Doug Lemov's field notes

Reflections on teaching, literacy, coaching, and practice.

03.11.13Embedding Non-Fiction in “The Giver”

dreamsGot an email last week from Lindsey Hugo at the consistently high-performing Edward Brooke Charter School in Boston.  Lindsey’s 6th graders have been reading The Giver, which earns her instant glory points for rigorous text selection and for choosing what the gang here at Uncommon thinks is one of the very best works of youth fiction. (I personally rank it #1.)


Anyway, Lindsey wrote to share two of her embedded non-fiction texts and the questions she uses to link the fiction to the non-fiction.  Not only do these represent really interesting and rigorous choices but it’s so useful to see how an ace teacher plans.  Anyway check out Lindsey’s embedded texts here:

The Giver Embedded Texts

I especially like the series of questions comparing decisions on who gets to do what in the German school system and the Community’s school system, as well as the last questionin the dreams article… what do these lines tell us about the setting of The Giver?  (In other words students have to infer that we can’t actually control dreams so The Giver must be science fiction).  Also lot’s of meta-attention to how the articlesare structured.  Great stuff, Lindsey!

For those of you who haven’t joined us for one of our reading workshops–thanks to everyone who came last week!–here’s a quick primer on embedding.  And for those of you who are embedding, what do (or would) you pair with The Giver?

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9 Responses to “Embedding Non-Fiction in “The Giver””

  1. March 11, 2013 at 5:12 pm

    Great! Thanks for sharing this new technique 🙂

  2. BreezyBee719
    April 21, 2014 at 2:22 pm

    The link to the texts is broken. Any hopes of getting it fixed? Thanks!

    • Dan Cotton
      April 21, 2014 at 2:45 pm

      Thanks for letting us know! We’re working on it.

      • BreezyBee719
        April 21, 2014 at 3:36 pm

        Thank you!

        • Dan Cotton
          April 23, 2014 at 1:16 pm

          Fixed! Link is working again.

  3. Maria Cameron
    January 23, 2015 at 10:54 pm

    I have a question,

    Were these selections given before or after students read The Giver? My students will be reading the giver in a week or so, and I wanted to do some non fiction pairing, but was not sure if this was done before or after students had read the book.

    Thank You!

    • Doug Lemov
      February 6, 2015 at 7:35 pm

      i think you could use them anywhere. generally in the midst of reading is the best…. we tend to fall back on before or after… i personally like “in the middle”

  4. Corwin Edwards
    April 2, 2015 at 1:51 pm

    I need information on what texts are related to the giver, its for a class project. Do you know of any?

  5. brooke sorenson
    April 9, 2015 at 3:51 pm

    I cannot get the linked text to open??

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