish logos, ethos, and pathos.Annotating everything you read for the Rhetorical Appeals, also called modes of persuasion, will reveal information about the author, the author’s purpose, and the author’s methods of persuasion and argumentation.


Your goal: apply these new annotation tools to a primary document…




Martin Luther King, I have a Dream Analysis



More Possibilities for Analysis: Ethos, Pathos, Logos

Daily Class Work: 11/5 -11/7

daily class work

This has been a crazy week…

Monday and Tuesday you visited only a few classes each day due to the field trip and PSAT testing. Access 4 PSAT Resources Here.

Today we established the current writing standards based on the Rules of Incorporation and PowerWriting. Because the first quarter has come to an end, there are now increased expectation in both reading and writing.

All submitted written response should demonstrate proficiency or mastery of these skills. Keep the Incorporation Rules worksheets hand if you need a reminder.

Here’s the Work You Completed Today…


You completed Reading Check Questions for “Drummer Boy“. If they are not done they are HOMEWORK. Reading Check Questions will be getting more complex as the quarter progresses. More questions will focus on inference and drawing conclusion – requiring evidence – rather than literal questions.

This means sharing more of your ideas and observations in the written form, thus requiring the application of Incorporation and PowerWriting.


Notes on compound sentences were taken. You learned and mastered these in 6th and 7th grade

These notes were a review, establishing the expectation that compound sentences should be making an appearance in your writing from this point forward.

Multiple opportunities for application of compound sentence, subordinate clauses, and items in a series will be provided in the up coming days and weeks. (This is called sentence variety application.)


As a Bell Ringer you worked through the 5 Minute Study Strategy. You are being given more independence with this process. At this point in the year you have had tie to master this technique and adjust it to meet your individualized needs. From this point forward you will be expected to conduct all study session at home because you have mastered it.

You also reviewed the Think and Search Strategy for vocabulary and applied this system to “Completing the Sentences” for Unit 4 (pg. 59) If you didn’t finish this, it is HOMEWORK.



How to Use the Pomodoro Technique

How to use the Pomodoro Method

[VIDEO BELOW: How to Use the Pomodoro Technique]

If you want to know how to use the Pomodoro Technique to study more effectively watch the video below.

This time and attention method has been around for decades. If it’s worked for 1000’s of other students it may just work for you!

Why Use the Pomodoro Technique to Study?

Your time is valuable, so is your attention. It’s important to learn how to manage both to get the results you want…

The Pomodoro Technique is a time management that requires a timer. You can use a phone timer, a computer timer, or a kitchen timer.

Here’s how it works:

25 Minutes On, 5 Minutes off

  1. Set a timer for 25 minutes. During this time you are going to work on one, and only one task.
  2. Next you set the timer for a 5 minute break. This gives you the chance to disconnect from the task and clear your head.
  3. Then Repeat the process a few more times.

With each new 25 minute work session, you can get back to the original task at hand or move to another task.

Prioritize Your Tasks

Decide what’s most important. Do you need to get the first task you started on done because of a deadline or due date? If so, you may want to continue with that task in the second Pomodoro session.

If you have other work that needs your attention and is a priority, then plan to tackle another task for the next 25 minute work session. Be sure to give yourself the five minute break after you’re done.

Take Your Time Seriously

One of the biggest challenges can be getting back to work. If you discover you need a little longer break, you may want to adjust your break time and make it and 8 minute break or even a 10 minute break before you continue with another work session.

Create Meaningful Experiences

Take some time and experiment with this method. Start out by using the 25 minute work session and 5 minute break session ratio. If the work session is too long, adjust. Set your work time for 20 minutes and see how it goes when followed by a 5 minute break.

Adjust as Needed

Tailor the work experience to your personal needs. Hey, you may even realize you’d prefer a 30 minute work session instead of 25 minutes. My finally advice is to just get started and be open to feeling a bit uncomfortable with the time constrains.

Observe Your Results

Take occasional moment to reflect on how it’s working. Notice what works and what doesn’t work. Time pressure maybe just what you  need to direct your attention towards a homework assignment you are less than enthusiastic about. Just keep in mind, the more to practice this process of focused, time bound attention, the better you’ll get at it.

Learn How to Use the Pomodoro Technique from an Expert



If you choose to experiment with this study method and it’s successful, be sure to share it with people you care about so they can improve their study habits, too! Happy studying!!!


Daily Class Work: 10/18

Daily Class work the learning cafe

Daily Agenda

Thursday, October 18, 2018


PowerGraph Example Packet: Day 4

You deconstructed a PowerGraph today. This time you did it on your own and shared your results with two other students. Then we checked them together.

Remember, all future written responses should be structured in this manner.

If you learned it, apply it.

Review PowerWriting Structure, click here. [VIDEO]


Retested the “Black Boy”, (open story) test. You provided evidence  from the text for each response.

(This was yesterday’s post in reading regarding Black Boy: “Any work unfinished work from this story was worked on in class. If it remained unfinished you have HOMEWORK”)

Students did NOT finish this work for homework. An extension was given to all students. They were given time in class today to complete and compile the work for submission. If not done in class today they are required to complete the work for homework TONIGHT!

As posted in yesterday Daily Class Work…

All the items listed below, as we reviewed for requirements, should

be included in the submitted packet for the story.


  1. Annotation of story. (Your packet will be collected)
  2. Annotated Reading Check Questions (Identifying the 5W’s & H)
  3. Prediction (Written from skimming and annotating the questions)
  4. Answered Reading Check Questions (Use of Incorporation)
  5. Character Change Organizer (Identifying specific text evidence to support a claim)
  6. English Paragraph: What are the qualities of a ‘good’ parent? (Please print up)
  7. Written Response: Is Richard’s mother a ‘good’ parent? (Paragraph response using PowerWriting.)


Vocabulary Words being tested on the Cumulative Review on Monday are underlined in red.







PowerWriting: From PowerFrame to PowerGraph

Paragraph Writing Outline to Paragraph

Power Up Your Writing!

PowerWriting is a strategy to help you create well organized paragraph with relevant information.

The goal of PowerWriting is to help you generate effective paragraph with relevant details and support.

The best part is, you will be able to create impressive paragraph quickly!

Today, we worked on the foundational stages of PowerWriting.

Let’s review what you learned…

You know how to write a 1,2,3,2,3 paragraph – or – as we says in PowerWriting, a…


Before you write your PowerGraph you must create a PowerFrame to organize your thoughts.

Download Printable PowerFrames Here

Example of PowerFrame

P1. __________________________________ (topic + focus)

          P 2. ______________________________________ (sub-topic)

                       P3. ________________________________________ (detail)

           P 2. ______________________________________ (sub-topic)

                         P3. ________________________________________ (detail)

A PowerFrame Completed

P1. _____ Vacations Destinations _________

          P2. _______  Cocoa Beach, FL __________

                   P3. ________ Mom lives on water _______

          P2. _______  Peoria, AZ ______________

                   P3. ________ Visit sister  ______________


PowerFrame to PowerGraph

There are two vacation destination that make me happy. The first one is Cocoa Beach, Florida. I love traveling to Cocoa because my mama lives on the water and we enjoy it together. The other vacation destination I love is Peoria, Arizona. Every time I go there, I get to spend time with my best friend, my sister.


A Closer Look at PowerWriting Structure

         There are two vacation destination that make me happy (P1). The first one is Cocoa Beach, Florida (P2).  I love traveling to Cocoa because my mama lives on the water and we enjoy it together (p3). The other vacation destination I love is Peoria, Arizona (P2).  Every time I go there, I get to spend time with my best friend, my sister. (P3)