Wonder by R.J. Palacio
Whether you have read this book or not already, I urge you to join us this month and reread it. The moment I finished this book (which was less than 24 hours after I started it) I knew I needed to discuss it more with people (and teachers)! It also made me a little sad that I don't teach a 4th or 5th grade class so I could really teach and study this book. Maybe one day. For now, I've been researching and reading every article I could find about Wonder. I've been thinking about how it could be toned down for lower grades. While I'm not sure the actual book can be toned down for lower grades (I teach 2nd), I do think the principles in this book are some that are never too early to teach to students, regardless of age. This book serves such a valuable lesson (or lessons). There are so many sayings that can come from this book.
I have my personal reasons for choosing this book. I'll save that for another post. Here are some questions to help guide you as you read it. I have also included some lesson ideas and resources.
*If you are new to book club please introduce yourself, your blog (if you have one), and the grade you teach.
Questions to Wonder About:
1. What did you think of this book? Did you love it as much as I did?
2. Did it make you think about things and your actions differently?
3. I have provided lesson ideas below, but how might you teach this to your students? I'm thinking that Choose Kind could really be a mantra all year long for a class. What do you think?
4. I would love to know what your precept would be - I have created an editable postcard template. Please share your precept either in a blogpost or share it with me via e-mail. I would love to compile all of them and create a teacher collection of precepts.
Lesson Ideas to Keep Your Students Wondering:
1. What does it mean to wonder? vs. What does it mean to be a wonder to someone? (reference the lyrics from Natalie Merchant's song, 'Wonder' - "They say I must be one of the wonders..."; You can even post all of the lyrics to the song and disect it - how does it relate to the book Wonder?).
2. What is a precept? What would your precept be? <--this could even be monthly, or choose a different student each month.
3. How can you choose kind? What does it mean to choose kind?
4. What does it mean to be a friend? How is being a friend different from being friendly?
5. Do you believe bullying exists in our school? How can you help change that by choosing kind? <-- this could be an excellent writing assignment.
6. One other lesson idea is to discuss the different points of view the story is told from - what was the author's purpose in doing this? Why do you think some characters didn't tell their story (i.e. Julian)?
Resources About Wonder:
1. I created a Pinterest Board for Wonder. There is a great lesson idea about character traits and using Tagxedo.
2. There is a great teacher guide at RandomHouse.
3. This is the author's site.
4. This is the page for Choose Kind.
5. The Children's Craniofacial Association has resources and gear. I emailed them for a teacher packet and two are being sent to me. The email address to contact is on their page.
6. Pages of quotes from Wonder. I bet you could even use one or two for a mentor sentence. ;)
I am so excited to hear from you and hear your thoughts! If you have questions for me, feel free.
Primary Teachers: this one's for you!
Giraffes Can't Dance by Giles Andreae
I wanted to choose a book that went along the same lines of self-esteem, believing in yourself, and being kind. This book has long been a favorite of mine.
1. Writing - what are your strengths? What makes you special? Is there something you want to be able to do better?
2. Rhyming book
1. Why did Gerald feel sad? Were his friends kind?
2. How can we use this book to teach about being a friend and being kind?
3. Do you think you would use this book more to teach students to believe in themselves or as a being a friend book?
I have seen numerous resources and activities to be done with this book. If you have others please share.
1.There is a link here at Scholastic that includes a free lesson plan.
2.This offers a variety of different connections with Math and Literacy.
3. You can find a game for Giraffes Can't Dance here.
Search on Pinterest, there are really so very many ideas for this book. I think you'll love Gerald and cheer him on!
Thanks for joining us. I hope you have fun.
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