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Fourth Teachers are Givers winner – Tonya Parkman!


TonyaParkmanCongratulations to Tonya Parkman!

From Brandon Middle School in Brandon, MS, Tonya is our fourth winner for the Teachers are Givers Contest!


“An intriguing aspect of The Giver is that only one person holds the memories of the time before ‘Sameness,’” explains Tonya. 

Tonya’s Memorable Events Committee submission connects history with memory, “a relationship that students often do not encounter until college,” noted our judges.

She asks her students to imagine a situation in which they have selected the first Receiver of Memory. Then, acting as a Memorable Events Committee, the class must decide which events in U.S. History should be remembered by the Receiver. The class uses multiple technologies to research historical events in United States history, and they use apps such as Kahoot! to argue and vote for which events should be kept by the Receiver for their Community. In the process, the students gain a deeper understanding of the knowledge denied to the The Giver‘s Community citizens.


Memorable Events Committee

An intriguing aspect of The Giver is that only one person holds the memories of the time before “Sameness.”

When reading The Giver, students often express that keeping memories from the citizens is unfair, yet they also often question why they themselves have to learn history. To help my students understand the importance of remembering events from the past, I created an activity that places them at the creation of the first Receiver of Memory in our “Community.” Acting as a “Memorable Events Committee,” students must decide which events in United States history should be remembered by our Receiver. Students are organized into smaller groups and given an event (ex: the Civil War, the Apollo Moon Landing, or September 11th, 2001) that must be researched using apps and/or the Internet. Students create a multimedia presentation that explains the importance of the event and the reasons it is should be remembered.

After all the presentations have been observed, the committee members use an app such as Kahoot! to vote on the two events that will be given to the Receiver.

The activity requires students to think critically about our country’s history and realize that they can learn from our past successes and mistakes. The students also gain a deeper understanding of the knowledge denied to the Community’s citizens in The Giver. This activity would be an excellent cross-curricular project. The presentation piece can be used in conjunction with the teaching of persuasive techniques and argument.