Activity 2:
Family Tradition

We all have family traditions or rituals. In The Giver, Jonas's family has a morning ritual and an evening ritual. They also have rituals of the community. Explore your family's traditions and rituals and find out how long your family has been practicing it. You could also start a family tradition or ritual.


Each student needs to interview a parent, grandparent, aunt, uncle, or anyone else in their family who is older. You need to come up with at least 10 questions you could ask your elders. You will also need to invent your own family tradition, practice it with your family, and write a summary of how it worked.

Process and Resources

  1. Create a list of ten questions to ask in your interview.
  2. Complete your interview.
  3. Create your own tradition and try it with your family for one week.
  4. Write a summary about how your new tradition worked and if you will continue it or not.
  5. Create a venn diagram comparing and contrasting Jonas's traditions and your family's.
  6. Research family traditions in other countries. Use the internet as a resource. Pick a country that you are studying in social studies or even another part of the United States to research.
  • Write a one-page report on another country's family traditions or rituals.
  • Create a KWL chart on family traditions in the country you chose.
  1. For more information on interviewing and finding out any history about your family, check out these websites to help you:
  2. Interviewing techniques
  3. Family Roots
  4. Interviewing questions
  5. Need Advice?

Project Guidelines

Use the following guidelines for completing your project:

  • Have you chosen the best person in your family to interview?
  • Do you need to make a phone call to someone who lives far away?
  • Have you typed your questions and answers from your interview?
  • Is your summary complete? Does it point out the main points of your findings from your research with your family? Is it organized in the proper format for a summary?
  • Is your venn diagram complete with likes and differences?
  • Does your KWL chart have at least 5 things listed in the W and L category?
  • Have you checked your grammar, spelling, and punctuation on your one-page report about another country's rituals and traditions?


Present your findings to the class with a recording or video of your interview. Practice speaking skills by reading your summary aloud and having a class discussion comparing everyone's information. Write a short personal reaction to the importance of family traditions and rituals.


Teacher Resources
Student Resources

Developed by Leigh McEwen, 04/07/00.