Fusion: Early Civilizations and The Giver
This unit was designed to provide students with a connection between early civilizations and Young Adult (YA) works of fiction. The Giver by Lois Lowry was selected as it is a dystopian text, providing numerous discussions that connect the past with a discourse about the potential future. However, any fictional text would be appropriate to use in order to fit the needs and interests of your students. Additionally, this selection allows students to see the connections between historical and literary analysis very early in the school year. Students analyze the characteristics of early civilizations-- Egypt, Mesopotamia, India, and China. Then, students analyze The Giver using the same characteristics. Some characteristics are straightforward, but many provide students the opportunity to use inference and critical thinking skills. Although any text is acceptable for this unit, The Giver by Lois Lowry is a high interest text for secondary students, written at an elementary reading level. Therefore, struggling students remain engaged with both the content, as well as the ability to read and comprehend the text. Additionally, higher level students will benefit from the inferences embedded in the text.