In 2013, I was teaching 5th grade for the first time and also creating curriculum for my students. It was one of the best years of teaching I have ever experienced. I came across this project I did with students when we read the book Wonder, by RJ Palacio. It's a project that many teachers do with their students when they read this book. It's called 1-2-3 Wonder where the students are asked 3 questions and can only use 1, 2 or 3 words to answer.
They then put their answers on poster board, I took pictures, and turned it all into a pretty cool video! I hope you enjoy it as well! Brings back so many memories for me.
Every Friday I used to send out a Newsletter to parents explaining what we accomplished throughout the week. I sent the video along with what is written below.
Fifth graders finished our read aloud of Wonder, written by RJ Palacio. This book is about a fifth grader named August Pullman, also known as Auggie, who was born with a facial deformity. This deformity has obviously been his challenge from the beginning of his life in all sorts of ways. Socially it has made him feel as much of an outcast as anyone could possibly feel. Physically, he was unable to attend school because of constant surgeries. Until now. When we met Auggie, he was starting school for the first time in fifth grade. He was extremely insecure and feared being in public. He especially hated being around other kids because he was never viewed as the ordinary kid that he is. When Auggie introduces himself, he doesn't describe what he looks like because, he says, "whatever you're thinking, it's probably worse."
Since experiencing Auggie's fifth grade year with him, we learned so many important lessons about life, friendship, relationships, integrity, advocacy, judgement, and of course, kindness. I believe our fifth graders fell in love with this story because every kid can relate to Auggie in some way. Although Wonder is fiction, it is based off of a very realistic fact that everyone has challenges to face and overcome. There were many class discussions where fifth graders showed enormous amounts of empathy, understanding, and caring. The students expressed changes they have seen in themselves, reflected on past experiences, planned for the future with being kind in mind, and even decided it important to make a banner in the classroom to remind us to always "choose kind."
This is a book that has touched all of us in many ways, and the fifth graders wanted to share a video that they made which truly demonstrates how much of an impact a book can have on someone as well as the important life lessons Auggie has taught them. Please click below, and enjoy!