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“The Wish Giver," by Bill Brittain, is driven by some very vivid characters. To make sure that students have understood the main points of the novel, it is important to ensure that they understand the choices that each of the characters made and what the characters learned from those choices. To do this, have students make a five-column grid with the following headers: Character, Character Traits, Wish, What the Character Learned, Positive Outcomes of the Wish. Have students fill out three rows of the chart with the three main characters in the novel. Then have them discuss their answers. This will allow the class to both summarize the novel and to delve into some of the themes of the book.
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What Would You Wish For?
When reading a book like “The Wish Giver," it is important for students to connect what they have learned to their own experiences and opinions. Have students write a short paragraph about what they would wish for and why, if they had one of the magic cards in the novel. Do not discourage creative answers about “wishing for more wishes" or “wishing for two more wishes, and then wishing that the next wish should turn out good." Talk about which of the wishes are foolproof and which are not.
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A Fourth Tale of Coven Tree
If students have enjoyed the three subplots in the book, they may find it fun to write a subplot of their own. As a class, brainstorm a list of different things that people might wish for, as well as ways that their wishes might backfire on them. Then have students do their own brainstorming on this same topic to come up with the perfect characters for their subplots. Encourage students to draft a short story based on this character’s wish, and allow students to share their stories with the rest of the class.
This “The Wish Giver" lesson plan is the perfect way to review the novel with students. Using “The Wish Giver" activities will help students enjoy the review and use it to further their understanding of the novel.