The Giver Comprehension Questions

Instructor: Sharon Linde
The novel The Giver is an interesting but sometimes tough read. Use these comprehension questions to determine student understanding and assess comprehension. All levels of questions are included.

Comprehension Questions for The Giver - Characters

The characters in the novel The Giver are complex and multi-dimensional. See what students understand about characters with these questions.

  • The main character and protagonist, Jonas, has a special gift. What is the gift, and how does he know it is special?
  • Jonas experiences a wide range of emotions throughout the text, which is unusual for his society. Describe the emotions Jonas has in differing contexts, such as with the young boy brought into the household (Gabriel) or when receiving experiences. Then, explain why these emotions are not typically seen or accepted.
  • In the novel, the Giver wishes to retire. Does he know what this means? Why does he choose it?
  • Jonas lives with his mother, father, and sister, Lily. Each follows the rules, but some more than others. Describe how Jonas' home life and interactions with his family impact his growing sense of unease.
  • Jonas has two close friends - Asher and Fiona. Is Jonas truly close to them? Why or why not?

Comprehension Questions for The Giver - Setting

As a science fiction novel, The Giver has a unique and unusual setting. Help students zoom in on important details with these questions.

  • The members of the community only see in black and white - no one sees color, except for Jonas and the Giver. Why is this? How is it symbolic of the community and their vision?
  • How do members of the community live? Describe how they get from place to place, what they wear, and how they choose mates and jobs.
  • Members of the community are monitored at all times. Who is monitoring, and how does this work?
  • The overall atmosphere in the novel is clean, orderly and safe. What is the author, Lois Lowry, conveying with her descriptions of the setting? Give examples to support your thinking.
  • Where is the community located? How do they keep citizens from leaving?

Comprehension Questions for The Giver - Plot

The main plot points in the novel can be complex, yet have a rich underlying message. Guide students with these questions.

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