Activity 1:
Create Your Own Society

Jonas lives in a very different society than the one we live in. What do you consider to be a perfect society? Why? Have you ever stopped to think about what life would be like if everything was planned for you and you were never able to make your own decisions?


Create your own society. Your society should have an emblem or flag, an education system, a government with laws, some kind of currency (money), transportation, recreation/entertainment, and an employment system. Any additional aspects of a society are also encouraged.

Process and Resources

  1. Look up the word "society" in the dictionary, write the definition, and put the definition into your own words.
  2. Choose a secretary to take notes. Jot down some of the things you, as a group, liked about each of the nine topics.
  3. Discuss the topics one at a time. Make sure everyone in the group shares what they have written on each topic.
    • Create a venn diagram comparing our society with the one your group created.
  4. Once you have decided on the government, education, etc. for your society, make a travel brochure to market your community. You are trying to find the kind of people you feel will best fit in to your community and will follow your rules and regulations.
  5. You will need to come up with a name for your community. You will also need a flag and and a motto
  6. Draw a map of the layout of your community. Be sure to include housing, school, government office, etc. If your food will be grown on site, remember fields and sources for meat. Don't forget a waste disposal area. If recreation includes soccer, baseball, swimming, etc., you will need to locate these areas on your map.

Project Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for completing your project:

  • Discuss the following as a group and write down ideas. Then divide up the topics among your group members. Each person in the group will be write a paragraph explaining the aspect of your society.
    • 1. Government (you must have one)
      • Who will make the rules and how will they be enforced?
      • How will you decide on leadership? (vote? competition? royal family?)
      • What are some of the rules that your country will have?
      • What will happen to someone if they break the rules?
    • 2. Education (must be some form)
      • What subjects will be required? ( What skills do you want to emphasize in your community? Think about the jobs you want to prepare them for.)
      • What ages will attend?
      • How will your education system be different from our current one?
      • What special features will school have to help students?
    • 3. Employment
      • What kind of businesses will you have in your society?
      • How will students be trained for their employment?
      • Think about the society in The Giver and how they train for and assign jobs. How will your society be similar or different?
    • 4. Money
      • How will people be paid?
      • What type of monetary unit will your society use? How does it compare to our dollar?
      • How will you provide for those who are unemployed?
    • 5. Outside Influences (Those from other communities)
      • Will you be a self-supporting community ( provide your own food, waste disposal, etc.) or will you need to get some things from outside the community?
      • If you will be self-supporting, what are all the things that your community will need that you will need to provide for?
      • If you will trade with other countries, what will be your policies about trade?
      • What kind of things or services will you need to get outside of your community?
      • How does your community feel about allowing visitors or letting members of your community visit other places?
    • 6. Responsibilities
      • Think about the society in The Giver and the different responsibilities they had there. What will be the responsibilities of the children? At what age do children start having adult responsibilities?
      • What will adults' responsibilities be? What about the responsibilities of the elderly? At what point do you consider someone elderly?
      • What will happen to the elderly when they begin to go senile? How will you provide for them?
    • 7. Transportation
      • What type of transportation will your community use?
      • Think about pollution. What type of public transportation will you provide?
      • Will you have any special means of transportation other than roads? (subways, air shuttle, trolley, etc.)
    • 8. Recreation/ Entertainment
      • What will people in your community have to do for entertainment?
      • How do you plan to maintain cleanliness and keep up the environment?
      • What types of entertainment will you provide for you children? Teenagers? Adults? Elderly?
      • What types of clothing styles will be popular?


Projects will be presented to the class. You need to explain your map and brochure and show your flag and motto. You need to explain all nine areas of your original assignment. You may create and wear costumes and write a national anthem for extra points.

Teacher Resources
Student Resources

Developed by Leigh McEwen, 04/07/00.